Everyone has a story to tell… and that includes your brand.
The power of your storytelling, when done right, will help you connect with your audience better and elicit an emotion that drives them to engage/buy what you’re selling. Storytelling drives positive emotions toward your brand so you can do more than just influence, but build loyalty and trust with folks as well. Be warned though, creating a narrative can also come with a force of reckoning that can destroy your reputation if you’re not careful.
Brand Storytelling: The Starting Point of Your Marketing Initiative
Gone were the days where your product is the story you sell. With the advent of online marketing, you have to craft a compelling story that makes people: Stop, Look and Listen. Successful brands have moved from merely stating the obvious with their mission and vision – and are crafting beautiful stories that represent what their brands stand for. If you want to become one of the admired brands out there, you have to think outside the square and become an icon. The big question is: are you up to the challenge?
Every Winning Brand Has a Great Story to Tell
When you tell a story, you’re shooting to trigger happy or positive memories and feelings, and this experience is what helps you connect with your audience. Have you ever been asked to do an elevator pitch about your company, a new idea, or even a product? The experience can be nerve-wracking when you’re given 5 minutes to present to a panel of potential investors. And we all know well-prepared pitches win.
Now, approach your customers as the investors they are. But this time, try to catch their attention and hold it for as long as 60 seconds. At that point, you should have engaged them into taking an action. The pressure’s on! The worst part is, with so much noise out there, your message may not hit the sweet spot that you’re aiming for.
Take for example these big brands below who are successful simply because they GET what storytelling is:
Dove – The Real Beauty Campaign
Dove conducts a lot of campaigns but this one really hit the bull’s-eye with beauty products catered to women. Unlike what other beauty brands do by pushing the idea of unrealistic beauty standards, Dove went the other route in changing the perception of beauty.
What They Did Right:
- They connected in a sincere way, uplifting their self-esteem by trying to address negative self-image issues. Their story connected on a very human level, and take note – it has nothing to do with soaps!
- Their marketing prowess has received some flack lately on their latest ‘Real Beauty Bottles’ ad, but nonetheless, they’ve been successful so far with the rest of their campaigns.
Air BnB – Stories from the Air BnB Community
Not just popular for stunning photos and great content – but this brand took the usual booking process to the next level by inspiring people with real stories from hosts and guests around the world. By telling stories of real people and how AirBnB’s services have enhanced their lives, it motivates every wanderlust and homeowners out there to share experiences and enjoy them.
- Author’s Note: Kudos to their latest #weaccept campaign especially in times of hate!
Let’s also add to our bucket list those Superbowl ads that made it to the Hall of Fame (and sometimes, shame) You can watch them all HERE
The Secrets to a Better Storytelling Revealed
To humanize your brand and connect through the power of storytelling may seem like some super-secret skill but I’m here to show you how:
1. Find Your Reason
Why does your brand exist? What is it that inspires you? Why do you love your idea so much? The very answer will be the heart of your brand story.
2. Be Honest
There’s always a struggle before a happy-ending. At some point, you’ve encountered a bump on the road. Don’t be afraid to share the story of your fall. It’s how you triumphed that will be remembered.
3. Love the Classics
Take a page from Shakespeare and entice your audience with the power of a drama. Present problems to your customers as the villain, bring those pain points to a climax (that feeling of frustration, hopelessness, fear, etc) and finally introduce the hero of the story, that knight in shining armour come to save a damsel in distress with your products/solutions.
4. Add a Twist
Don’t we all love a little bit of mystery? Besides, it’s curiosity that killed the cat. Think of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies that come with a hook, that kept people wondering what the next scene is. Rather than tell your audience everything they need to know, just give them tidbits to follow. The key here is to keep them moving forward. Don’t make it complicated either.
5. It’s ALWAYS about Your Customers!
Whether it’s a direct or indirect reference, your brand story will revolve around your customers’ journey. Last week, I’ve written about how your organization can become more customer-centric. This time, I challenge you to think of ways on how you can walk in their shoes, talk their language, and connect with them in an emotional level.
- Think About It: Your revenue comes from the sales of your products and services. Only by creating a powerful story will you catch your audience’s attention. It’s not just some fancy marketing tactic these days; it’s a business competency. You may share a short video in social media or even get into immersive storytelling with VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality).
The key to running a successful brand story lies in consistency and giving it time to grow.
What’s your story? If you have a minute to spare, our readers would love to hear about it (probably)!