What is Brand Storytelling? Should you incorporate it in your brand now?
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
We all love stories, isn’t it? Stories have the power to make people engage, learn and connect emotionally that no other medium has ever done. Either you’re a 90s kid or new generation, everyone has consumed stories to entertain, learn, connect and to deepen their understanding about everything. I still remember the days where I used to go to my uncle’s place to hear a new story every day, and it connected me so much to the outer world that I stayed desperate whole day to hear a story in the evening. These days storytelling medium has been changed, but the human responsiveness to the stories remains the same, and it’ll always be.
Long before the days when human beings started using language, there was a medium of communication from one human to another, one generation to another that’s called storytelling. Storytelling has been portrayed in a number of ways, but none of them is captivating as cave painting to learn the human civilization.
The cave paintings changed to writing, then drama, then movies and what not but storytelling has the same impact that had been a thousand years ago. At the core, it’s emotions, which make people embrace the story as it shared the same values, principles as the people.
We know about stories and we love it, but what is brand storytelling? Does it matter to your brand? Just like we humans are born, live, faces challenges, overcome difficult hurdles to finally succeed as an upgraded version of ourselves, so do the companies.
Organisations or companies start in the first place not only to earn profits but to cater to a problem in society, to make an impact on the sophistication of human life. It too faces challenges, passes difficult hurdles, and finally succeed not just giving of profits but to have positive effects on its surroundings and people involved with it.
Just like we share our stories to deeply connect with friends, family, and strangers the same happens with the brands too. They too need to share their story in front of audiences, so that people with similar values, interest and mission align with them, share their journey, become friends, become a loyal customer and finally a member of your brand’s community, who will be the promoter of your brands, and boom! Sales.
So why do brands don’t tell their stories if it’s so easy?
There are many reasons, but none of them is paramount than not having a story of their brand. Most people start their brand just to earn profit and make a livelihood. Though they make profits in the early days but failing to resonate community with brand stories are what make them miserable and lost in today's fast-paced marketing world.
So what is a brand story?
A brand story is not simply putting marketing gig word into your about us section. It’s not about writing your company as innovative, cutting edge technology and blah blah. It’s more than that. Brand story emphasises on simple questions such as why your brand even started in the first place? What pushes you to work day and night in your company? Why your employee came out in the morning and work in your office, what forces driving them?
Everything has strengths, and weaknesses, every great thing suffers difficulties or hurdles at the beginning, so does your brand. Showing your vulnerability, your strength and how you overcame the difficulties, to be in the place you are now, is what makes a compelling brand story, that will stand out.
In today’s world, everything is buyer-centric. Customers are smart, they have information in a click of a second, so if you’re thinking about faking your brand story that you don’t align, one day or other customers will find out, and it will have more negative effects than not having a brand story at all. So be loyal to yourself and your story as it will continue to evolve along with your brand.
People are becoming more aware of social cause, values that they possess some years ago. They are curious to know how their efforts are going to make a difference other than earning profits to the company. They want to feel good for causing good not only to society but to the future generation too. Brand story will not help you to just tell your story but to make a community where everyone will work or support to achieve a common cause and ultimately a loyal customer and a dedicated promoter of your brand.
How to frame your brand story?
Stories are amazing, and every story has a character, conflicts and resolution. Think about a film, where the main hero is the character, he goes through difficult hurdles or conflicts on the whole movie and finally he finds resolution in the climax.
As you deepen into the movie, you can feel the dashing life, sorrow moments and struggling side of the character, which makes you more connected to the character and finding the resolution makes the audience adored the movie.
In the same way, your brand should have a character, a conflict and finally a resolution to narrate a compelling story so that audience aligns their values, attitudes, interests and beliefs with your brand and wants to build your products into their lives.
Here, the character is your audience. They have to see themselves in your story as the main character who face challenges just like you and finally came up with the resolution for them. As they feel more connected to the character they will be more deeply involved in your story and your brand.
Your brand needs to be more human to tell a better story. Native advertising might be still popular these days, but that’s only one-way communication, whereas other mediums such as blogging, social media are two-way communication. People want to be involved with the brand, they want to share your journey with you, and they need updates to get heard.
It’s your turn how do you make people engage with your brand. This is where storytelling comes into the picture. More you become true, humanistic and honest with your audience, more engagement you can bring to your brand.
So should you incorporate brand story into your brand?
Yes, definitely! Today's world is fast, and thousands of companies are competing for fractions of attention from their audience. Though people may spend whole days and nights in social media but failing to capture their attention is a loss to your company's resources, time and profits.
Thousands of brands are selling similar products or services just like yours. Your “Unique Selling Proposition” might help convince your customers to buy at the beginning but you need your brand story to create, spread and retain your community who becomes your loyal customers and a promoter of your brand.
Start with Why? How? And What? of your company and make a narrative using all the pain points, struggles and achievement of it.
See how Land Rover in the following video embraces customer's journey into a compelling Brand story that attracts millions of views on their youtube channel.