In 2006, when Apple was not in good shape and experiencing a decline in the sale of its Mac computers, it launched a campaign called ‘Get a Mac’. Consequently, the company sold 1.6 million Mac laptops and increased its revenue by 39% within a year. So what was the secret sauce behind their unprecedented success? Nothing more than a simple and unique PC vs Mac story that enabled potential buyers to understand the benefits of Mac over PCs. This is the power of brand storytelling. It helps customers to stay connected with the brand whose products they buy and support brands with a strong customer base. If you’re a marketing professional curious to dive deeper into what is brand storytelling and how it helps organizations grow in today’s fast-paced world, you’re at the right place!
What is Brand Storytelling?
Brand storytelling is a marketing concept where a company shares real stories with customers to increase brand awareness, loyalty, and sales. These are the kind of stories that emotionally resonate with customers, fostering further interest in the brand. With storytelling, businesses can connect with customers on an emotional level by focusing on their requirements, objectives, goals, and common values.
Best Brand Storytelling Examples
Some brands have an in-built meaningful story about their origin, products, and services, while others frame a creative narrative that showcases them and their products in a meaningful light. Here are some examples of interesting and motivating brand stories that will help us understand this concept better.
The Nike blog is full of stories that influence its audience. For example, their Ask the Coach: “How Can I Calm My Starting-Line Panic”?” story advises field athletes with some on how to overcome panic and anxiety when they enter the ground to run. Then there is the Nike Help Your Kid Fall in Love With Movement story meant to support kids with some proven tips on how to perform activities that enhance their physical and mental abilities.
Such stories helped Nike connect with its audience, create a big-picture awareness about health or dealing with performance anxiety, and thus develop loyal customers.
About 2.5 billion people around the world need glasses but can’t afford them. Warby Parker, an online retailer of prescription glasses, decided to do something about it. They launched the ‘Buy a pair, give a pair’ campaign where every purchase of a pair of glasses by a customer would see the company donate a pair of glasses to someone in need of reading glasses. The campaign was tremendously successful as it helped the company to distribute more than 10 million glasses, increased productivity by up to 32%, and monthly revenue by up to 20%.
Why is Brand Storytelling Important?
Brand storytelling is crucial for several reasons. It allows a brand to foster a strong and long-lasting relationship with customers. Moreover, it shows what the brand stands for and what its values are. However, these are not the only reasons. Brand storytelling is also imperative because of the following reasons:
1. Emotions Matter More Than Words
Although people may forget brand logos, they will remember enjoyable or compelling stories. Hence brands should harness the idea of storytelling to build an emotional connection with customers.
2. Empathy Leads to Empowerment
Brand storytelling helps in building empathy. With an emotional, powerful, and genuine brand story, you can connect with customers, place yourself in the customers’ shoes to understand their problems and empathize with them.
3. Stories Humanize Your Brand
People can relate to a brand and trust it when they realize that the brand they deal with gives priority to human emotion, struggle, and interest through its brand stories.
Benefits of Brand Storytelling
Once you understand what is brand storytelling, it’s easy to consider how beneficial it can be for companies to incorporate it into their marketing processes:
1. Makes the Brand Stand Out
People can relate to the brand and know it better through their unique stories. If customers get hooked on their stories, brands can gain an advantage over competitors.
2. Gives the Brand a Face
Brand storytelling creates brand awareness and most importantly, lets its customers know why to trust the brand through its stories. In short, it creates a face for the brand that customers can relate to.
3. Connects with its Target Audience
Telling a story helps a brand to attract the appropriate individuals or target audiences and connect with them effectively.
4. Reflect a Brand’s Value
Brand storytelling helps a brand express its value more effectively to its audiences.
What are the Types of Brand Stories?
When it comes to building stories around a brand, there are different routes to take to create compelling narratives:
- The brand story, where, a brand’s journey is discussed
- The founder’s story that describes the journey of the brand’s founder
- Origin story describes how a company started its journey
- Brand history focuses on how a brand has changed over the course of its existence
- Brand values story disseminates the values that a company upholds
- People story puts the spotlight on the people who built the brand
The Elements of Storytelling
An effective brand story is encircled with the following five key elements:
- Characters: A character is a particular entity who represents the brand through in the story
- Conflict: This is central to creating a story; if there is no conflict, there can be no story
- Plot: Plot is all about the content and focuses on what happens
- Setting: This is where the events unfolding in the story take place, not only the actual location but also the time when it occurs
- Theme: The theme is its central message; it refers to what a storyteller wants audience to take away from the story
How to Use Brand Storytelling in Marketing
Marketers harness the brand storytelling process to build a persuasive story and communicate a message about the brand or its products to its target audience. However, while creating a compelling brad story, some important factors should be kept in mind:
1. Avoid Overhyping
Sharing genuine experiences with the audience is more effective than pushing commercial content on them.
2. Encourage Customers to Narrate Their Story
Let the customers tell their own stories about the brand’s products and services. That way, the story can draw other potential customers who are interested in that brand after reading its existing customers’ stories.
3. Ensure Consistency
Consistency in delivery is important if a brand wants its message to resonate with its audience.
How Social Listening Can Help Boost Brand Storytelling
Social listening is the process of monitoring and examining social media chatter related to a brand or its products. It helps a brand to enhance customer outreach, connections, and product development. Listening helps marketers to elucidate the context behind a person’s words. As a marketing professional, you can use social listening to stay updated about the industry, your company, and its competitors. This helps you learn more about customers, how they feel about your products or services, as well as how to connect with them. Besides this, social listening can boost brand storytelling in the following ways:
- It builds stronger relationships with the target audience
- Allows a brand to get feedback from its audiences on social media platforms to improve its products
- Helps a brand to participate in trending industry conversations and gain advanced knowledge about the industry and target audience
Learning about what is brand storytelling is just one part of the many marketing strategies that a brand can employ. If you are excited to know more about different marketing strategies, skills, and ways to become a qualified marketing professional, enroll in any of the online sales and marketing courses offered by Emeritus and get cracking!
By Riku Ghosh
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