Do you remember the last time you were really engaged by a brand? Maybe you saw an ad that made you laugh or a post on social media that made you feel something. That’s brand storytelling in action, and it’s more important than ever before.
In a nutshell, brand storytelling is the process of using narratives to create emotional connections with your audience. It can be used in a variety of ways, from creating ads that felt like mini-movies to developing social media content that engages followers on a personal level.
Done well, brand storytelling can create an emotional connection with your target market and drive conversions. So how do you go about creating a successful brand story? Keep reading for some tips on how to incorporate brand storytelling into your digital marketing strategy.
What is Brand Storytelling?
Brand storytelling is the process of using narrative to connect with audiences and promote a brand. Unlike traditional advertising, which often relies on facts and figures to make its case, brand storytelling relies on the power of emotion to persuade and engage consumers.
This can be done through a variety of means, such as creating brand characters or using storytelling techniques like myth, metaphor, and archetype.
The best brand stories are those that are relatable, authentic, and memorable. They often focus on human characters and promote positive values such as diversity, community, and self-improvement.
Brand storytelling is an increasingly popular marketing tactic because it allows brands to connect with consumers on a deeper level. When done effectively, brand storytelling can help to build brand loyalty and create an emotional connection that goes beyond mere transactions.
Why is Brand Storytelling Important?
When done right, brand storytelling can help you capture attention, build trust, foster loyalty, and boost sales. It can also help you differentiate yourself from the competition and make a lasting impression on your target market. After all, stories are a universal form of communication that we all respond to on a deep level.
Furthermore, stories can help people to remember your brand and build an emotional connection with it. In a world where there are countless brands competing for attention, telling a good story can make all the difference. So if you want your brand to stand out, start thinking about crafting a brand narrative.
Examples of Great Brand Storytelling
A great brand story is one that is relatable, aspirational, and authentic. It should be able to connect with people on an emotional level, while also providing a sense of hope and possibility.
And most importantly, it should be true to the brand’s identity. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but when done well, a great brand story can make a lasting impression on consumers.
Here are examples of great brand storytelling from brands who were able to craft a brand narrative that evoked emotion and empowered consumers to take action.
Airbnb’s brand storytelling tactics are simple but effective. They focus on personal stories and human connection, rather than presenting a dry, factual account of their product or service. After all, we all know they offer accommodations and experiences. However, the reason why we stay at Airbnbs is for the unique experience of getting to live in someone else’s home for a few days.
Just as Airbnb allows their hosts to craft stories that ultimately lead to bookings, they’ve recently relied on travelers’ stories to promote the brand online.
In a series of videos set against popular, timeless songs, Airbnb has created a video marketing campaign that, through music and photos, tells the story of a weekend away at an Airbnb.
The way they combine the perfect song with the perfect photos evokes emotion in a way that not only makes you want to book an Airbnb straight away but helps you buy into Airbnb as a brand in general. You want to experience what the other travelers are experiencing because it’s woven into a web of adventure, emotion, and intrigue.
Through these commercials and this type of brand storytelling, they create an emotional connection with their audience that goes beyond the transactional.
Airbnb’s brand stories are also highly shareable, which helps to spread its brand message virally. This approach has helped to make Airbnb one of the most successful startups in recent years, and it’s a great example of how brand storytelling can be used to build a powerful brand.
Take a look at the Nature of Burt, a mini-documentary about the founder of Burt’s Bees, and you’ll immediately understand the power of great brand storytelling. The power of late founder Burt Shavitz to connect with consumers via his own authenticity, charm, and humor is something to take note of.
Not only does the core ethos of the brand come through every time Burt is on screen in the Nature of Burt, but through the images of him in the mini-documentary, we are able to understand the story behind the brand.
Likewise, the brand’s commitment to nature is evident in its brand storytelling tactics. For example, Burt’s Bees often features real-life beekeepers in its marketing materials. This helps to create a connection between the brand and its consumers, while also highlighting the importance of bees to our ecosystem.
In addition, Burt’s Bees often uses images of nature (flowers, trees, etc.) in its advertising, which reinforces the brand’s connection to the natural world. By using these tactics, Burt’s Bees is able to create a strong emotional connection with its consumers.
How to Craft Your Brand’s Narrative
In order to craft an effective brand narrative, you need to first understand what a brand narrative is and how it differs from other types of storytelling.
A brand narrative is a story that your brand tells about itself. It should be authentic and reflect the values that you want your brand to be known for. Furthermore, a brand narrative should be unique and differentiated from the narratives of other brands in your industry.
