Brand Storytelling: Embellishing a well loved brand
Updated: Jul 4
Quite often than most, conducting effective brand storytelling, is like unravelling a web, or navigating through a confusing maze, to first understand how to make your brand stand out.
Questions are quite abundant, should we focus on the brand's tone of voice, the core messaging, the customer experience, or should we perfect our brand's storytelling? Sometimes more often then not, brands choose to engage the safe way, focusing on pushing to their customers how they solve some of their many problems...
The fundamentals are simple, every business, brand and/or personality should be keenly aware of the power of great brand storytelling and ideally should have already begun utilizing it. But in the pressure to drive sales, most marketers tend to ignore one of the most powerful tools left in their arsenal. A compellingly, crafted brand story.
So let's get started with a few of the key challenges that are present with brand storytelling...
Customer Attention & Competition
One rather pertinent window of opportunity has been continuously been narrowing down. Today's customer spends around 2.5 seconds on desktop and 1.7 seconds on mobile devices, consuming any piece of content or information. Is it because people are now desensitized with the plethora of information they receive on a day to day basis, or that we have just learnt to filter out 'marketing speak'? This constant need in today's media ecosystem to grow, overflow, and over compete for a customers attention is rampant, and shows no signs of slowing...
You have just one shot at making a good first impression.
Lack of storytelling leads to customer alienation
Ignore your customer at your own peril, but understand the consequences of doing so. When storytelling or branding/positioning is not a priority, your business will eventually fail. And fail hard. Remember being desensitized? When you are focus on push marketing, and trying to shove your product/brand or service down the customer's throat, by being overly salesy, what do you expect would happen? Customer disinterest and alienation is bound to happen, even if you continue bombarding the customer with marketing messages trying to win them back. The spammy approach, just doesn't work.
So what goes into poignant brand storytelling?
Defining your target audience and core messaging strategy
Distilling a perfect fitting brand voice and tone for your customers, is like distilling good whiskey. It takes a lot of time and effort. Identifying your target audience is a step closer to refining your strategy, on how best to connect with your consumers. But getting into the head of your customers and truly understanding what they want to hear, and how best to speak with them, is not an easy task. Luckily for us, we have a tool for just that. Personas.
Having this clearly defined will then inform, shape and guide our overall strategy in crafting that one message that hits all the right notes. And this in turn allows us to engage our customers rather than alienating them, and the desired results, be it sales, engagement, conversions just starting working in tandem with your core message.
Informing, educating and entertaining your consumers
You have to be capable of interrupting, and capturing your consumers' attention effectively. If you really want to stand a chance in this competitive landscape, you need to drive value for your consumers, by either informing, educating or entertaining. Yet this is just an addition to the arsenal, there's a lot more that's required...
Authenticity and shared values
Narratives are a powerful tool to connect your brand with your customers lives. Yes you solve a problem for the customers, your product empowers and enables some good in your customers lives, but values; that makes you stick out from the rest of the noise.
Brand storytelling when connected to core values and communicated through authenticity makes us more than a business. We are a collective, with a vision, empowering our customers and partners who choose to be associated with us. We are change makers, starting a movement on a cause and driving values that better us in the process.
Your story shared with authenticity, can do more to sell you than any sales pitch, marketing campaign or advert.
Relatability and understanding about what constitutes a genuine connection
Once your consumers relate to you as a brand and become a part of that inspiring movement/conversation, a solid relationship built on loyalty and trust is established. And this is a relationship that goes beyond a transaction, beyond your products and services.
Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution - more so than opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; our story told us what to hang on to
These long lasting emotions are triggered then associated with the brand, and that is an immeasurably powerful connection. It's a fundamental, yet hardest objective to achieve in brand storytelling. Building an emotional bond with our audience that circumvents the test of time and in our world, competition.
The universe is made up of stories, not atoms...
Today's audience is driven more so by purpose, and meaningful connections that they can establish with brands. This being said, the ecosystem is changing for the better. From statements such as "buy these products now", to "I stand for this, and if you choose to share our values, here might be something you might be interested in."
Brands are having to continuously navigate the landscape from drawing customers in, achieving their expectations and understanding that a collection of customers now have the collective power to make or break a brand. It's not an easy ask, while the magic ingredients are outlined here, crafting an effective brand story is a lot difficult than it looks, which is why we urge you to give it a short, to try and unleash the power of storytelling.
You can't sell anything, if you can't tell anything