Brand storytelling is gaining momentum among several marketers. It aims at using narrative techniques and emotional stories to foster customer loyalty. Stories help stimulate the brain’s activity and can be an effective way to build a relationship with your audience. In this comprehensive guide, we will learn more about brand storytelling and how it can impact customers’ minds.
What is Brand Storytelling?
Brand storytelling is a narrative that aims at creating emotional and value-driven connections with the customers. No doubt, customers are highly influenced by real-life challenges and struggles. As a marketer and storyteller, you must highlight your brand and make it a part of a powerful story. For instance, brand storytelling could focus on the founder’s journey, the evolution of the brand, how the entire journey has been for the brand, and various other aspects. Humanize your brand and promote your services by telling the story.
The Importance of Brand Storytelling
Communicating your brand’s values is one of the most effective ways to win over your customers. According to Headstream, more than 50% of customers prefer purchasing from the brand if they feel connected with the brand’s story. Besides this, 15% immediately make the purchase decision, which denotes a considerable number. Therefore, it becomes necessary to focus on your storytelling approach and make it as authentic as possible. As a marketer, you should not try to overplay your audiences’ emotions. Keep it simple and memorable.
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Let us discuss some of the reasons why storytelling is essential.
In the World of Sameness, Be Different
There is no denying that every industry has got huge competition. If you are planning to launch a new product, you will have to face the already established competition. Creating a differentiating factor and showing your uniqueness to the audience is necessary. If every competitor is bragging about their claims and services, then you should change your approach. Try to build a human connection with your audiences and make your services more memorable. Remember that customers will never forget the experiences and how you make them feel.
Be profitable and human
Many brands focus on highlighting their product features, which is an effective way to promote your services and claims. However, there is a need to understand that this approach can create a gap and impact the trust of the customers. People like to interact, and a human-centric approach can make your brand more relevant in customers’ eyes.
Stories Appeal to Each Type of Individual
You may have a target audience with similar types of interests and characteristics, but every individual’s brain works differently. Not every customer will make a logical choice and consider the overall claims of the brand. A certain percentage of the population will make decisions based on brand experiences and values. Storytelling is one of the approaches that can help communicate the brand’s value more effectively and appeal to every type of audience. It may even appeal to and target the monkey brain, which may help your brand gain a competitive edge.
Emotions Matter More Than Words
Understand that people might forget your logo and your brand claims, but they will never forget a good brand story. It will somewhere stay in the minds of the customers. Use different types of emotions in your brand story to make it more appealing and authentic. Build the fundamental foundation of your brand by incorporating different emotions. Make sure you hook the audience via your story and entice them to take a call to action.
Build a Tribe
Building a loyal target base is one of the most challenging tasks for any brand. While you should continually look for new ways to connect with your audience, you should never lose sight of your existing customers. You can win your customers by building deeper emotional connections with them. Understand who your customers are, and what type of stories they like, and build a similar form of a story.
When your audience can connect with your brand, it is a win-win situation for you. Your audience may be able to emphasize your brand, which may help in developing trust. Brand storytelling not only makes you stand out but also helps attract the right set of target audiences.
Types of Brand Storytelling
Brand storytelling can be done in two main ways:
- Data-driven Brand Storytelling – It refers to when the organization focuses on sharing the company’s achievements and gaps. An evidence- or editorial-based approach could come under this type of storytelling.
- Audience-centered Brand Storytelling – Make your audience the hero and main character of your story. Let the brand follow and proceed after covering the challenges and aspects of the audience. Think about the problems your audience is facing. For instance, if you are starting a podcast channel, think of giving back to the audience rather than self-promoting your services.
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Pillars of Storytelling
Every story should have the following elements:
- Characterization: Characters drive a story and should generally be human. Focus on deciding your character’s tone, personality, and other aspects.
- Plot: A plot is basically what happens in the story. Without action, there is no relevance to the story.
- Setting: The setting in a story refers to when the events occurred. It may include the physical and chronological order of the events.
- Theme: The theme is the main idea you wish to convey using different elements. Marketers should pay attention to this step and consider different elements to build the right theme.
- Style: The style may refer to different aspects combined to form the story. For instance, the choice of words, narration, voice, tonality, point of view, symbolism, and imagery.
Three-Step Framework for Developing Compelling Brand Stories
Here is the three-step framework by Marshall Ganz to develop compelling and unique brand stories:
Step 1: Self
The first step is to evaluate the narrative and the specific events you want to focus on. It is up to you whether you wish to talk about struggles or achievements. Divide the topic of each story and give a glimpse into you and your business. One can speak of values, motivation, passions, and much more.
Step 2: Us
The second step is identifying how you can connect your values with the audience. The main motive of brand storytelling is to create deeper emotional connections with your audience. Therefore, you should weave your personal stories into experiences and find out how you can create a story out of it.
Step 3: Now
The final step is to provide a call-to-action (CTA) button to your audience. There may be people who would feel connected and would like to join you in your initiatives. Therefore, you should include a CTA to help the audience join your purpose.
Brands should not limit themselves to words and written stories. In these dynamic times, it is becoming imperative to experiment with other platforms. Pictures speak thousands of words, and it can be a practical approach to building that connection with the audience. Create compelling digital imagery experiences for your audiences. Focus on the design aspect and ensure that the images are impactful. Every photo you use should have a relevant meaning and be memorable.
Always try to develop curiosity in your stories. Do not just reveal the entire theme of your brand story in one go. You may also use a series of images and videos to build the reference and create compelling brand stories.
Tips for a Successful Brand Storytelling Strategy
Incorporating brand storytelling into your marketing mix can be a practical approach to connecting and developing relationships with your audience.
Here are some tips on how you can create a successful brand storytelling strategy:
- Focus on your customer’s wants and needs.
- Always be helpful in your approach.
- Be authentic and avoid creating hype in your stories.
- Check the trends and try incorporating your customers, if possible.
- Explore different forms of media. You may experiment with visual and video marketing techniques.
- Follow the basic structure of a story.
- Focus on real emotions and ideas in your stories.
- Bring out your brand’s personality.
- Deliver your story consistently.
Check your competitors and industry experiences to see what kind of stories they create. Moreover, you should understand that brand storytelling is not about telling the story or product again and again. It emphasizes building an emotional connection and showing your audience that you care about them. Use the above tips to create a solid fundamental strategy for brand storytelling. Hire an experienced marketer for assistance in developing compelling and emotional stories.
Brand storytelling is becoming a buzz word and as with all buzz words, it is being over used resulting in businesses spending too much money producing a short story that the audience remembers, but when asked they don’t know the brand or the product or service that was being introduced to them. Brand Storytelling is where advertising, marketing, and sales meet to tell their ideal audience’s story to them.