Brand Storytelling 101

Human beings are hardwired to listen to stories. As children, we used to love falling asleep to our favorite tales. We flock to the movies because we want to watch a story unravel, and the most popular people that we meet are the ones with an interesting story to share.

Stories are the most powerful ways we can relate with another person. They go well beyond facts and figures; they create experiences, which go deep into our hearts, never to be forgotten.

So it goes without saying, your brand’s story is your biggest, most marketable asset — and if you aren’t already, it needs to be told.

And “Brand” Storytelling Is…?

Despite what you may think, you have a lot to share with your audience – aside from how awesome your products/services are.

Consider the following questions:

  • What inspired your brand?
  • What all did you have to wade through to establish your organization?
  • How do you hope to make the world a better place?
  • Does your organization have an interesting work culture?

Such questions (and more) are what brand storytelling relies on. It’s about introducing your audience to the most fundamental drivers of your organization in a way that they can immediately relate to what you stand for.

Unfortunately, many often confuse brand storytelling with showering their audience with seemingly impressive statistics (yawn!).

Here are a few brand storytelling techniques to keep in mind…

Stop Marketing and Start Conversing

This may sound like something straight from the Art of War, but the best way to market is to stop marketing. The best brands use storytelling as a way to show off their personalities, not just their offerings. So don’t try to sell your products/services all the time.

Instead, try to find out why people should care about what you have to say. Ask questions. Monitor blog stats and social media interaction. Respond to comments. Listen to what your market has to say.

Focus on developing a relationship with your market and using all the different means – websites, blogs, social media, print, video — toward this end.

Create Content That Is Share Worthy

It’s hard to conceptualize what a good story for your brand might look like. One way is to look at a piece and ask, “Would I share this?” If your answer is yes, then you are on the right track.

The best brands are working overtime to create content that entices people to share it with their friends and family. For example, Coca Cola has created positions that are specifically designed to ensure that their content remains world-class.

Make Sure to Use the Right Words

How you tell your story is just as important as the story itself. Ensure that you are following a specific voice, tone, and style throughout your storytelling efforts.

This depends on your audience as well. If your customer base is composed of young adults, then you will probably want to adopt a light, conversational style. On the other hand, well-heeled middle-aged professionals will likely prefer their content serving in a formal tone.

There is a lot more that could be written about brand storytelling. However, the three points discussed above are collectively, a common denominator to all good storytelling efforts.

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