Brand storytelling is all about focussing on increasing your customers’ emotional attachment to your brand.
It can become the perfect way to differentiate you from your competitors. A way in which your competitors cannot replicate.
The aim of brand storytelling is not only to inspire people to purchase, but to increase their loyalty and advocacy.
Since stories connect people with people, brands and products, businesses will find it harder to succeed without this connection.
With the world of social media brands can communicate their story so much more consistently and effectively to their target audiences.
And why is that?
Because you are able to hold customers’ attention repeatedly over a long period of time, on a more regular basis. Friendships are built over time and Brand loyalty is no different.
Most people will follow a brand on social media for months, if not years, meaning they’ll see your tailored brand messages hundreds of times. As long as the brand story has been clearly communicated internally, this storytelling should then be understood externally by your audience.
There is no other medium with this kind of potential unless you have tens of millions to spend on TV ads of course. Even then, adverts interrupting your customers’ natural attention are not as powerful as engaging posts organically appearing in their feed.
For your business to maximise its long-term value, your customers need to believe in your brand.
For this, you need a clear and consistent story to tell.
We’ve put together a list of strategies to help your brand write original stories and build long-term relationships with your customers.
So, let’s get going with strategy number 1.
Start with WHY
The most successful companies in the world have profound stories, giving what they do greater meaning and a bigger purpose.
For example, Apple and Google are so much more than companies: they are legacy brands created by visionaries who aspire(d) to change the world.
Perhaps your business doesn’t aspire to be the next Apple, but it is worth understanding “Why” you created your business and how you run it.
According to Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
In the video above, Simon Sinek explains how Apple’s Why is all about questioning the status quo. No matter what they make, they will make something that is visionary. Something that will capture the attention, hearts and minds of people. It’s this “Why” that drives everything they do.
So, keep asking yourself why until you arrive at your real driving factor that’s unique to you.
Be consistent and true to the brand
Brand stories must follow three important rules: consistency, persistence, and restraint.
It would be easy to change your brand message because you’ve seen a competitor create a cool website or develop a successful social media campaign, but you need to stay true to your brand.
Otherwise, your customers won’t understand what you really want to say and sell.
Be creative but don’t stray too far from your brand promise.
Confusion is the number one brand killer!
Allow for your brand’s personality to influence the storytelling
As Geoff Mead points out in his book ‘Telling the Story – the heart and soul of successful leadership’, “A company’s story must be authentic and not just a sales pitch.”
Brand stories are not marketing materials, generic ads or sales pitches.
Remember the simple fact, people do business with people they like.
Brand stories should be told with the brand persona and the writer’s personality at centre stage.
Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can.
Use characters your audience will connect with
Brand storytelling requires characters your audience will root for.
That doesn’t mean you’re required to create fictional characters or brand mascots to tell your story, but you need a human element that enables your audience to become emotionally connected.
In this way, they’ll be more interested in following your story and, therefore, your brand.
Red Bull is an expert in getting across their brand story, creating huge amounts of cool content using their buyer persona’s heroes as well as “regular” people.
Check out their Youtube channel.
Leave them wanting more
One way of making your brand story a page-turner is by focusing on the use of perpetual marketing, where one piece feeds into the next.
There are obvious ways of doing this, such as “Watch this space” hooks on your website, social media channels or emails.
OXO used perpetual marketing back in the 80’s with their TV ad campaigns, effectively creating a TV series over many years.
Nearly twenty years have passed since the late Lynda Bellingham served up the OXO family’s last televised meal after the brand’s owners claimed that the advert’s cosy commonality was out of touch with modern reality.
Premier Foods, the owner of the iconic stock cube, brought back the OXO clan for a new, more up to date advertising campaign, showing more of a balance between genders, as well as including references to social media.
This is a great example of personal storytelling and how it resonates with the audience.
Businesses need to use stories in order to create an emotional connection with their customers.
Give your audience a reason to stick with you using your brand story and you’ll find yourself moving closer to achieving the ultimate brand goal.
As Simon Sinek said….
“Stories are attempts to share our values and beliefs. Storytelling is worthwhile when it tells what we stand for.”