Why Brand Storytelling is Vital to the Success of Your Business
August 28, 2022
What Is Brand Storytelling?
Telling the story of your brand involves more than just a historical overview of the business. Your history, your values, and the causes you support are all important. But it’s not just the story itself, it’s how you tell it. Brand storytelling involves sharing your value and history in an honest and emotional way across various mediums. Check out this statistic: when people love your brand story, 55% are more likely to buy in the future, 44% will share your story, and 12% will buy immediately.
Our brains process information through narratives, so it’s human nature to find common ground through a story. In the world of marketing, brands that can successfully paint a picture of their identity are more likely to gain a long-term, loyal customer base. A story is even more valuable when an emotional relationship is established.
4 Reasons Why Storytelling Is Important In Branding
The number 1 goal of making your brand story impactful is to gain the trust of your customers and potential customers. People buy from brands they trust, even if there is a better deal from a different company. A recent survey in the United States found that 46% of consumers would pay more money for brands they trust versus other brands with cheaper prices. Your brand story can earn consumer trust and premium prices. Look no further than Apple for an example of this.
Word of mouth is the most valuable marketing a business can have. According to a study from 2016, we experience over 5,000 brand messages per day, but we’re only aware of 86 and only remember 12. And that was in 2016! Imagine how many more messages we get today. Good brand storytelling can establish a place for your brand in consumers’ long-term memory. A great story is shareable, and shareable things go viral. So what are you waiting for? Go get on TikTok and tell your story.
When consumers want to be a part of your story, they want to be included in your legacy. Your legacy is essentially the story you leave behind. It’s not just the length of time in business that matters, it’s what you do with that time. How do you want people talking about your brand 50 years from now? That’s your legacy, and you can start building it now through storytelling.
People become friends with other people who are like them. In the same way, people buy from brands they can relate to. As of 2019, 64% of consumers said they would buy – or NOT buy – from a brand based on the brand’s position on a social issue. On top of that, 77% of consumers buy from brands they share values with. The lesson here is that if your brand takes a stance on something or holds certain values, you need to share that openly with the world. This can be daunting, but success waits on the other side of fear.
3 Rules Of Brand Storytelling
Rule #1: Be Honest
The first rule in conveying an emotional message that leaves the consumer wanting more is to be truthful. In business, storytelling isn’t about making up a false narrative in order to produce revenue. Instead, be honest about your services in an enticing, emotional, and real way. If there’s no truth to your message, you’ll only be left with unsatisfied customers and the reputation that your brand can’t deliver. Emotional branding begins with a narrative that resonates with a person’s morals or beliefs.
Rule #2: Be Valuable
The second rule is to show consumers how your brand or product can change their lives for the better. Humans are sensitive and can sniff out whether you’re trying to help them or your brand. The consumer needs to see that it’s about them, not you. Tell your story, but tell them why it’s more for them than for you. When it does benefit you, tell them what you’ll do with their contributions (i.e. donations to charity, recyclable content, more efficient manufacturing, etc.). Be authentic, clear, and original. Inauthentic content is shut down quickly, so don’t be the sketchy brand.
Rule #3: Be Proud
If your brand has achieved success through blood, sweat, and tears, then you should be proud of your accomplishments. Confidence and arrogance are different concepts. Showing confidence in your brand and the impact it makes upon the world can strengthen the brand position and image. You can do this by including accomplishments, social causes, or other initiatives in your story. If you’re proud, then your followers will be proud too.
Brand Storytelling Examples
Consumers don’t buy products, they buy the experience that products can give them. For Airbnb, customers want to experience a certain destination, while hosts want to share a destination with guests. No one can tell this story better than the hosts and travelers themselves, and Airbnb uses their website and YouTube channel to do just that. Customers can reach out to hosts directly and ask them about the experience, or watch videos of different destinations. As of the time of this article, Airbnb takes the relatability even further by including a section about helping Ukraine refugees.
The story of Burt’s Bees is one of the main drivers of their brand. So much so, that the story is the main focus of their homepage header on the website. After customers relate to all of the environmental causes and values (natural ingredients, no animal testing, recycling, etc.), they can navigate to the story page where they will learn all about the history and legacy of the brand.
A story is malleable enough to be told through virtually any medium; blogs, print, film, social channels, multimedia, you name it. Many times, a brand story can be wrapped up into one short, emotional video. If you can pull the heartstrings of the consumer by being super relatable, you’ve already won. Check out this LEGO ad. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
What’s Your Brand Story?
These strategies make the consumer feel okay about spending an extra buck or two. I know it works on me! A few of my favorite brands, like Patagonia or Cliff Bar & Company, not only have great stories but are also socially responsible in public. Although pricey, I see the impact they’re having on the world around me, and to me that’s worth the cost. This social phenomenon is only growing more important. As of 2021, 63% of Gen Z consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that supports a social cause. Gen Z will soon make up the majority of consumers in the coming years, so your brand needs to be prepared.
Your ultimate goal is to gain loyal customers. If your brand establishes a truth that resonates with your target market and demonstrates how it adds value to the lives of the consumer, then you’ve discovered the value of a compelling story. If it doesn’t, then we can help you with that. Simply fill out our contact form to get started. We’d love to help you build a brand story!
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