Brands: The New Age Storytellers
Every brand has a story to tell. Branding in short according to many commentators of the marketing industry is the application of a story to a product or service. We do not experience the world through information. We experience the world through story-telling. Goods and services are becoming increasingly indistinguishable. There are ever more, almost identical products competing for increasingly choosy customers. Since the only thing that separates them is the story behind the brand – be it genuine or fabricated – the accompanying story gets told and retold for the time to come.
Storytelling today in the advertising and marketing industry is more of a selling mechanism used to attract potential customers towards the brand and establish the brand on empathetic notes after studying and understanding its customer base. As Tom Peters points out, “A good story has always been a good seller. And you only have to look around for a few minutes to see that many, many, many brands are embracing the narrative imperative.”
Tiffany says that it’s been celebrating the world’s greatest love stories since 1837. Cannon cameras, apparently, take more than pictures, they take stories.
Narrating brand stories is a challenging task though. Brand stories are not just mere narratives but an encompassing feature which covers aspects such as – what makes your business unique and what is that which can go beyond the text used to present your company to investors, or show your value to customers?
A brand story is a narrative that comprises of all the activities an organization indulges in and all it is about, beginning from the history of the organization, to its manifesto, goals, potential audience, and the reason behind their existence in the market. Brand storytelling reconstructs your organization as a relatable entity. A brand story can be told with the help of a variety of mediums, keeping the continuity and consistency in place and eventually going beyond the tangible feature of the product or service and connecting it to the consumers on an empathetic level.
Brand story: Makes your brand memorable – The content of the story, the characters portraying the story (if) replicate real life incidences and establishes a certain consumer connect, making them feel that it is their story. The brand then gains its place in the consumer’s mind and is attached to the consumer striking certain emotional chords.
Brand story: Acts as a motivational tool – Through an effective market research when the customer base is well understood by the marketers’, the brand story can act as boon for them. The brand story when viewed by the consumers should motivate them to act and should ideally lead them towards the act of purchasing the product or service.
Brand story: Developing relationships – Designing stories according to the ideal consumer base can help the brand establish a strong relationship with the consumers and turn them into brand advocates, thus elevating brand loyalty. Understanding your audience is what transforms a good story into the right story. It is the difference between telling a tale, and crafting a narrative that your audience cannot resist.
Brand story: A content creation strategy – Effective storytelling makes your content interesting and engaging as it captivates the audiences’ emotional senses and motivates them to engage the brand. In today’s world, where content is the key for a business to excel, storytelling can overcome information silos and add life to its presentation, thus bringing in more recognition for the brand.
Brand story: Setting self-promotion agenda – Amidst the race of ever-evolving marketers and tough competing brands, storytelling helps you to stand out in the market by adding a new technique to voice out your brand’s image in the environment. A story helps to outline all the positive aspects of your company, and supports those aspects with case studies, content, videos, marketing materials, and even customer testimonies.
In narrating a brand story, authenticity of the content plays a major role. The slightest of mistakes in it can be a blunder to the brand image and brand loyalty as it takes no time for the customer to shift to a competing brand once their trust from a particular brand is broken, altering their perception in a negative light. Keeping a track of the responses from the consumers, noting their reactions towards your story acts as important measure for the growth of the brand. Every response will dictate how the brand evolves, and then by reshaping the goals and objectives, the brand story can be taken further to enhance the brand loyalty and commitment of the customers towards the brand.