To craft an effective brand narrative, you need to first identify the key elements of your brand story. These could include your brand’s history, mission, values, and USP. Once you have identified the key elements of your brand story, you need to start creating content that brings these elements to life.
However, if you’re struggling with brand storytelling and you’re not sure where to start then here are a few helpful tips.
Keep It Simple
In a world where there is an endless supply of content vying for people’s attention, it is more important than ever to keep your brand story simple. A brand story that is easy to understand and remember is more likely to cut through the noise and resonate with your audience.
When developing your brand story, focus on the essentials: who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Keep it concise and ensure that every element supports your core message.
If your brand story is clear and compelling, it will be easier for people to connect with your brand and become loyal customers.
Focus On the Why
Brand storytelling is about more than just telling a history of your company or a description of your products and services. It’s the reason behind why you do what you do. It’s the heart of your company, and it’s what sets you apart from your competition.
When it comes down to it, the effectiveness of brand storytelling lies in the fact that it humanizes your business and makes it relatable. It gives customers a reason to believe in what you’re doing and inspires them to support your brand.
So, when you’re creating a brand story, be sure to focus on your company’s “why.” Explain what motivates you and what drives you to do what you do. Share your passion for your product or service and let customers know why they should believe in your brand. By focusing on your company’s “why,” you’ll create a brand story that is authentic, inspirational, and compelling.
Demonstrate Your Value
When you’re creating a brand story, it’s important to demonstrate the value of your company in a way that is authentic and not salesy. If you’re working with a marketing agency that is helping you craft your brand narrative then, as a team, you should be able to find subtle yet powerful ways to demonstrate your brand’s value through your story without saying, “Hey, look at why we’re the best.”
If you’re working on brand storytelling as an internal team, however, then there are a few ways to do this. First, it helps to highlight your company’s unique selling points. What makes you different from your competitors? Why should someone choose you over them? You don’t have to necessarily include this in your brand’s story, but it’s nice to know.
Then, focus on ways that you can tell a story around those unique selling points. Craft a narrative around what makes you unique and you’ll be demonstrating your value in the process. When in doubt, allow your customers to tell the story themselves. Those kinds of real-life examples will show prospects that you’re a company that delivers on its promises.
It’s worth it to take your time with this step, though. By demonstrating the value of your company, you’ll create a brand story that’s compelling and convincing.
Connect With Your Customers
Finally, always focus on ways in which you can connect with your customers. When it comes to the practical side of marketing there are ways that you can easily reach your target audience, whether that’s via SEO-optimized blogs or lead generation campaigns on paid ad platforms.
With brand storytelling, you have a space where you can focus solely on creating that emotional connection, on finding and sharing the soul of your brand. It’s the one space in business where you’re able to really dig into the emotional aspects of why your company exists and what you aim to achieve.
Lean into this space to ensure that you’re creating a story that feels authentic and unique to your company. Customers can see through fabricated stories, so it’s important to make sure your story is genuine. Be transparent about who you are as a brand and what you stand for. Authenticity will go a long way in engaging customers with your brand story.
How to Incorporate Brand Storytelling Into Your Marketing Strategy
You might be thinking, “Brand storytelling sounds great, but what do I do with my brand’s story? Where do I share our brand narrative and how?” This is where things get fun!
Weave Brand Storytelling Into Your Content Marketing
Once you have spent time crafting your brand’s narrative, think about ways that you can incorporate brand storytelling into your content marketing.
To ensure you’re doing this effectively, think about the most effective channels for sharing your brand’s story. Where does your target audience spend most of their time online? Which social media platforms do they use most frequently?
Once you’ve identified the best channels for reach, you can begin creating content that tells your brand’s story in an engaging and compelling way.
Whenever you create new pieces of content, regardless of the medium or platform, make sure every piece of content you create has a clear connection to your brand story.
Measure the Success of Brand Storytelling
As is the case with all other forms of digital marketing, it’s important to look at the performance of each piece of content that incorporates brand storytelling.
Pay close attention to metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, and click-through rates. This will help you see what’s working well and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Get a Free Brand Storytelling Consultation
In short, brand storytelling is critical in today’s saturated market.
We hope this guide has been helpful in providing you with some great brand storytelling examples and even a basic framework for how to start thinking about brand storytelling as a team. However, we know that sometimes it can be hard to get started with a great story.
If you’re looking for inspiration or want to have an expert storyteller create a compelling brand narrative then we’re here to help. Let our team of experienced storytellers help you find your brand’s soul and use that to craft an engaging tale of innovation and success.