“People forget facts, but they remember stories.” This quote by American writer Joseph Campbell, is not just the ramblings of a creative mind, but is actually a fact proven by research. The cognitive functions of our mind are stimulated more when we read or listen to a story.
Why do you think almost every religious book in the world is divided into stories teaching morality, instead of just moral instructions? Because, humans tend to react and remember only those things which induce an emotional connect within us.
The same principle applies when we talk about the creation and marketing of a brand story.
What is a Brand Story?
Brand storytelling involves a narrative constructed to suit your brand image and the message you want people to know about your brand. When people see your brand as not just a faceless dumb- waiter providing services, but as an organisation handled by real people, facing real struggles, they tend to trust your brand more.
So, what makes a brand story not just a nice-to-have, but a need-to-have? Here are 5 reasons why you need a brand story as soon as possible:
In a world of technicalities, people want to experience the humanness of a brand story:
It is true that people want to know exactly how your services will benefit them. However, when deciding which brand to choose over the other, people want to know WHO YOU ARE, as much as they want to know what you do. A brand story makes people forge an emotional connection with your brand, and makes them feel seen and included in your journey. As an article in the Forbes once put it, the question to ask is, ‘Does your brand have a soul?’ A brand story is what brings the soul to your brand.
To Rely Upon Story Telling. While this may not be the official definition of what trust means, in marketing, building trust between brand and audience, relies on authentic storytelling. Imagine you are on a deserted road and need help finding your way. Just then, two people walk past—one, a man whose face is covered with a mask, and the other whose face is uncovered. Who are you more likely to approach?
Most people would trust someone more if they can clearly see who they are. Brand storytelling strategy does exactly that…it unmasks your brand identity which makes the public trust you more.
How do people recognise your brand from other brands? What makes you stand out?
When it comes down to the crux of it, no one remembers how many products you’ve sold, or how well they’ve worked on an average. But, people do remember how a product made someone feel.
Amazon ads are one of the best examples of this. When you see people like you and me getting fast deliveries when you need them the most, you remember the brand better. Thus, storytelling is an important tool for brands and their services to be recognised.
Building a Community:
Why should you restrict yourself to building only an audience, when you can build a community?
A brand story helps you to put your goals and ideas forward. When an audience aligns with these goals, you form a loyal base which fosters a community sense between your audience. For example, there are people who prefer Nike, while those who prefer Adidas. These people prefer one brand over the other, selling the same product, not just because of the product itself, but also because they relate to one brand story more than the other.
Every brand needs new customers, but, it also needs recurring customers who come back to buy from the same brand. Without a loyal customer base, a brand cannot hope to survive. Whilst the quality of your product itself plays a primary role, a very important role is also played by your brand story. When a brand establishes an emotional connect with people, they tend to build a relationship which makes people buy from the same brand again and again.
Now, the question arises, how does one effectively make a brand story which will tug at the heart strings of the public and ensure loyalty? So here’s 5 tips to make one:
TIP 1: Ask yourself what you stand for
In order to create a brand story, you need to have a clear picture of who you are, and what you stand for. Having a brand without a social objective, is like trying to fix a nail to the wall, without a hammer. People want to know why you are doing what you do, they want to know what you feel about something. Thus, you need to decide what your brand stands for, and what it stands against.
TIP 2: Know your Audience
The most important thing about a story are the people you are telling it to. Is your audience a young, fitness-loving, health conscious group? Or do you cater to passionate foodies looking for new experiences? Your brand story should reach your target audience in such a way that they can instantly relate to it and form a connection. Just like some people prefer mystery novels and some prefer romantic ones, your audience will have a certain type of story which will reach them better. Once you know your audience, you can put your brand story forward in the best possible way.
TIP 3: Conflict & Resolution
A calm, meditative film where nothing happens at all, may interest a few people who understand the intricate concepts. However, when dealing with a large audience which is looking for entertainment, your brand story needs to provide them with that. Every story essentially has the aspect of conflict and resolution. Imagine if in the movie Titanic, the ship hadn’t sunk at all. Rose and Jack just happily and easily reached their destination and continued with their lives. As sweet as this sounds, without conflict and resolution, a story does not evoke the type of emotional response you are looking for. Thus, your brand story needs to have a conflict which is then resolved by your product, company or you.
TIP 4: Be Inclusive
Whilst putting across your brand story, a very important aspect is to be inclusive. Inclusivity could mean hiring diverse professionals to work in ads, campaigns, and other publicised media and it could also mean being mindful in the way you put forth your story. When people feel seen and included, they automatically grow fond of a brand because they feel understood. If you have seen Nike’s women- centric campaigns like ‘Dream Crazier’ and ‘What Are Girls Made Of?’, you will feel the emotion portrayed through the campaign such that, the female audience which it targets, feels empowered just by the fact of being included.
TIP 5: Choose Authenticity over Publicity
A brand story is not a product. Don’t treat it like one. Whilst it helps in growing your audience, it is a way to form a relationship with the audience, which extends beyond the bounds of simple buying and selling. Your storytelling needs to be authentic and consistent. Converse with your audience and clearly state what your brand is about. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Make sure that all the content you put out is true to the spirit of your brand. Audiences appreciate genuine storytelling skills which further builds trust towards your brand.
TIP 6: Hire a Brand Storytelling Agency
The intricate tasks and nuances of brand storytelling can be effectively overcome by hiring a professional and affordable digital agency who carefully constructs your brand image according to your needs and wishes.
While it may seem like a straightforward task to perform, brand storytelling is in fact a vital part of marketing and it involves various factors which need to be taken into consideration in order to grow your brand to the maximum. It also needs to be transmitted through the correct mediums so that it can reach people and tell them what you want them to know. When it comes to a digital marketing agency, storytelling assumes prime importance as you have to work to build trust through online mediums.
In the end, the objective is to create a community which resonates with your brand and to form relationships with your audience based on authenticity and trust.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Why is brand story important?
Brand story allows your audience to feel connected with your brand and builds a loyal audience- base for your company.
- How to make a brand story?
A brand story needs a good marketing strategy which you can create with the help of a digital marketing agency. Above all, a brand story needs your personal and authentic experience to relate to people.
- Who is my target audience?
Your target audience are the people who are most likely to need your product or service. Your brand story should be made by keeping in consideration the likes and dislikes of your target audience.
- What is effective social media marketing?
Effective social media marketing not only involves advertisements, but also putting forth your brand identity through the content created for your target audience.
- How to build brand identity?
Create unique content and put yourself out as one of a kind. Find compelling ways to put forth your brand’s story and build an audience- base.