Storytelling

Storytelling is not a new concept. In fact, most of the cultures around the globe were built upon stories-myths and legends, passed down from generations. Why is it that we remember them so well, when we probably heard them just a few times growing up? It is because of the engagement that these stories create. The reason is simple, you become involved in the lives of the characters. It is this strength of recall that storytelling brings that is now being imbibed into marketing strategies.

Customers today are spoilt for choice. The options available are increasing, and the distinctions are becoming increasingly blurred. Value or feature based differentiation is just not enough to make a brand stand out anymore. Even customer tastes have started to evolve. Rather than focusing on only the product, they have become increasingly brand conscious.

The present-day environment has become increasingly automated and tech driven. With everything virtual, humanity has become the new need of the hour. To tackle this change, brands have started to adopt storytelling to engage with and retain their customer base. They can no longer afford to be faceless entities focusing solely on product/service differentiation. To survive and thrive, they need to connect with their market on a personal note.

Brand storytelling can be best described as a narrative that highlights and conveys the emotions evoked by your brand. The “Just Do It.” campaign by Nike is one of the classic examples of brand storytelling. Started over 30 years ago, this campaign is still winning hearts all around. It successfully resonates with the target audience while inspiring and motivating them. An effective narration will maximize a brand’s visibility, profit and impact in the long run. Use this story to create an emotional connection. Engage with no strings attached to make your customers feel invested in your brand. Rather than a product become an experience and you will ensure that customers don’t just become brand loyal but brand advocates as well.

The following tips will help you weave a successful and engaging storytelling campaign for your brand.

  1. Storytelling backed by Data
    It is said that by the year 2020, each person on earth would create data at the rate of 1.7 Mbps. This can prove to be a treasure trove for businesses to generate highly visual, compelling and targeted stories. Data is the key to developing good relevant content. If you have factual backing to what would be appealing to your client base you can create more resonating campaigns for them.
  2. Less Time, More Impact
    It is a known fact that attention spans are decreasing. Traditional advertising is finding it harder to deliver the message within this span. Companies have become increasingly inventive in their approach to connect with the customers and increase recall. Visual mediums are usually most effective for this strategy. Catchy images and short videos have become a popular way to convey brand stories. Facebook’s six second ads and Youtube’s “six second story challenge” are classic samples of this trend.
  3. Customer Centric
    The digital revolution has changed the face of marketing transforming it from a one-sided communication to an active interaction. Social media has enabled customers to take part in almost all marketing activities undertaken by the company. It has become imperative that the campaigns are customer centric rather than product/service oriented. Make efforts to involve the target audience in your brand story. Initiate conversations with them on social media platforms and carry it forward. “Stories from the Airbnb community” is a brilliant example of customer led storytelling executed perfectly.
  4. Philanthropic Storytelling
    The new age customer is very socially aware. This trait manifests in their need to create an impact (social, economic or environmental). Brands need to prove their worth by being involved in activities that result in positive change. Be it uplifting an economically challenged community, or simple donating a part of their revenue to a cause. They must be a part of something more meaningful.

If done right, these stories can create almost a cult following for your brand (Apple Inc is a classic example). Storytelling campaigns need not be extravagant either, good stories can be conveyed through simple and affordable message mediums as well. Utilize social media to the fullest and make your story a legend.