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Your story is virtual reality without the goofy headset.

What we’ve learned over the years of creating mixed reality projects is that people don’t simply watch them; they feel them. We’ve also discovered that attaching something to your face is an enormous pain.

But back to the idea that a story is like virtual reality.

Meet Emily Noguchi. Her family has been producing the finest cheeses for generations on their farm nestled among idyllic mountains. When her father fell ill, Emily made the tough decision to leave a lucrative biotech research position in the city and return home to take up the family business.

Her first few months were a struggle as she, her nine-year-old son, and their two dogs adjusted to their new life on the farm. But soon enough, she found her groove, and the family’s cheese was literally rolling out the door. She even introduced three new varieties: Sriracha Cheddar, Pumpkin Spice Provolone, and Everything Bagel Jack, which have become the farm’s best sellers.

Meet a sixteen-ounce block of cheddar cheese. It’s reasonably priced and widely available at grocery stores, big box warehouse clubs, and gas stations alike.

Despite the farm tableau illustrated on the wrapper, it’s actually made in a 400,000-square-foot factory just outside of Saint Louis.

The conglomerate that owns the cheese factory also happens to make industrial solvents, adjustable hospital beds, and lawn mower engines.

So between the two cheese stories, did you feel a particular way about Emily’s? Could you see her family farm in your mind’s eye? Did you relate to hearing about her father’s illness and the duty she felt to switch careers?

That’s because when you read or hear a story, it activates parts of your brain that marketing slogans and bullet points don’t. While data might inform you on an intellectual level, stories are experienced — like VR — and can make actual emotional connections.

Every founder has a story about what inspired them to start their business. Most employees have complex reasons and motivations for serving their customers beyond a paycheck. And very few authentic brands just materialize out of thin air overnight; they have a past and a vision for the future.

So tell those stories. Tell your stories and start connecting with your customers, building a relationship that lasts well beyond the purchase.