Communicating a brand’s story isn’t that much different from the actual art of storytelling.
In our information-saturated age, facts and figures and all the sensible things that we think are important in the world actually don’t stick in our minds at all. Therefore, we need a more creative approach to present that important information to our audience. Great stories make people feel something emotional and create powerful connections between the audience, the storyteller, and the characters within the stories. And, storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into the brand.
Communicating a brand’s story isn’t that much different from the actual art of storytelling. Like any other stories, you can’t have a story without characters. Your brand is the protagonist — the main figure or one of the most prominent figures – and, is the center of the story. Everything that happens is about this central character. In short, your brand is the hero.
So, how do we tell a good story?
Make people fall in love with your brand and become paying customers. What’s interesting about your brand and why is it important? Your story and the art of storytelling will play a major role.
Your brand should offer a fresh perspective. Be creative, innovative and constant in your marketing programs. Coca Cola understand that for teens and millennial, personalization is not just a fad but is in fact a way of life. These target markets place high value on self-expression, individual storytelling and staying connected with friends. Hence, the “Share a Coke” campaign in 2014 gave the ability to do all of these things while promoting the Coca-Cola brand.
Bear in mind too that if you have innovative or unique offerings or programs, chances are it will breed copycats, and it’s not going to be innovative or unique very long. Any amount of success will generate copycats. But what they cannot replicate is who you are. When your brand story is unique and it aligns how it shaped your product or service – that will serve as the emotional glue that connects you to your customers.
HUMANIZED YOUR BRAND.
Humans connect to, relate to, and trust other humans. Most likely, you will not do business with someone you don’t trust. This is why providing faces and names to demonstrate your brand is extremely critical. Do not restrict yourself to a faceless, cold, and corporate environment where one monotone branded voice is utilized across all channels. Use real photos of real people who work at your company. Avoid using stock photos as much as possible, these won’t do the trick.
Display your employees on various parts of your social media is a viable strategy. Have them write articles/news in your website and make sure to include their bylines and their photos. Share albums on your company Facebook page from outings, events, or even just funny moments in the office. Create an Instagram or Twitter hashtag where you show off day-to-day office moments. Humanizing and building trust with your brand can provide you with a strategic advantage over your competition.
LET CONSUMER PLAY A ROLE.
When you give consumers a fun and tangible way to get involved with a brand they love, they often jump at the chance to play a role in the story. Greenpeace is one of the brands with biggest consumer involvement. Their campaign stories revolve around the consumers as heroes in supporting and preventing catastrophic climate change, protecting and preserving our oceans and ancient forests, keeping genetically engineered ingredients out of our food, and creating a peaceful and nuclear-free future. The story that Greenpeace tells is that a better world is possible, and that brave individual and collective action can make that world a reality.
When your brand creates a tangible experience for consumers, those consumers walk away with material to share, in person (with friends and family) and via social media. Remember, each individual becomes a potential advertisement that will help bring your brand to life can become a powerful marketing and advertising strategy.
MAKE THE BRAND MISSION-BASED AND WITH A PURPOSE.
The story must communicate the positive role your brand is going to play in the world. The Body Shop was the first international cosmetics company to introduce fair trade to the cosmetics and toiletries industry. Through its Community Trade programme, The Body Shop sources raw ingredients and accessories from around the globe. They are committed to trade fairly with small-scale farmers and rural co-operatives. According to Dame Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop, “the business of business should not just be about money, it should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed.”
After decades of making a positive difference in the world by offering high-quality, naturally-inspired cosmetic products produced ethically and sustainably, The Body Shop remains to be one of the best brand storytellers of all time.
READ: Power To The People
*Images are credit to Starbucks, The Body, Greenpeace and Coca Cola & Company
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Justine Castellon is brand strategist, a marketer and a writer. She authors in-depth marketing guides for entrepreneurs and other existing brands. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn: @justcastellon