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Storytelling interests people. In fact, we often empathize with the characters we encounter in stories and somehow feel a connection. That’s why many brands use this marketing strategy to make an emotional connection with their target audience. And these brands tend to be more successful because they tell a captivating story that resonates with their audience.
According to studies and statistics, 92% of consumers want brands to create ads that feel like a story. In addition, 55% of people say they would consider purchasing from a brand after reading a compelling brand story.
As a brand owner, how can you use brand stories to encourage consumers to avail of your products or services?
What Is Brand Storytelling?
Brand storytelling is creating a narrative to tell a story that aims to create an emotional, value-driven connection between your brand and your customers. A great brand story should clearly show what your brand stands for. It should explain why you are different, answers your customers’ questions, and how your products or services can meet their needs and wants.
Why Is a Brand’s Story Important?
Compelling stories of a certain brand is essential because they can:
- Build trust. Authentic stories can build trust and encourage customer loyalty because customers think your brand is more than just a profit. They see you have values, a mission, and a purpose.
- Connect with customers. A good brand story can establish an emotional connection with customers. People love stories, and a great brand narrative can make your business more memorable and relatable.
- Make your brand stand out. Customers remember the most unique and best brand stories in a crowded marketplace.
- Guide marketing efforts. Your own stories form the backbone of your advertising and marketing strategies. Because they act as a guide to ensure your brand message is consistent and resonates with your customers.
How to Create a Successful Brand Storytelling?
Here are storytelling elements to help you build a successful narrative:
1. Be Authentic and Consistent
Statistics say that 86% of consumers say they consider authenticity in deciding which brands they engage with. Be sure to provide these by asking and answering these questions:
- What’s our brand’s mission?
- Is our story true, and does it reflect our brand identity?
- Does our story resonate with our target audience?
- Are we consistent and living our story?
2. Tell Your Audience Your Purpose
A crucial part of good brand storytelling is showing customers how you can help them with their problems beyond making a profit. Firstly, clearly define why your brand exists, which will be your guiding principle in making decisions for your brand.
Then, answer these questions when creating powerful brand storytelling:
- How can you make their lives better?
- What makes you different from other brands?
- How can you make them save time and money?
3. Invoke Emotions
Emotions can trigger deep connections with your audience. Here’s how you can do it:
- Share real stories about the success or struggles of your brand, customers, or even employees.
- Show empathy by understanding, caring, and addressing your consumers’ pain.
- Acknowledge current events or issues in society.
- Use specific words, music, images, and other emotional triggers that can provoke emotions.
4. Include Relatable Characters
Relatable characters can provide a real human element to which your audience can relate. These could include your brand’s founders, employees, or customers. Know what your customers desire, challenges, and needs to create relatable characters that reflect these.
For instance, use a character that faces the same problems as your customers and use your products or services to address these. Make sure that these characters humanize your brand, making it understandable to the public.
Powerful Examples of Brand Storytelling
Here are brand storytelling examples to inspire you to create your own brand narratives:
Apple: “Think Different”
The “Think Different” campaign was launched in 1997, right after Steve Jobs returned to the company. The ads featured black and white photos of radical thinkers, including Thomas Edison, John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. It wanted to remind loyal customers and the public of the innovative spirit that made them put Apple a household name in the first place before its decline in the late 80s and early 90s.
The campaign’s core message was about celebrating and embracing those who see things differently, challenging the current situation, and pushing humanity forward. It wanted to say that just like them, Apple also thinks differently.
Starbucks: “Upstanders” Series
“Upstanders” is a series to highlight real ordinary people doing ordinary things to make positive changes in their communities. So, instead of featuring espressos and lattes, Starbucks inspired consumers by sharing great stories of kindness, courage, and a strong sense of community.
Each campaign episode featured a different individual showing their efforts to address social issues like poverty, discrimination, and homelessness. It included short films, podcasts, and written stories to cater to different audiences who use different platforms.
One compelling story of the series entitled “Breaking the Prison Pipeline” featured Rajiv Kacholia. He established a nonprofit organization that provided free public speaking training to low-income students in the San Francisco Bayview area. He persisted despite resistance from local schools and the challenge of gaining students’ trust. The program became a success, with participating students showing significant improvement in their communication skills and overall self-esteem.
Nike: “Just Do It”
Who doesn’t know about Nike’s iconic slogan, “Just Do It”? This is a brand storytelling example that is simple but powerful.
According to the co-owner of the advertising agency that created the campaign (Dan Wieden), the inspiration came from the last words of a convicted murderer facing execution saying, “Let’s do it.” Wieden said they adapted and changed it into “Just Do It” to relay a message about determination and tenacity.
The campaign had a series of TV commercials featuring professional and amateur athletes who showed perseverance and dedication. It was a message not only to athletes but to the public because having inner strength extends beyond athletic performance.
Today, Nike is one of the leading global brands that effectively conveys its message about aspiration, empowerment, and overcoming adversity.
What’s Next for You?
The future of the brand storytelling strategy is here, brimming with opportunities to connect, inspire, and engage like never before. As you’ve seen with these fascinating examples we’ve explored, a compelling narrative has the power to resonate with your audience on a deeper level. So, what does this mean for you?
It means it’s time to craft your own narrative, regardless if you’re a startup or an established brand. Consider the strategies we’ve discussed in this guide and dare to be different, and tell a story that’s authentically yours.
Unsure where and how to start? Contact us now, and let us help you turn the page.