Your marketing efforts are to increase interest in and sales of your services and products, so it stands to reason that your marketing materials will be directly responsible for your customers’ interest in them, right? Actually, no.
We live in an age where communication is instant, information is readily available, and people want to know that they are buying from a trusted source. This has led to consumers becoming ever more wary of feeling like they are being sold to. More importantly, with so much (and so many different types of) content available, people have their preferred channels of finding and engaging with it.
This is why companies put a great deal of effort into branding their business in a way that builds trust with the people they hope to turn into customers. It starts with the creation of a brand promise that resonates with consumers but needs to be developed further with a compelling brand narrative which rewards their loyalty. This is most easily done by creating engaging content that doesn’t just showcase your products but uses messaging that relates to your customers. Read on to learn more about the importance of brand storytelling for a business.
Branding is what gets your business, products, and services recognised, and a brand promise helps your customers feel connected to your business. Brand storytelling is the third part of this trilogy, helping you to communicate what your company stands for, represents and your values.
Your brand narrative is unique to your business and will help it to stand out against your competition. However, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that the story you need to tell will be all about the brand, products, or company history. If you do it well, brand storytelling can help differentiate your business, and be memorable for your customers and potential customers, which means putting something together that is unique to you.
The trick is always to relate the story you tell back to your customers. After all, as your most important asset, it’s critical that they feel part of the story your brand is telling.
Each business has something about them that makes them different from others. Even within your own industry, with competitors who offer the same products and services as you, there’s something about your business that others in your field simply don’t have. It’s the job of a brand narrative to encourage you to exactly discover what that is.
When you look deeper into your business and consider the people behind your brand, your own motivations, and the hopes and dreams you have for your business beyond its products and services. This shouldn’t just be related to your bottom line, but take what your customers can relate to into account as well. Identify the things you can relate best to your customer base and use them within your marketing, while also encompassing a visual style that best fits your image and ethos.
Since the dawn of communication, humans have told stories to entertain, teach, and spread news. As technology developed, the oral tradition gave way to the written word, then images and video became the most popular ways to tell stories. Businesses like Disney have spent much of their existence harnessing the power of storytelling, not only in their films but ensuring that their entire brand comes to mind when you think of their most recognisable characters. This strategy is now extremely commonplace across a huge range of industries.
Stories are an especially powerful tool, and research has indicated that people respond emotionally to descriptive stories. This can go some way to influencing their decisions, stoking empathy and taking them on a journey.
Now, to be clear, brand stories are not merely a marketing tool. This means that stories are not ads or sales pitches. Instead, they are an opportunity for your business to showcase its personality, and demonstrate a persona that people will resonate with. Using inspiring stories that mean something to your customers, you can give your company life and develop an epic tale of growth and success.
When it comes to brand storytelling, you don’t need to think on a Lord Of The Rings-level scale. However, it is worth considering it like a movie: The protagonist (your customer) has a problem that they are struggling with, and by the time they come to understand your narrative, they will have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to overcome their concerns. As for the ending? Customer and business will live happily ever after.
Keep it simple and follow the basic pattern of Problem, Solution, Success. Take these questions into consideration:
If you apply the three-part story model — beginning, middle and end — to each of these questions, customers will be enticed to explore your business and feel like they can trust what you do.
At Frantic, we’ve worked with a range of companies, and each of them has helped us understand more about the different kinds of narratives a brand can put across. One of the best examples of brand storytelling we’ve done was our collaboration with the CBI, which we feel encompass everything that works about this strategy.
The CBI uses storytelling throughout their campaigns to champion different industries in the UK economy. This helps build momentum for their campaigns and stokes action to help identify key players in the UK economy.
What makes it stand out is that its motivation behind the message isn’t directly related to the bottom line. Instead, the story is all about the creative industries — always an underdog — and it perfectly explains how significant they are to almost every other sector.
Stories are powerful tools for communicating with your customers. Using them appropriately will help your business stand out, and give you a persona that means something to your customer base. This emotional response is what gives your customers the motivation to choose you over your competitors. If you sell the story instead of your products and services, you’ll instil trust in your brand, and this will be more likely to encourage repeat business. Through the power of social media, it will also mean that people are more likely to share your content, increasing your reach even further.
Get in touch with Frantic today to discover how our videos can help you tell a story that builds trust with your customers.