Storytelling is one such potent form of art that has been into existence since antiquity. In essence, it is one out of a few good things that might never go out of vogue, but only emerge to be better and profound. For eons, stories have served to entertain, inspire, and captivate attention, forging strong relationships through emotions, ideas and experiences in a riveting manner. Nevertheless, storytelling, when applied to a business, is far from spinning a fairy tale. It’s all about how people of the world receive your products and services. It’s more to do with what your brand stands for and how you affect people’s lives, meeting their requirements. A brand story is often conceived as a formidable way of offering yourself to connect with consumers, who thereafter, would envision your business as a valuable entity.
Brand Story – Your Cue to the World
Brand storytelling is often defined as a much-appreciated art that shapes a company identity via thoughtful narratives. Typically, the idea is to incite an emotional response, thus making way for connections that are strong and meaningful. Multiple researches show how brand storytelling has had a positive impact on consumers, pertaining to key findings:
- Since the first cave painting was discovered nearly 27000 years ago, storytelling has been recognised as the most intricate mode of communication.
- Being 22 times more appealing than industry facts and figures, storytelling enhances brand preference.
- Storytelling instantly affects the sensory cortex inside a human brain which in turn incites responses like love, hate, fear, taste or even smells at some occasions. Reportedly, human neural activity increases by five times while one listens or reads a story.
While basic branding is not expensive, with millions of content being produced each day, the democratic world of online marketing is turning everyone similar. Albeit, humanity is the newfound premium that makes brand storytelling your holy grail to become unforgettable. Here’s a look at three such brands that delightfully celebrates the very notion of compelling storytelling to build long-lasting connections with audiences.
The company’s marketing strategy relies heavily on the power of storytelling, taking consumer data into account and using it creatively. As travellers look forward to witnessing local delights, Airbnb harps heavy upon local hospitality and community in tandem to sell itself across a wide range of guests (customers). Back in 2015, the company depicted their story by a small animation that showed how approximately 500, 000 travellers spent their New Year’s Eve in a rental across the world over 20,000 cities. It was surge from a mere 2000 guests in just five years. Thus, the brand story successfully resonated with one single pivotal idea that their customers care about–New and positive experiences during their trips!
Key takeaway: Give them a reason to believe in your band
What Airbnb did was extremely intriguing, as they offered their customers a reason to believe that spending New Year’s Eve in a rental is perfectly okay, as long as you have the pleasure of exploring local delights. A home, far away from home is what Airbnb essentially built their reputation on and continues to do the same till date.
To celebrate their 70th Anniversary, Land Rover took to brand storytelling against the backdrop of Himalayas. The video talks about local drivers who invariably depends on a fleet of Land Rover Vehicles (1957) for transport and supplies reaching small villages between Sandakphu and Maneybhanjang, across dangerous hilly roads. The entire shoot was completed in a remote settling within Maneybhanjang over a period of ten days, where the crew interacted with the local drivers for real and accounted for their daily experiences on video. The narrative was accompanied by breathtaking cinematography across the landscape of Maneybhanjang, hustling between driver stories, thus touching upon the idea that customer stories are essentially the best brand story ever. The human touch that the brand chose to give importance over product message readily re-establishes their supremacy and goodwill in the business that will add to their band of loyalists.
Key takeaway: Invest in knowing your customers
When looking for the best customer stories ever, consider investing in knowing your customers. As a brand, it is only worthwhile to ask your customers proactively for their views and how your product makes an impact on their daily lives. Social media is a great route to encourage your customers to share their stories in their own words with photographs or videos to compliment the same. The same goes for your employees who work the frontline. They might have some of the finest experiences to share but seldom get a platform to do so. Through periodic checking, internally circulated employee communication letters, make room for people that serve you to share your brand story. After all, your best stories are not what you write, but what others write about you.
The American multinational corporation has always left an impact with their cut-throat storytelling. One of the most moving instances of their brand stories is perhaps the Equality campaign. The video features celebrity sports personalities like Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas, LeBron James, Kevin Durant accompanied by none other than Michael Jordan in the voiceover. The way Nike has designed the video– “Equality” is an inspiring call to motivate and encourage people to be fair with their token of love and respect, irrespective of colour, sex or creed and inculcate the same in their lives.
Key takeaway: Developing unique rapport through emotions
With the Equality campaign, Nike has gone up a notch against other brands conjuring an image of a force that’s bent on bringing about a social change to impact and change outlook of people. As an athlete that lives and works today, it applies to one across so many levels, than just using a branded gear. A brand storytelling like this uniquely connects audiences with the brand, thus rallying them to be a member of a collective movement by choosing Nike products or at the bare minimum share the brand’s video across social media across their personal page.
In all probability, Johnnie Walker; one of the highest-selling whisky brands, has got one of the most memorable taglines ever. The story of “Keep Walking” goes back to 1819 when John himself was a fine young lad working in a farm. Soon after, the farm got sold, and John had to settle with selling groceries at a nearby store. However, his love and penchant for producing the finest blend of whisky had him working on one blend after another, and every time he got it to do better. With time, his blending gained widespread recognition before he breathed his last in 1857.
After John, his rich legacy was carried on by his son Alexander who resorted to using square bottles to reduce chances of breakage. Moving on, his sons; George and Alexander II, carried the baton and renamed the already popular whisky giving birth to world-famous brands like Johnnie Walker Red & Black label. Since then, Johnny Walker has established itself as one of the finest whisky brands that also has a piece of advice for drinkers and everyone else. “Keep Walking” essentially refers to the journey behind the brand and its evolution.
Key takeaway: Connecting readily with people is essential for a brand to succeed.
Connecting with your band of followers (read customers) is a sure-fire way to influence their purchase decision. As a brand, if you manage to connect with your audiences readily, it will be a lot easier to keep them hooked for over years when you keep delivering the same quality, intact.