Storytelling is the age-old art of bringing people together and keeping them engaged through tales of passion, heroism, and intrigue. In our own day and age, more and more brands have embraced the power of storytelling to stay ahead of the competition and distinguish themselves in the minds of consumers.
So, what is brand storytelling?
Gone are the days when your campaign revolved around a single tagline that catches reader’s attention. These days, marketers must weave a story that expresses a brand’s qualities, one that people can experience. The brand story is a narrative that gives your audience a complete picture of what your brand stands for, and in turn, inspires them to connect with it.
Below are few examples of companies whose brand stories have helped them stand out.
The ultimate driving machine.
The famous German automaker, BMW, ran a campaign to celebrate driver stories from around the world with its concept, “Story of Joy.” Stories from fans, professional drivers, and famous figures painted a picture of what it means to drive a BMW. The brand leveraged the voice of their existing consumers to build an aspirational message, and their customer stories made the brand look desirable to others.
One loyal customer took 10 years to build his own BMW. The story showed his passion towards the car and makes the car more admirable.
Just do it!
Nike’s brand story is a classic narrative of a hero’s journey. Their ads are a great example for effective emotional branding. The underlying concept is an everyday person battling an internal foe, laziness, thereby encouraging people to do what they want. And all their stories infuse the same message: Just do it!
Below is a recent ad, about an 86-year-old woman and how nothing stopped her from being young again, reflects their ethos.
One way or another, we are all the heroes of our own stories, and Nike has identified this feeling to inspire countless customers.
To make people happy.
If anyone knows how to tell a good story, Disney does. From motion pictures, amusement parks, and musical performances, to websites, toys, and other merchandise, Disney makes stories the core element of everything they do. Usually, companies create a product first and build a story second; Disney does it the other way round, starting with a story (a movie) and creating related products and services to bring it to life.
Imagine if Mickey Mouse or Cinderella were only toys, and Disney did not provide any narrative to support them. Do you think they would have the same impact on you? Probably not. Right from the start, Disney characters have created an indelible impression in our minds through their stories. This “connect” is in play even when we see Disney’s merchandise on store shelves and indirectly influences our buying behavior. We buy the object, and moreover, we buy the story.
All these companies have built their brand image with a good story as their foundation, helping them connect with their customers emotionally. And when a strong connect is made, it leads to loyalty and trust which keeps a brand alive.
In today’s world, you have to weave stories into marketing to gain and sustain customer loyalty. Brand storytelling is that one thing that is going to keep you apart from your competitors and lay a foundation for you to grow.
Remember, stories sell!