brand-storytelling

Surely, you remember the childhood stories your parents used to tell about princes and princesses, kingdoms and castles, witches and wizards—all that good stuff.  Hopefully, you haven’t forgotten entirely about these tales. Because now, narratives are going to play a big role in your business’s success with brand storytelling.

Brand storytelling is a growing trend in the marketing world. And for good reason. Messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts, according to Forbes. So let’s get tellin’! Keep reading to find out how exactly brand stories work, and why they’re crucial to develop and implement in your marketing.

brand story freebie

WHY BUSINESSES FAIL WITHOUT A BRAND STORY

Here’s the thing—customers want to develop real connections with brands. They’re craving an avenue to form valuable understandings and loyalty with the brands they interact with. But right now, most of us aren’t delivering.

Check it out: According to Edelman’s 2014 Brandshare study, 87% of consumers want to have more meaningful interactions (and therefore, to form deeper relationships) with brands. However, a crazy slim amount of those respondents—a mere 17%—said brands are actually currently delivering that value they seek.

So even though these facts aren’t a secret, most brands are still missing out on taking necessary action to create genuine relationships with their buyers. That necessary action all starts with brand stories. 

“For a value exchange to exist, both consumers and brands must contribute to, and recognize a benefit from, their interactions.”

Edelman’s 2014 Brandshare study

Here’s where we flop. Of those surveyed around the world by Brandshare, 66% said they see their relationship with brands as a one-sided. They’re sharing info about themselves with brands but don’t feel like they’re receiving the same kind of insight back.

Instead, 70% of respondents believe brands’ willingness to share is based on self-centered motivations—that they simply want to increase profits rather than be part of a sincere commitment to their customers. 

Here’s where your brand story will come in.

brand-story

SO THEN TELL US! WHAT IS BRAND STORYTELLING?

Failing to share your values, ideals, and perspectives with your audience will make it challenging to form real, genuine connections with customers. Without these bonds, you won’t be able to win over their hearts (and wallets). Brand storytelling is how businesses ignite these connections. With a brand story, companies can solidify strong relationships with consumers, develop the reputation they’re after, and turn timid prospects into loyal BFFs. 

The National Storytelling Network defines storytelling as, “the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination.” 

How does this apply to business? Brand storytelling is how brands use narratives (or “stories”) to establish their values, personality, and humanity and share it with customers. 

storytelling

Here’s how it works:

Storytelling is a human expression and a form of art. It’s been around forever, and it’s not going anywhere. In any form, the art of storytelling involves two parties. It’s a two-way interaction between #1: the storyteller and #2: at least one listener.

With brand storytelling, this interactive setup is no different. The storyteller, in this case, is the brand. The listeners are your audience (your customers). 

A brand story should include all the elements of any other story:

  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Conflict
  • Rising action
  • Climax,
  • Resolution

Quick Tip: The main character of your brand is NOT you or your brand. It’s your customer. (This is important!)

Your brand story should focus on a few key elements like: 

  1. Your brand’s purpose—why your brand exists in the first place 
  2. Brand values—the character traits that define your company
  3. The motivation—what pushes you and your team to do what you do  
  4. A meaningful narrative—the story portion 

storyteller

The most effective brand stories will use these elements to make an emotional connection with customers. Step into their shoes, and give your audience an honest glimpse into your company.

“Compelling brand stories serve to remind us of something sacred and valued about ourselves rather than promoting some new product feature or additive.”

Brand Strategy Insider

By humanizing your brand, rather than unintentionally creating a narrative solely around what makes you money, brand storytelling gives consumers something unique and relatable to grasp onto with your brand. This will do big things for setting you apart from competitors.

What kind of narrative does your brand need your audience to hear? Tell me about your story in a comment below!

brand story freebie

WHAT NOW?

Here are your three next steps to put the info we just covered into action:

  1. Do you know who your target audience is? In order for your brand story to connect with the customers who are making a difference for your business, you’ll need to have your buyer personas nailed down. (If your personas need work, check out my post answering all your questions about B2B buyer personas)
  2. Got your personas? Solid. Now, collaborate with your team, dig through customer feedback, and talk with your audience to determine what your customers value most. This will set the foundation for your brand story.
  3. If you need a hand with the steps above, or you want a professional to craft your brand story or transform an existing one, let’s chat! Reserve a free consult call.

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