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Marketers love storytelling for a reason: it demonstrates the impact storytelling can have in content marketing. In fact, there is something hardwired in the human brain that makes us prefer stories.
A brand's story plays a critical role in building its reputation. Your brand's image is shaped by it, and it is the very thing that creates the connection between you and consumers. It is through engaging narratives that we are able to comprehend details, retain information, and form bonds with characters.
The beauty of stories is that they evoke empathy and help us feel more connected to one another. The power of storytelling is also backed by science, as you’ll later read in this edit. So if you’ve never given much thought to your brand’s story until now, here’s why it matters and how you can get started today.
A brand story is a coherent narrative that conveys the facts and feelings that are associated with your brand. The difference between a story and traditional advertising, in which you are communicating brand information, is that a story has to evoke an emotional response from the audience.
According to neuroscientists, telling stories is the best way to grab people's attention, embed information in their minds, and establish deep, meaningful relationships. There is a natural instinct in your audience to desire and seek out compelling content and stories - and that will never change, not in business, and not anywhere else.
That’s why a marketing strategy that’s driven by a compelling story is more likely to cultivate brand loyalty in the long run.
Moreover, if your goal is to become a high-end brand, having a good story is an absolute must. By telling your story, you make the billions of decisions consumers make about luxury and value more memorable.
Would you consider your business an ethical choice? Then make use of stories to attract people who share your viewpoints. Are you reserved for a few with a taste? Then show that mindset in the lighting of your promo pictures, in the word choice of your ads, and even in your site's color scheme.
Of course, it’s important to remember that not all brand stories are successful. A poor brand story (or none at all) prevents customers from getting to know your brand on a deeper level. Thus, every sale becomes a challenge - especially if your competitors have crafted more engaging stories.
Most marketers, CEOs, and company presidents believe that most people make decisions by researching, analyzing the options, and weighing their alternatives against each other. Therefore, every marketing campaign is designed to achieve that goal. But amidst the data-driven environment of today’s market, many forget how many people make their decisions: on a whim.
There is a tendency for people to act irrationally, which makes it difficult to always predict their buying behavior. Furthermore, they seldom delve into the full details prior to acting, as is evident from the social media comment sections.
Researchers have been studying how people respond cognitively to marketing for a long time. In fact, today we know that people have sensory, cognitive, and emotional reactions to promotional materials used in a marketing funnel.
Essentially, “neuromarketing” refers to the study and measuring of neural and physiological signals to understand customer intentions, tastes, and decisions, providing insights into creative campaigns, the creation of products, product costs, CTAs, and many other aspects of marketing.
In summary, neuromarketing allows brands to gain a deeper understanding of their customers by identifying their motives for purchasing and identifying segments based on these motives. Naturally, gaining a deeper understanding of human behavior and psychology can also help advertisers and designers develop superior brand stories.
The answer to that question is simple. Without a story to tell for your brand or business, you are nothing but another commodity. A disposable part of the consumption process. There is no way for you to make your brand or business stand out.
This has especially become more noticeable during the past decade - the last two decades, to be more precise. Twenty years of the digital revolution - along with the resulting content revolution - have highlighted the importance of stories more than ever before.
It has become increasingly clear to brands that if they want to engage the new generation of consumers, they cannot simply preach to the choir about how amazing their offerings are. Their approach can be humanized and softened instead by incorporating a story.
There is more to brand stories than a list of desirable features. Stories are crucial to any successful marketing campaign. As a matter of fact, 55% of consumers believe if a brand has a compelling story behind it, they're more likely to buy from it.
When a story is well delivered, it doesn't just amuse but also makes the reader want to join in the action. The kind of bond and loyalty that this creates is what marketers strive for to grow brands and increase bottom-line profits.
The first thing you should know is that stories aren’t static, but they are always in flux. Throughout history, brand narratives have evolved, adapting to the product, the industry, the society, and the target audience.
This means you can’t create a fairytale in 2023 and hope it will last for another decade. It’s also best if you didn’t compare your small business or startup with major brands and how their stories seem to be intrinsic to their existence.
The truth is that there are only a few brands that have a powerful story ingrained in the DNA of their brand (like SoulCycle), and most will need to create a compelling narrative that resonates with consumers and gives meaning to their product along the way.
However, many tend to mistake creating a brand story with depicting a flawless picture of their history and products. It is important for people to hear about your brand’s real-life challenges as well as triumphs, how you cope with the ups and downs along the way, and essentially have a glimpse into other human lives.
As a result, they empathize with your business, since it is the imperfect that is relatable to us, not the perfect and unsullied.
Here below are 5 tips that’ll help you become a storyteller who consistently weaves your brand and products into a narrative that resonates with your audience.
