The art of brand storytelling
People often hold the misconception that the term brand storytelling refers only to the history of the founder or the formation of the brand. This is truly not the case at all. Brand storytelling is a unique content marketing strategy where you build a connection with your customers through a narrative. Pretty vague, right? Let’s see if I can simplify it a bit.
One of our favorite sportswear brands Nike showed the world how you channel your values to your customers through a story with their Equality Campaign. Nike clarified their stance to advocate for progressive social advancement, giving the consumers a cause to stand for. In this way, they inspire the customers to be a part of a movement by using their products or engaging with their social media content.
So a brand story is a narrative that expresses your brand’s emotions and concentrates on relating the essence of your brand to your consumers’ beliefs. Even though it includes matters like your brand’s history, mission, goals, the main objective is to communicate your brand’s values to your audience. That is why for an effective brand story, you have to put the limelight on your audience rather than your brand and try to sell the story, not the product.
Nowadays, customers seek human connection more than anything. Impersonal dealing is the least appealing persona to them. Advantages can be taken of such a mindset if you can create a solid brand story. Statistical evidence exists which says that potential customers are likely to share a brand’s content and consider buying from that brand if they are smitten with the brand’s story.
Who isn’t curious when they hear the word “story”? I am no different too. This word when followed by “brand” has created an ultimate fascination in the mind of a young Marketing student like myself. All these made me take a deeper look into the topic. And eventually, I could point out the key impact it has on your brand’s marketing. So let us dive in!
1. It makes resonating emotionally with your consumers possible
Emotions like sadness, gaiety, aspirations are associated with a narrative so that the audience can relate. A story can be about the emotions of people that led to the formation of a brand, or about reaching dreams. It could be about anything that evokes the emotions underlying in the mind of the audience. As a result of this, the potential customers will put trust in a brand and even express it by making purchases.
2. It shows that you care for customer experience
At first, the target customers of a brand are recognized. Then the story is shared in such a way that it suits the customers’ requirements and creates a bond by empathizing with them. By putting this empathy as the center of a message, the customers are made to think that the brand understands their point of view. They feel valued and consequently, it becomes more likely for them to take action.
Successful brands have shown that by prioritizing customers’ perspectives for their story, it is possible to cast a heavy impact. One example of this is The Land of Land Rovers story, where Land Rover, the famous off-road capable vehicle manufacturer focused on the drivers and the communities they serve.
The Land of Land Rovers – YouTube
3. It helps you build a human connection
By sharing stories, a brand expresses its values, journey, vulnerabilities, and beliefs. In other words, the brand presents itself as a person. And that is exactly what the modern customers crave for apart from simple products and services. This personification creates a sense of authenticity in the customers’ minds that have a direct positive effect on their buying behavior.
4. The magical convincing power of stories can be put into work
No matter how rational a person claims to be, he will try to escape from the often harsh realism and jump into the world of the story that is fed to him. That is where the true power of a story lies. And this astounding property of a story can be utilized in favor of a brand by designing a strong narrative. Because this is how the human brain has been hardwired – to devour stories.
A person might deny the presence of any emotion in them but the right story is sure to bring them out. This phenomenon will have its fair share of effect on their buying decision as well. Because studies showed that the majority of buying decisions have been taken unconsciously!
I hope you will get somewhat of an idea about how important brand storytelling is from the above points. To wrap it up, let me tell you a story. When the cola war was at its peak, Pepsi was focusing more on its narratives whereas Coca-Cola was more product-oriented. Although Coca-Cola was one of the brands which started the brand narrative and positioned itself as a symbol of American life, the dominance of Coca-Cola caused it to become all about the product.
Coca-Cola started to go with solely product-based taglines such as “Just for the taste of it” and “It’s the real thing” to compete with Pepsi’s “Choice of a New Generation” campaign. The Pepsi Challenge came as the final pinch for Coca-Cola which compelled them to change their year-old formula, in the process of which their brand story was lost. This resulted in one of the greatest marketing blunders of all time. Yes, the New Coke.
Pepsi Challenge 1983 Commercial – YouTube
So to the readers, if you have the slightest desire of starting a business of your own in the future, I’d suggest that you start thinking about your brand from this very moment, associate emotions with it, and align it with your target audience’s feelings. And then, unleash the highest level of creativity to tell your brand’s story!