Who doesn’t love a good story? We tell a bedtime story to our children before bedtime, and as adults we read fiction, which is in fact a long story. Storytelling is a masterful way to generate long-term loyalty and involvement with your brand.
There is no simple equation regarding successful storytelling. For one thing, using trial and error, each brand must find its most effective form of storytelling. In addition, by nature storytelling should be fluid so that it will continue to engage and meet changing customer needs and desires.
What is brand storytelling?
Storytelling is a vital tool that connects your customers through shared values and ideals that serve as the basis for your brand’s existence and its inherent benefits. Your storytelling may relate to some interesting aspect of brand history and culture, why your offering matters, and how it provides unique value to your audience.
The principle behind storytelling is personal engagement. Its aim is not to introduce a new product but rather to arouse emotion and involvement. Nevertheless, storytelling can be educational and informative when presented in an engaging way.
What storytelling methods should you use?
Before deciding on your storytelling method, you must first define your audience and determine what it needs and expects from you. Once you have built and understood your customer persona, you can create an inspiring message.
Here are several tips for effective brand storytelling:
- Provide testimonials – One of the best ways to create emotional involvement is to feature customers who have used your brand and derived significant benefit from it. When a customer tells a story of personal gratitude and pleasure, it goes a long way to generate empathy and involvement in other people.
- Use your main message and subplots – Your brand has a main “raison d’etre,” its reason for existence. For example, both Volvo and Subaru are cars built for comfortable personal transport. However, in order to encourage emotional involvement, each brand created a unique subplot. Over the years, Volvo generated a sense of security by sharing a history of its safety innovations from anti-lock brakes to crumble-free zones. Subaru, on the other hand, chose to base its customer message on love. Love of life, family and children, and the reliable Subaru.
- Humanize it – In order to really touch your audience’s hearts you need to humanize your story. Humorously share mistakes you made along the way, lessons you’ve learned, and how you’ve applied them to your offerings. People like to feel that there are individuals behind the brand who enjoy sharing experiences with their audience, even temporary failures.
- Spice it up – As you have a very limited amount of time to capture your audience’s interest, spice things up. Use your pain points to create conflict right in the beginning and introduce an element of surprise if you can. Build up tension and ultimately provide your brand’s solution in a way that your audience can identify with and enjoy.
Your customers are constantly being bombarded with assorted ads, content and emails. Storytelling is a unique way to connect with the customer on a personal level and build up anticipation for the next creative brand story coming their way.