How to Harness the Power of Brand Storytelling
Brand storytelling can go a long way toward helping you form a deeper connection with your customers. You just have to learn how to use it to your advantage…
A good story captivates us and pulls us in.
An even better story elicits our emotions and makes us laugh, cry, or sit on the edge of our seats in anticipation.
An amazing story changes us by motivating us, helping us understand ourselves in a new way or opening us up to new perceptions.
If you think stories have “no business” in the world of business, you’re mistaken. These days, brand storytelling is absolutely essential if you want to beat your competition.
Even in the B2B sphere, it’s still people who are doing the purchasing, and no one is inspired to do business with a dry company that has no personality.
What they want is to purchase from companies that are unique and have a powerful story to share. We are seeing this more and more, and it’s transforming the way businesses market to their customers and clients.
Even though we are going more and more digital and are constantly moving away from the human touch, there’s an ever-increasing human element to the type of marketing that is effective in this modern landscape.
Make no mistake—in the end, it’s always about the people, and your story is what humanizes your business.
What Is Brand Storytelling?
Ultimately, brand storytelling is about using a cohesive narrative to connect with your target audience.
In a time when we are surrounded by information, brand storytelling is more important than ever before.
Because it’s what will allow you to stand out amidst the noise.
A brand story tells your audience who you are, what you offer, what you stand for, and so on. However, the key to creating a truly great story is that you need to make your customer the hero.
Brand storytelling is not just a cherry on top of a good sundae. It’s actually the future of marketing.
More and more, people are being distanced from each other. Most purchases are made online. Our “friends” are on social media, our questions are answered by bots, and our need for instant gratification is unparalleled.
Given that human touch is lacking, storytelling is what allows brands to bring the human element back into the interactions between companies and consumers. It’s what builds connection.
So, while you need to convince your target audience why your products and services are the best, you also need to invite them into your story.
The Benefits of Harnessing the Power of Brand Storytelling
If you aren’t utilizing brand storytelling, you’re missing the boat because the benefits are huge. Let’s look at them now…
It Makes Your Brand More Memorable
Stories are what make us relate on a deep level, and it’s that relatability that makes them memorable. Think back to your school years. Do you remember the facts you had to memorize or the stories your teachers shared with you?
This has even been proven through research by Jerome Bruner, who found that when information is delivered through stories, it is 22 times more memorable than facts and figures alone!
Why does this happen? Further research demonstrates that when we hear a story, the cortex of the brain, which plays a key role in memory and perception, lights up.
It Attracts More Customers to You
As we’ve already discussed, stories are captivating, and that means they bring more attention to your brand. More attention equals more customers, plain and simple.
It Creates Raving Fans
Coined by Ken Blanchard, a “raving fan” is someone who constantly tells people about your brand because they love it so much. Who doesn’t want more of those?
By engaging in brand storytelling, you’re creating something that people can get pulled into. They’ll discover themselves in your story, so they’ll feel like they’re a part of it. And they’ll have more reasons to love your brand.
It Improves Conversion Rates
Research by Headstream found that when people love a brand story, it has the following impact on conversion rates:
- 55% are more likely to purchase the product in the future
- 44% share the story with others
- 15% will purchase the product right then and there
All of that means more revenue for your brand and less work to make it happen.
Are you seeing it yet? This isn’t rinky-dink stuff we’re talking about. Brand storytelling can be an absolute game changer.
How to Create a Compelling Narrative
Okay, so we’ve driven home the benefits of brand storytelling, but where do we go from there? Here are some of our best tips for creating a story your audience will get behind…
1) Make Your Customer the Hero
As mentioned before, you want to make your customer the hero of your story.
After all, every story needs a hero, and when your customer is the hero, they’ll certainly love your brand.
It’s all about their success and what they’re going to get out of using your product or service
They should be able to see themselves in that role through your story.
Instead of making your product front and center, create stories that drum up a certain feeling and make your audience want to root for the hero (i.e., improve their life with your product or service).
Note sure where to start? Learn about Character Diamonds here.
2) Show Them You Understand the Problem They’re Facing
The best way to connect with your target audience is to make it explicitly clear that you get what they’re going through. Either you’ve been there, or you were almost there but avoided the issue as a result of what you’re selling.
Tell your story. Show your vulnerability.
For example, it’s hard to identify with a millionaire who has always been rich and is selling a product that teaches you to be wealthy. It’s very easy, on the other hand, to relate to someone who struggled to earn that wealth.
3) Use Language That Resonates with Them
We all have stories that speak to us and stories that simply don’t, and it’s different for everyone. But your audience will be drawn to a certain type of story because it uses certain words and has a specific storyline.
Speak their language. Use words that bring up the emotions you want to come to the surface and that they can connect with.
Use a tone and voice that further describes your company’s personality, because you can’t have a story without personality.
4) Demonstrate That You Can Help Them Become Who They Want to Be
We buy things because we need them or want them. But more than that, we buy them because we think they will help us get closer to the people we want to be.
And that is the feeling you want them to walk away with through your brand storytelling because that’s the type of story that changes a person.
It should spark an emotional response so that their heart calls them to engage with you. Whether you’re hitting on their needs, their desires, or something they want to aspire to, it should relate to a common struggle that they can see themselves in as well.
5) Ensure Your Story Is Consistent Across All Channels
It’s crucial that you be consistent with your brand storytelling. If you present yourself differently on Facebook than you do on your website or through your email marketing, it will be difficult for people to understand what your brand story is even about.
Stay consistent with all of this and more:
- Product packaging
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Customer service
- Every marketing communication
To help you achieve consistency with your brand messaging, create branded content and graphics that you can use across the board. Post quotes and snippets of your content to reveal your brand story over time.
For too many businesses, brand storytelling is a missed opportunity. Every brand has a story, and it’s through sharing that story that you gain raving fans. Don’t be left behind by holding back from your audience. They want more, and they’ll reward you for it.