The human touch is becoming more and more valuable in today’s hectic and excessively automated world.
So, businesses can no longer afford to remain anonymous entities. They must engage consumers on a deeper level than ever before to connect with them and thrive. This is where brand storytelling comes in.
But there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the term and how it benefits businesses. So, in this article, we’ll explain what brand storytelling is and how it benefits brands, along with some examples.
What is brand storytelling?
According to the Vice President of Scribewise, Kaitlin Loyal, brand or business storytelling is “using a narrative to connect your brand to customers, with a focus on linking what you stand for to the values you share with your customers.”
Brand storytelling consists of the following elements:
- Narrative: Create a story with your customer at the center and your brand as the guide, and include all the elements of storytelling, like characters, setting, conflict, escalating action, and climax, to make it interesting and relatable.
- What you stand for: This is the essence of your brand. It’s not about the thing you sell, and it’s not about making money. But it propels your company forward and sets you apart from the competitors, and it’s why you were created.
Ideally, you can sum up who you are in just two or three words. For instance, Nike stands not for sneakers or sporting gear but for athletic excellence. Disney stands for family enjoyment rather than theme parks or movies.
- Values: These are the defining characteristics of your business. For example, Salesforce is passionate about helping businesses, so its values are innovation, integrity, equality, and trust.
Why brand storytelling is important for businesses
Storytelling in marketing is a must-have and no longer a nice to have for the following reasons:
1. Makes your brand unforgettable
The internet is a crowded place — there are millions of pieces of content being created and shared every day.
Businesses spend billions of dollars vying for the attention of consumers while being inundated with similar messaging on a daily basis. This makes it exceedingly challenging for high-quality firms to stand out.
Businesses spend billions of dollars vying for consumers’ attention while being inundated with similar messaging daily. This makes it exceedingly challenging for high-quality firms to stand out.
So, in today’s world, it’s not enough to offer high-quality goods or services; you also need to stand out from the competition when discussing them. This is why storytelling in branding is crucial.
Not only will presenting a story make your business more appealing to your target audience, but stories can also be much more memorable than facts.
2. Builds a loyal customer fan base
It takes much more than just your product and service for a company to succeed, and that's where storytelling comes in.
Starting conversations, asking for engagement (no strings attached), and involving your audience in your business using your story help create a deep emotional connection.
It also turns your brand into an experience and transforms customers who pay for your product/services into fans that keep coming back for more.
Take Apple, for example. They market technology, but from the start, they encouraged their target audience to be bold, courageous, and think outside the box.
3. Shows your humane side
Marketing is no longer the primary competitive difference in the modern world. Customers want businesses to demonstrate how their actions have an effect, advance a cause, and produce outcomes beyond financial gain.
In other words, consumers’ motivation to spend more is the knowledge that a firm cares about something other than its own bottom line. And it’s no coincidence that the most empathic businesses are among the most successful and rapidly expanding worldwide.
Brand storytelling is the best way to highlight the humane side of your business. Since people are wired to respond to stories, they need a memorable brand story to feel connected to a business, form a favorable impression of your business, and become devoted customers.
3 best brand storytelling examples
Here are some brands with the most creative and meaningful brand stories.
1. Warby Parker
When Warby Parker made designer eyeglasses accessible, more eco-friendly, and simple to try at home, they revolutionized the eyeglass industry. But that’s not all. Their brand also comes with a compelling origin story.
One of their founders had to go through the first semester of graduate school sans glasses because he lost them while trekking and couldn’t afford to get new ones. He and his team decided to address the issue and use an environmentally friendly, plant-based frame structure instead of traditional materials like metals and plastics.
Also, not everyone has access to glasses; many people worldwide require them yet lack access to them. When you purchase Warby Parker sunglasses, a pair is given to a person in need.
Image source: Warby Parker
Since Airbnb is a marketplace, the actual product itself isn't interesting enough to warrant a tale. Their audience is interested in stories about the experience of staying somewhere new, not in the tools and filters that help them select accommodations.
They seek information on the individuals they will be staying with and are curious about the residences, nations, and experiences that the Airbnb brand makes possible.
So, Airbnb has a website section devoted to giving guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the lives of their hosts throughout the globe. This makes potential guests feel more at ease with the hosts of the places they'll be staying.
Guests can also learn from superhosts, get helpful guest advice, and experience what it's like to utilize Airbnb in various countries on their YouTube channel.
Image source: Airbnb YouTube
Dove is unquestionably one of the best instances of a company actively supporting social causes, although thousands of them do the same. They consistently support natural beauty by highlighting women’s inner beauty and self-assurance through many campaigns, including Real Beauty Productions and Project #ShowUs.
So, they don't have to advertise their actual items because they are delivering a message that has such a strong emotional impact on people.
In other words, Dove has demonstrated that an intentional dedication to your brand's story is just as vital as a high-quality product since loyalty is developed by making your customers feel connected with your brand's values.
Image source: Dove
Brand storytelling opens the door to a loyal and connected user base that supports your business and helps you distinguish yourself from thousands of other brands out there.
So, it’s essential to create a narrative for your brand and share content that aligns with your values, like Dove, Airbnb, and Warby Parker do, to create a strong emotional connection.
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