15 Feb Brand Storytelling; why your brand needs a powerful story to grow
Brand storytelling is all about focussing on increasing your customers’ emotional investment in your brand.
It can become the perfect way to differentiate you from your competitors.
Throughout the brand storytelling process, you will inspire your customers to purchase. By creating a story behind your brand, you will also be aiming to increase their loyalty on a long term basis.
Since stories connect people with other people, brands and products, businesses will find it hard to succeed without this connection. And even though we live in a digital world, brand storytelling can be just as simple, without any face to face contact.
In fact, social media channels make it even easier for businesses to communicate their story to their target audiences.
And why is that?
Because you are able to hold customers attention over a long period of time, on a more regular basis.
Most people follow a brand on social media will do so for months, if not years.
In this period of time, they will see your tailored brand messages hundreds of times, developing into a story.
There is no other medium with this kind of potential, unless you have tens of millions to spend on TV ads.
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 have a growing list of suggestions that should help your brand write original stories and build long term relationships with your customers.
Start with WHY
The most successful companies in the world have profound stories behind them that instill a sense of bigger purpose and meaning into what they do.
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 that you understand “why” you are running a business.
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.”
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 developed 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.
It doesn’t mean you’re required to create fictional characters or brand mascots to tell your stories, but you need a human element that enables your audience to become emotionally connected.
In this way, they will be more interested to conclude the story and to follow your brand.
Red Bull is the expert in getting across the brand story by creating huge amounts of cool content using their buyer persona 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 on to the next.
There are obvious ways of doing this, such as “Watch This Space” hooks on your website, social media channels or by email.
OXO tried to use 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 advertising campaign which highlights the role that men now play in the kitchen, including references to how teenagers use social media to document their diet.
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 target audience various ways to enjoy 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.”
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