Once Upon a Brand: The Power of Storytelling in Marketing

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin

Brand Storytelling has been an integral part of human communication since the beginning of time. We use stories to share information, connect with others, and create meaning in our lives. It’s no wonder that storytelling has become an essential tool for marketers looking to build strong relationships with their audience.

Not convinced? According to OneSpot, 92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story, and a survey by Edelman revealed that 63% of consumers said they remembered a brand story when making a purchase decision.

In marketing, storytelling involves creating a narrative around a brand in order to engage customers, evoke emotions, and inspire action. It’s so much more than promoting a product or service. It’s about creating a memorable experience that resonates with your audience to create connections on an even deeper level.

Let’s take a look at why storytelling is so important and how you can elevate your brand with proper storytelling techniques.

Quick Takeaways:

  1. Be relatable. Facts and figures are the proof to the story, not the story itself.
  2. Tell engaging, emotionally relatable stories.
  3. Trust is essential and is built through authenticity and continuity. It’s not what you say, but the actions that back what you say.

Storytelling makes your brand more relatable

Oftentimes, marketers throw facts, figures, features, and brand attributes at their target audience, trying to appeal to a customer’s rational side. While these elements can be important, they can also overwhelm the consumer.

What’s more effective is creating stories and a relatable connection with your audience. People connect with stories because they provide context, emotion, and empathy. It humanizes your brand. Learning how to tell a brand story is possibly one of the most important skills marketers can have today!

For example, think about the success of Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. By putting customers’ names on their products, Coca-Cola created a personal connection with its audience and made its brand more relatable. The campaign was a huge success, with more than 150 million personalized bottles sold. And, in the United States, the campaign was credited with increasing sales by more than 2%, reversing more than 10 years of decline in Coke consumption.

Our brains are hardwired to accept information when told engagingly, rather than spewing cold, hard facts. According to Fast Company, “When reading straight data, only the language parts of our brains work to decode the meaning. But when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well.”

Bottom line: Consumers don’t want to be sold or overwhelmed by facts about your brand – they want a true, meaningful connection.

Storytelling evokes emotion

Brand powerhouses like Google, Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola share something in common – they all rely on emotional advertising to strengthen their brand presence.

Emotion is a powerful motivator in marketing. When you effectively tap into your customer’s emotions, you can inspire them to take action. Successful storytelling can elicit positive emotions about your brand because it allows you to create a narrative that resonates with your audience.

Nike, arguably one of the best storytelling brands, elicits emotions in almost every ad campaign. For example, Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign, which features a split-screen video of athletes from different sports and backgrounds, highlights the similarities between athletes and how they all face similar challenges and struggles.

Another Nike ad campaign called “What are girls made of?” encourages people to chase their dreams and become the best versions of themselves.

Overall, Nike’s storytelling is centered around pushing boundaries, overcoming obstacles, and achieving success, resulting in creating a brand that inspires and motivates its customers on a deeper level.

Bottom line: Evoking emotion, whether positively or negatively, can create deep connections with your audience and make you more memorable.

Storytelling builds trust

Authenticity and trust are essential components in marketing. When customers trust your brand, they’re more likely to do business with you and recommend your products or services to others, and it can build brand loyalty over time.

Patagonia is a great example of a brand that successfully uses storytelling. They have clearly defined their brand’s mission, values, and expertise, which is clearly communicated through their showcase and commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical business practices. As a result, Patagonia has built a loyal following of customers who trust its brand and support its mission.

The key to building trust with your target audience is ensuring the message is authentic. Your brand story should be true to who you are as a brand, not fabricated or exaggerated. Transparency and authenticity show that the brand is honest and open about its operations, which can help customers feel more confident in their relationship with the brand.

Bottom line: Successful storytelling can help you build trust with your target audience as consumers relate to the brand’s value and mission.

Storytelling delivers ROI

Because storytelling taps into the power of human emotion, it makes your brand more relatable and trustworthy. We buy from brands we know like and trust. And so, brand storytelling delivers better ROI.

Stories make your customers the heroes and not your product. Your customers love seeing themselves as heroes. This makes them much more likely to buy from you than from brands that shamelessly promote themselves.

How to Incorporate Storytelling into your Marketing

Here are five things to consider when trying to craft an engaging story about your brand:

  1. Brand Story: If you’re unsure where to begin, try starting with the basics of brand building. Identify your brand story by defining who your brand is, what it stands for, and why it exists. The story you craft should be authentic, compelling, and easy to understand.
  2. View your consumers as the heroes: So often, marketers try to make their brand their hero, but this can come across as too sales-y, and we know that consumers don’t want to be sold. Put your consumers and the problems they need to have solved at the center of your narrative, then define their challenges and motivations. This will help you craft a compelling story that resonates with your target audience.
  3. Clearly define your marketing channels: To be effective, your brand story needs to be communicated across multiple channels. While some channels may be better suited for long-form content, like websites and videos, short-form content is better suited for social media platforms, email marketing, and advertising.
  4. Consistency is key: To reinforce your brand story, keep the message consistent across all channels and touch points. Not only will this create a unified brand message, but it will help build brand recognition.
  5. Make it visual: Consumers love a strong visual. Pull them into your story using engaging and compelling creative to support your overall narrative and reinforce your message.

When storytelling is done right and authentic stories are shared across multiple channels, it can be an effective tool for building long-term relationships with your audience. By making your brand more relatable, evoking emotion, creating a memorable experience, and building trust, you can use storytelling to create a powerful narrative that resonates with your audience and inspires action.

Looking for more examples of amazing brand storytelling? Check out 6 Examples of Genius Brand Storytelling You Have to See.

The post Once Upon a Brand: The Power of Storytelling in Marketing appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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