4 Tips for Effective Brand Storytelling

Brand storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? We tell a bedtime story to our children before bedtime, and as adults we read fiction, which is in fact a long story. Storytelling is a masterful way to generate long-term loyalty and involvement with your brand.

There is no simple equation regarding successful storytelling. For one thing, using trial and error, each brand must find its most effective form of storytelling. In addition, by nature storytelling should be fluid so that it will continue to engage and meet changing customer needs and desires.

What is brand storytelling?

Storytelling is a vital tool that connects your customers through shared values and ideals that serve as the basis for your brand’s existence and its inherent benefits. Your storytelling may relate to some interesting aspect of brand history and culture, why your offering matters, and how it provides unique value to your audience.

The principle behind storytelling is personal engagement. Its aim is not to introduce a new product but rather to arouse emotion and involvement. Nevertheless, storytelling can be educational and informative when presented in an engaging way.

What storytelling methods should you use?  

Before deciding on your storytelling method, you must first define your audience and determine what it needs and expects from you. Once you have built and understood your customer persona, you can create an inspiring message.

Here are several tips for effective brand storytelling:

  • Provide testimonials – One of the best ways to create emotional involvement is to feature customers who have used your brand and derived significant benefit from it. When a customer tells a story of personal gratitude and pleasure, it goes a long way to generate empathy and involvement in other people.
  • Use your main message and subplots – Your brand has a main “raison d’etre,” its reason for  existence. For example, both Volvo and Subaru are cars built for comfortable personal transport. However, in order to encourage emotional involvement, each brand created a unique subplot. Over the years, Volvo generated a sense of security by sharing a history of its safety innovations from anti-lock brakes to crumble-free zones. Subaru, on the other hand, chose to base its customer message on love. Love of life, family and children, and the reliable Subaru.
  • Humanize it – In order to really touch your audience’s hearts you need to humanize your story. Humorously share mistakes you made along the way, lessons you’ve learned, and how you’ve applied them to your offerings. People like to feel that there are individuals behind the brand who enjoy sharing  experiences with their audience, even temporary failures.
  • Spice it up – As you have a very limited amount of time to capture your audience’s interest, spice things up. Use your pain points to create conflict right in the beginning and introduce an element of surprise if you can. Build up tension and ultimately provide your brand’s solution in a way that your audience can identify with and enjoy.

Your customers are constantly being bombarded with assorted ads, content and emails. Storytelling is a unique way to connect with the customer on a personal level and build up anticipation for the next creative brand story coming their way.  

4 Tips to Make Your Brand Stand Out

While having a great product or service is definitely a good start for any enterprise, it’s successful branding that will make your business take off. Branding speaks to both your customers’ feelings and minds, so your message should be consistent across channels and appeal to them on a personal level.

Here are 4 tips that will help your brand stand out:

Define and Understand Your Target Audience

The very first step of branding is to determine who your audience is and understand them. What are the ages and professions of your prospective customers? Where do they live and what do they do in their spare time? What are their purchasing habits? Where can you connect best with them? What problem are you attempting to solve for them and what message do they want to hear?

Once you have answers to all these questions you can create your “brand persona,” which is basically the entity with whom your customers can identify and connect. Keep in mind thpersonaat in order to truly engage, your aim must be to generate an emotion and personal involvement, as opposed to just an intellectual response.

Stand Out in Your Market

When it comes to establishing your brand in a crowded market, you come up against a new set of questions that need to be answered: What is your special appeal? How are you different than your competitors? What can you offer that will connect your audience to your product?

Before answering any of these questions, you need to determine the image you wish to convey: If you are luxury brand, you will want to establish that you provide exclusive, incomparable products for premium prices. But if you are a brand that strives to appeal to struggling young couples, you will want to convey a message of unfailing product reliability at affordable prices. Now that you have established your basic image, position your brand’s personality and offer a unique option with a deep understanding of your customer’s needs.

Establish Your Presence Across the Board

In order to get your message across, you need to establish a consistent brand voice across all devices and communication channels. If your target audience is teenagers, for example, target them on the social media platforms that they prefer like Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram, and use influencers who can sway their opinion. However, if your audience is made up of Millennials, for example, make sure to reach out to them across the board on their laptops, smartphones, apps and tablets. Address them on Facebook and Twitter, their favorite social media channels. Send a message that is customized to appeal to their taste and needs.

The main goal is to convey a consistent message at every location where your customers make contact so that they will feel comfortable with your brand and seek it out wherever they prefer.

Check Out Your Data

You can gauge how well your brand is performing by studying data your systems have collected about your customers’ actions, their purchasing habits, and revenues at different locations. By understanding your customers’ preferences and comparing sales performances for different audiences and markets, you can tweak your branding and its related messaging to involve your customers more successfully.

Using this data, you can create active, personalized interaction with your customers. Talk to them, ask them questions, engage them in discussions on their favorite platforms – in short, make them feel that your brand regards them as individuals worthy of personal attention and not just another sale.

Branding in 2019

The secret of successful branding is the ability to generate a sense of belonging. A buyer who visits your website or store once or twice is a random purchaser. Through careful branding, you can turn that accidental buyer into a loyal customer who will keep returning because they have formed an attachment not only to your products but to who you are.