6. The Power of Storytelling
Who doesn’t love a good story, right? They are everywhere, from the shows on our screens to the shoes on our feet. Every product, object, ad, person, or animal (you get the idea) has a story to tell, even if it’s an unintentional one. That’s right, your business is telling a story whether you like it or not, so why not take charge of your narrative?
Big brands already understand the power of using storytelling in their marketing. They tell us a story that taps into our big emotions. We then feel a strong connection to their brand. And then we either buy from them immediately or become a fan and make a purchase at some point soon, most importantly, we begin to talk to our friends about them because they align with our values.
The aim is for your target audience to feel the magic of what you are selling.
For them to do this, that’s right, you guessed it, you need to feel it too! If you can’t see it, your audience has no hope of engaging with you. However, the good news is that your unique and inspiring story exists. It’s in there somewhere, it’s just a matter of finding it, and when you do, your audience will have no doubt in their minds that you are the brand for them.
The case for storytelling
The examples below prove why using storytelling in your communications is so important. It helps customers understand who you are and why your business exists, but not only that, they develop a deep connection to your brand and its purpose.
Yoto makes user-friendly audio players and story cards for kids. However, they have a bigger purpose: to inspire kids to lead their own adventures. This purpose feeds and guides their marketing content, it paints the big picture for it’s audience and inspires them to think above and beyond the product itself.
The Yoto Storybook Positioning was created by London Storytelling agency Sonder and Tell.
Burger King’s recent rebrand has instantly and visually changed its narrative. Burger King tell the story of their new approach to food in a bold and playful way. They have not only tapped into their customers’ nostalgia but they’ve created a world in which only they exist. Their competition has been blown out of the water in terms of their marketing. Their bold packaging promotes real, fresh food made from quality ingredients really hits home in their advertising, packaging, and restaurants. Their use of language is fun and playful, but it consistently reinforces the same message repeatedly. The prominent visual aspect of the brand supports this tenfold. Burger King say they are now more real, more crave-able and more fresh, and who are we to argue. Their playful illustration style, mouth-watering choice of language and clever use of close-up photography leave us craving a bit of a whopper.
The Burger King Rebrand was created by New York agency Jones Knowles Ritchie.
Dove are well known for actively and continually promoting real beauty and body confidence in all women. Let’s ponder on this for a moment. Think about their narrative and how it speaks so profoundly and directly to so many women. They don’t even need to market their products; their story and purpose do all the hard work meaning they have no need to do the hard sell.
How can I incorporate storytelling into my brand and marketing?
So, you like the sound of the storytelling approach. Perhaps you’re thinking that setting a narrative for your brand will help you be more consistent in your marketing efforts and help you feel confident in the messages that place your customer at the heart of your brand? It will help to have a set of brand guidelines so that anyone working for you and telling your story can get up to speed with your approach quickly. The visuals must compliment the language, and consistency is vital.
We recommend to our clients that they first define their purpose; what is their message or cause that exits above and beyond their product or service? How do they want to change the world? This is the most vital step, we can work with you to discover that purpose if you need help. Once this is nutted down, it’s time to think about the people you are trying to help, which emotions you want to evoke, and what your brand should mean to them over and above what you’re selling. What is your brand personality now, and what do you want it to be in the future? Once you have the answers to these questions (and more), it’s time to harness all of this powerful stuff and craft it into your core story.
And this is where the magic happens. Your core story will now be so rich and inspiring that you’ll be able to dissect and expand on all of these messages for your marketing, whether that be social media ads or proposal templates, you’ll never have to worry about bland content again. You’ll have so much substance and be so confident in the purpose of your mission and values. It will transform your approach to marketing and keep you connected to and keeping your audience centre stage for the lifetime of your business.
Here are our top tips for crafting unique brand stories.
- Take charge: Your business tells a story whether you like it or not, so why take control of the narrative?
- Do the groundwork: Ask yourself the right questions.
- Do the research: Learn from the big brands.
- Look for the magic: Identify your purpose and harness its magic.
- Seek help: Ask for help from a professional if you’re struggling to see the wood for the trees.
- Be human: Writing in a human voice in your marketing will go a long way.
- Include your customers: Encourage them to tell their stories about you.
- Put your audience centre stage: Centre stories around the experiences of real people and use them to show your customers that you care about the same things they do.
- Avoid the hard sell: Solve your audiences’ problems and provoke big emotions without trying to sell your product or service.
- Be Consistent: It will help to have a set of brand guidelines so that anyone working for you and telling your story can quickly get up to speed.