What is Brand Storytelling and how to put it into practice? There has been a trend that has gained momentum in the marketing world for some time now called Storytelling as a form of branding. This is a strategy implemented by different brands to achieve a real connection and bond with their customers. Today, we’ll teach you how this works for brands and how you can use it to your advantage. Besides, we’ll also show the benefits you can enjoy by using it.
What is brand storytelling?
Storytelling is using a narrative or communication thread with a specific objective. This is to carry out a message about the identity of a brand. These messages are filled with emotions. As a result, it allows you to connect on an emotional level with your target audience.
It is important to understand that branding and storytelling are not elements that usually go together. When we talk about branding, we refer to all the elements, visual and background, of a brand. From the history of the business to the way you communicate with your customers, these are branding factors. Other elements included in the definition of branding are the brand’s personality, purpose, values, culture, mission, and vision.
By bringing both crucial tactics together in current marketing, you can merge the present with the future. When talking about the branding of a brand, you’re explaining who your brand is today. On the other hand, when you carry out a storytelling strategy, you will send customers a message about where you want to go in the future. Added to this, you will also be telling them how you would like them to be part of the journey.
The most important thing when doing this type of strategy is to really look for ways to connect with the public. One of the best ways to do this is trying to make your clients feel identified with you. For this, you must find ways to approach potential clients with authenticity, originality, and in the most humane way possible. Do not seek to pass yourself off as the guru who knows everything, be honest and talk about your successes, but also your failures.
Why use brand storytelling?
There are a large number of reasons why you should use these types of strategies for your businesses. Today, you have the world at your fingertips with endless information and in different formats. Although we have less time in our daily lives, it is more common for us to be bombarded with this type of content.
As a result, this has a great impact on the numbers and percentages of interaction with brands. Besides, today we know that people’s attention span has lowered. Because of this, getting them to tune in and engage can be hard. So, the goal of storytelling should be to foster a connection between the brand and your audience.
Not only something attractive is what customers are looking for. More and more people are looking to have a strong connection with the brands that they consider to be the best. As new dominant generations in the market arrive, brands work harder to establish lasting, real, human relationships.
Today, the modern consumer does not want a company that only wants to sell him a product or service. These customers are much deeper and want to engage with the brand on the same level. That is why brand storytelling is an ideal tactic, it helps us awaken emotions, triggers empathy, and is a unique way to present a situation.
What are the benefits of brand storytelling?
We have already mentioned some of the benefits that your business could perceive if you start implementing this strategy in your brand.
Some of these benefits are more focused on consumer behavior and the actions they take.
On the other hand, some other benefits are more linked to the perception that these customers will have of your brand from now on, thanks to the help of branding in these tactics.
Next, we will give you a small list of the advantages of brand storytelling for different businesses.
Brand storytelling works as a hook for the public, once you have them you will not be able to let them go. This strategy has to incorporate the clients into the narrative, it helps people to relate to the characters, settings, and situations.
In short, the reader becomes a fundamental part of the story.
If people feel involved in your story and the narrative you are creating, this will allow customers to feel more confident with your brand and prefer to stay there.
Humanize the brand
Thanks to the branding factor during this strategy, you can make the audience think that your brand has a history, a personality, and a purpose. As a result, they can identify easier this way than by buying your products.
For this, you need to let them know about your achievements, struggles, and all the decisions that brought you where you are.
The humanization of the brand is necessary for the success of any business because it allows you to awaken empathy and elicit different emotional responses from consumers, which can you get closer to people. After all, you are generating trust and authenticity.
Build an emotional connection
Like life itself, not everything is a success. When we meet a person who only demonstrates their achievements, it is very difficult for us to identify with them.
However, if this person begins to share all their facets like an open book, we will be able to see them as someone ordinary just like us. The same goes with brands, we want to see how the hero wins the battles but also when they struggle. When they feel fear and when they are brave enough to appear in front of a tough crowd.
Generating an emotional connection should not be seen as a way to create melancholy with your audience. This is a way to connect more deeply with your audience and show them that your brand’s life and journey are full of happy moments and bittersweet ones.
Increase brand attraction
Mistakes are what allow us to grow, both personally and professionally. Well, this happens the same with brands and different businesses. There is a phenomenon called the Pratfall Effect that tells us about how the traction of people and brands increases after a mistake is made.
Although this may sound a bit confusing it makes perfect sense for this strategy.
Proving that to err is human, you’re not just a brand managed by robots. The people behind every piece of content, every story, and every step you took to get to where you’re at are valuable. Each of the successes and mistakes will allow you to achieve your goals and this is what makes your brand even more authentic.
How to put brand storytelling into practice?
To start creating a brand storytelling strategy, you must first analyze your brand’s history.
This is what will help you have a more solid base on the principles and most important elements of your brand. These then will guide you during the whole process.
However, you must remember that you don’t only need to create a tactic and think you’re done. You must also know how to communicate it through different media channels. Only in this way will you ensure that your messages arrive effectively. So, work on understanding the platforms you’re going to use and the best formats for your strategy.
Marketer Debbie Williams proposes, in an article for the Content Marketing Institute, six questions to find the core of brand storytelling. They are:
What is the purpose of the brand?
This is one of the most difficult questions to answer for many entrepreneurs. Finding the why of your brand is an important phase in brand storytelling.
You have to be very careful when answering this question, we are not talking about the beginnings of the brand. Here we want to know what are the motivations of your business, what was the trigger for this business to come to light, what is the purpose that allows the brand to exist.
Your brand’s purpose should be the reason why it opens every day ready to work. What inspires you is, in most cases, linked with a feeling of service. In other words, what motivates you may be to improve people’s quality of life.
What is the history of the brand?
Where did it first appear? How did it happen? Through what places did it pass? What are your main achievements? These are questions that should be clarified when starting your journey through brand storytelling.
Likely, the work of remembering what the first steps of your business were will be very emotional for you as an entrepreneur. Share these emotions and the pride you feel with your audience.
People love to get behind the scenes of an event, to see what happened. That is why remembering the history of your business can be one of the best sources of inspiration for your brand. Offer people a fun fact they don’t know and give them an interesting experience that can be enjoyable to exploit through a narrative.
Who are your main characters?
Who is the true protagonist of this story? This can be one of the most difficult questions to answer.
When we have a business, every day thousands of people cross our path. Some seek to boost our business and others, on the contrary, work hard to destroy it. Each person who has participated in the history of your brand is valuable
Founders, employees, investors, partners, even competitors. All have contributed to making the brand what it is today. Show that you could not have achieved anything you have without these people. Some prefer to make the founders of the brand the protagonist of the story. However, you can play with this narrative and put the person with the most interesting story in that role.
What is the mission and vision of the company?
Here, you are going to define the values of your company in regards to its environment. After this, you must know where you want to go in the next 5 to 10 years. In this case, you should focus on yourself and not on your clients’ expectations.
What were your failures?
We’ve talked a lot about the insecurities you have as a brand, and what your least successful moments have been. However, these moments cannot be passed under the table. Without them you’re could not be the brand it is today.
Don’t be afraid to share your failures with your customers, as they will identify with you as a brand and help you connect more deeply.
Where are your gaps?
Debbie Williams talked about gaps like these periods in our business that went unnoticed, where nothing important really happened.
But we can assure you that at any moment you’re constantly learning even when you are not working or when you’re obtaining an important achievement.
Check out what those potholes are, where your story is blank, and ask yourself what you can learn from it.
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