Telling more or less? The impact of blank-leaving narrative style on story immersion and brand attitude
Purpose: Brand storytelling is an effective marketing tool. However, when choosing whether to tell more or tell less, it remains unclear which of these two narrative styles is most effective. This study aims to examine whether blank-leaving(less) leads to favourable brand attitudes and compares its effects on consumers’ story immersion, to non-blank-leaving(more). Design/methodology/approach: Two experiments were conducted to test the hypotheses. In Study 1, a single-factorial design was used with 252 participants assigned at random to one of two narrative conditions: blank-leaving or non-blank-leaving. Study 2 replicated Study 1 and investigated the moderating role of implicit mindsets. Findings: The results show that a blank-leaving narrative style increases favourable brand attitudes. Consumers present deeper immersion in the brand story that uses blank-leaving, as compared to non-blank-leaving, leading to a more favourable brand attitude. Furthermore, this effect is stronger for individuals with growth mindsets. Practical implications: Telling the brand story using a blank-leaving narrative style is more effective in catching consumers’ attention than non-blank-leaving. In particular, a blank-leaving narrative is a good approach for targeting consumers who have a growth mindset. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this research is the first to investigate and compare the effects of blank-leaving and non-blank-leaving narrative styles on brand attitudes in the context of storytelling marketing.
National Natural Science Foundation of China (72103011)
Beijing Social Science Fund of China (22JCC077)
Author affiliationSchool of Business, University of Leicester
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)