Brand Storytelling Drives Success, and Here’s Why
November 26th, 2019
Why Brands Need More of Storytelling?
Digitization and automation have made us accustomed to convenience and accessibility. Courtesy of the world wide web, every bit of information has been democratized rapidly, opening up markets beyond countries and continents. The presence of so many companies, people, and content on the internet makes it immensely challenging to segregate online material based on relevance.
According to Advertising for Humanity founder Dan Pellota, the fine line of distinction between people, products, and companies doesn’t exist anymore. Virtually every content on the internet is labeled as a “brand.” The definition of brand, today, has become a ubiquitous organizing principle for a range of content. Thus, to avoid facelessness amid such homogenization, companies aiming for success must stand out and be remembered. Your brand might be offering the best quality products, but so are countless others. The key to a successful digital marketing campaign is humanizing your brand and connecting with your prime customers by engaging them in a personal narrative – something that goes beyond data and product quality.
Customers Understand Stories
We remember tales narrated in books, films, or online for a long time. Raw facts and figures, however, vanish from our minds a short while after they have moved away. Neuroscientific studies conducted through centuries have demonstrated that stories are handled by our subconscious, while the conscious part of the brain processes raw data. This human trait signifies that the irrational part of our brain (subconscious) is conditioned to process a large amount of layered and complex data, something that the rational (conscious) part fails to do.
To be remembered, brands need to transform their marketing strategy to reflect a set of meaningful emotional experiences that unfold between their customers and them. Essentially, any brand that successfully captures the subconscious of its customers remains relevant in the market for a long time. To do this, brands must build a compelling story of their formation, vision, and strategy. Customers remember and revisit such stories out of passion and build conversations around them. Merely producing content that ranks high on the SEO and SEM ladders can make your brand indistinguishable. A brand story, however, is always unique for different brands.
Anything that has a deep story attached to it appeals to us on a personal level. Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95% of purchasing decisions are subconsciously or emotionally taken. This statement doesn’t mean that rationality plays no role in administering important purchase decision, but the irrationality of the human mind consumes a big part of it. Since emotional decisions dominate a large part of the market, companies must focus their digital marketing strategy on constructing a powerful brand story that has the perfect balance between technicality and emotion.
Stories Lead to Success
In some of its earliest advertising campaigns, Silicon Valley giant Apple never showed the actual product being promoted. It rather broadcasted movie-trailer like ads encouraging customers to be bold, think differently, and change the world. Another multibillion-dollar company Tesla has focused its marketing on sustainable growth and environmental protection. Such aspirational storytelling has given Apple and Tesla a loyal customer base and worldwide success, generating billions of dollars in revenue.
These examples emphasize the need for brand storytelling and dissolve all disputes about effective storytelling, converting to improved sales. Yet, only about 10% of brands have recognized its importance. Every brand needs to understand that storytelling is a form of branding that enhances the perceived value of your products and services. It helps you earn the loyalty of your customers while communicating to the world your vision and purpose.
Nuances of Brand Storytelling
Incorporating storytelling into every promotional initiative can effectively bridge the gap between brands and customers. Creating an exciting brand story is an art understood by few. Brands who desire market success must know the following basics of creating a story that is clear and impactful.
- Highlight the Brand’s Journey
The first step to crafting a captivating brand story is to identify your brand as the protagonist of the story. Every company has a different origin and a unique journey. While creating a tale, emphasize the initiation and progress of your brand. Narrate the struggles, wins, and losses of your brand’s journey to make it relatable to the ordinary consumer. A story that demonstrates appreciable candor impacts your audience on a deep level, creating a sense of empathy in their minds.
- Highlight Brand Vision
The vision which has brought your brand to its present success is a dominant world view shared by all your ideal customers. Always clarify your company’s vision and core values without making it seem abstract. Add value to every minute of your audience’s time with a story that highlights how your brand is capable of bringing betterment into their lives. If your brand is working towards a social purpose, do not shy away from mentioning it. As an Accenture research points out, 63% of global consumers shop from a brand that serves a purpose aligning with their values and beliefs. This clearly shows that highlighting your brand vision in your story can bring you potential customers who identify with your purpose.
- Incorporate Human Connection
The ultimate purpose of creating a brand story is humanizing your products and services. Any story that forgets to include actual human touch seems abstract and sometimes untrue. You can dedicate a story to your regular customers by including their experiences with your brand. Even employee stories that capture the essence of your vision are excellent additions to your marketing strategy. Mention what inspired the creation of a product and include actual stories that support your inspiration. Never underestimate the meaning your products bring into people’s lives and pull at your audience’s heartstrings through a relatable narrative.
- Clear Communication is Important
Grandiose ideas or visions do not always translate into a great story. Anything that is extremely technical or abstract defies the purpose of crafting a story. A compelling brand story is an organizer of random and scattered data. If your story is confusing, ambiguous and does not simplify your products, you might as well send your customers spreadsheets instead of video ads. Also, ensure that your story does not get lost in marketing nuances, communication channels, or your desire to promote a product. Effective brand stories are clear, concise, and free of jargon, all while serving their purpose of marketing your products.
Purposes reflected clearly in real-life situations are incentives for most brands to experiment and innovate. If your brand story can take your audience through that process, you will experience an immediate improvement in customer loyalty, and thereby, sales. To maximize brand visibility, impact, and profit, venture into the world of storytelling without hesitation.