When it comes to brand storytelling, what do you believe is the most important rule? We’ll tell you: It is not your brand that is the hero, it is your consumers. Your brand should support your audience's goals and help them improve their lives in order to resonate with them, not be the main character on the stage.
So, you need to know your audience (aka the hero) if you want to tell a successful brand story. Naturally, getting to know your target audience is a key part of finding the identity of your business and its offerings as well. However, here you need to go beyond simple market research and ask yourself questions like:
“what drives my main character?”
“what are they afraid of losing?”
“how can I help them with their challenges?”
Although, it's not enough to simply know and relate to your ideal customer. It is imperative that you demonstrate your passion and embody your brand story in every detail in order to foster meaningful connections and influence their purchasing decisions.
That is one reason why you should start from within, listing the values and ideals you hold dear, and contemplating which individuals would be interested in those values and ideals. Note that while it’s okay to target a wide audience, too broad an audience can be off-putting to a certain segment of the market. You should always be aware of your product and who you are targeting as an actual potential customer.
Whether you publish your brand story on your website or use it to describe your mission statement, it should be factual, not fabricated. Although you may think it is possible, you can't fool consumers. As soon as they suspect you are crafting false stories and defaming your brand, they will expose you.
It's inevitable that the truth will come out at some point and the “identity” you built will have to be reconstructed if it survives at all. Take a moment to think about the communications you receive from your preferred brands. Do they make promises they can't keep? Do they propose unrealistic or impossible solutions? Most likely not, since anything that sounds too good to be true often is.
Don't let anything get in the way of your real feelings, opinions, and values. Being genuine and authentic will resonate more with your audience than being overly sales-oriented.
In spite of the fact that brand storytelling has existed for a long time, its recent popularity is a direct result of social media popularization and the very open discussion of brands, and interactions with them, made possible by social media.
Put simply: you should allow your customers to share their own stories, which are often written along the lines of their product reviews and comments.
Think about it. There are brands like Airbnb or Nintendo that don’t have a single narrative and identity in their customers’ minds. They are defined by the experiences they create, and every experience they deliver represents the brand as accurately as the next.
And that’s how every communication channel, from your blog and presence on social media to marketing materials and physical stores, can be used to bring your brand's story to life. Ensure that all your individual stories are interwoven to create a cohesive brand identity that creates a sense of loyalty among your customers.
A brand story is much more than a catchy slogan that’s displayed to garner attention for a short period of time. Storytelling is the cornerstone of your brand and a key component of your growth.
So, you are not the only one who needs to hear that story. It should be relevant to your employees and to your customers, creating a network of brand ambassadors to promote the brand.
You need narratives for your leaders to motivate people to join their cause, for sales representatives to persuade customers to purchase, and for your customer service departments to create an enjoyable customer experience and portray a positive image of your brand.
The story of your brand reveals itself to the customer when they hear your name for the first time, glance at your logo, check out your social accounts, look at your about section, and interact with you online.
Generally, consumers form opinions about a product based on how they feel when they use them. A brand's emotional connection with its customers influences our purchasing decisions. Marketers should naturally aim to elicit strong positive feelings in order to attract attention and generate revenue.
It doesn't matter what you do, everything about your company or brand, down to the color and material of your packaging and letterhead and even your staff members contribute to your brand identity, and each one should be a true reflection of your company.
Brand storytelling is about creating positive, meaningful connections between your brand ethos, visual identity, and messaging. And it’s the marketing team’s responsibility to develop a solid marketing strategy for this purpose.
It's surprising what happens when we get information from a story rather than from data alone: A larger part of our brain gets stimulated. Upon hearing a story, our brains become five times more active, as if the city of our minds had been lit up by an electrical switch.
The formula for every classic story, from Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist to Lord of The Rings, has a similar structure. This is the journey of a hero. Part of the book Building a StoryBrand, published by Donald Miller, provides an interesting framework for creating a StoryBrand.
The steps are as follows:
It is clear that storytelling, when done well, brings consumers into the brand's world to view it from a different angle, allowing them to see the full picture. It is such a story that encourages someone to get involved in something greater than themselves, a cause they are passionate about.
A constant stream of positive remarks about yourself and the work you do isn't good marketing. Good marketing has to do with clarifying your message so that it is tailored according to your ideal customers. However, putting yourself in the shoes of the customer isn't always easy!
In this regard, many business owners who are interested in StoryBrand hire a StoryBrand Certified Guide to assist them with their storytelling. By using StoryBrand Framework, you can create customized websites, newsletters, and effective online campaigns that drive results. And JM&Co. is here to assist you with that, ensuring your message is clear so your customers can understand it.
The art is building the right growth campaign. The science is in the results.