How to use storytelling effectively to create a brand

Storytelling to create a brand

Stories are used to communicate various aspects of our everyday life. So, it makes sense that this familiar approach to communication would also be effective in conveying information about your company and creating a brand. It can take a problem that your firm has faced and turn it into a narrative that creatively shows how a solution was found. This involves the use of relatable aspects such as character development, key conflicts, and the evolving of thought processes as well as shifts in emotion, particular of those characters that eventually resolve the issue. Client experiences that are shared on various digital platforms can also use this format. These experiences shared are especially effective in building a brand, and increasing brand awareness as well as recall. It provides context and adds meaning to the values that are at the core of your brand. This helps people connect to your brand and establish trust. It helps set up a strong foundation for marketing, including creating a brand.

Storytelling can benefit your brand in many ways:

1. It can help your brand reach a greater number of people

Since storytelling is a form of conveying information that people are used to, it can help optimize your digital content on search engines, and increase visibility. Posts on social media can also use this narrative. Effective and consistent visuals, typography, color used in this format, on various platforms, create a brand. Using videos is effective, since 85% of people want to see more videos in the branding of a company. Storytelling can be very visual, using animation videos, or explainer videos among others video formats. These use a clear narrative, and makes use of effective imagery along with complementary text that effectively conveys the required information.

Good quality content that is emotionally driven (inspiring) will help your brand reach a greater number of people. This is a way for people to connect with your brand, including your products and services. People may share your posts more on social media, leading to an increase in brand awareness and recall online. Since this is a subtle way of promoting your products, it is effective and doesn’t cause annoyance. The story of your company doesn’t have to be given in one go. A campaign that involves social media, email or your website can be created for this. This can help increase interaction with your target group.

2. Storytelling can be used to make people feel good about buying your product

Big Knit prioritizes doing good for society, and donates a part of the profits they earn. When you communicate these values to people through stories, they will buy products from your company and feel good about their purchase, because they are helping a cause. TOMS donates one pair of footwear to a child in need, for every pair that is bought. People like this brand because they feel like they are helping the underprivileged. This also encourages them to post about their purchase on social media. This effective sharing of stories can increase the brand awareness and recall of your company.

3. The context that a story provides can add meaning to your brand

You can convey the thought process behind starting your firm. Companies such as Apple and HP, for example, are honest about starting small. This is especially effective when companies had humble beginnings, and have since grown substantially. Apple began with the prototypes of a few computers, made in a garage and sold for a small amount. KFC was started on a small scale when one person wanted people to enjoy his cooking. Giving these contexts provides an emotional basis for making a connection with people. People can relate to the problems faced by the company, the aspirations of the founders, and their struggles along the way.

4. Company values told through stories to help you form a stronger brand image

It is hard to find appreciation when you brand your company is solely a way of making profit. Your products will sell well when people understand that there is a bigger purpose that your company serves. Many companies showcase a large number of values on their website and other platforms, but these lose their meaning and sound superficial when they aren’t connected to the company and its products, i.e., disconnected from the context. Storytelling helps give a context that shows that the values you uphold are aspects you genuinely work towards. Life at Google on YouTube shows regular videos of employees sharing their stories and showcasing the work environment at Google. Nike has inspiring brand ambassadors who have struggled to reach the position they are in presently. This goes well with their values, which include encouraging athletes, and promoting their belief that anyone can be an athlete. Presenting core values in a story, using strong characters (i.e., brand ambassadors) builds a brand image.
Stories that convey the company’s big picture vision for itself attract the right people
When you speak about the greater cause you are serving through your company, you attract suitable customers, business partners, and employees. It makes you stand out among your competitors. For example, IBM representatives of America helped make an IT foundation, along with their counterparts in China, for traditional Chinese medicine. Cemex contributes part of its profit to provide health and sanitation in hospitals, as well as in flood-prone areas. These activities can be communicated through storytelling.

5. It helps to create, modify or retain (as appropriate) your brand in the context of mergers and acquisition

In the case of mergers and acquisitions, there may be a change in name, purpose or other aspects, of your company. But the values acquired in the past, and purpose of the future can help you retain parts of your brand identity. These can be highlighted through storytelling, on various platforms. When Shinhan Bank was planning to acquire Chohung, there were protests from the latter. Upholding their values, the acquirer paused the acquisition for a few years, and took actions to make the Chohung team comfortable. This included arranging conferences and retreats as an opportunity for people to connect. They also increased the salary of Chohung (to match their own) and made space for fair representation. The values of the two banks were upheld, which helped increase both their customer bases and revenue. It created a suitable brand, one that was connected to their past brands.

6. It helps establish a brand for various branches of multinational corporates.

In the case of multinational corporates that are situated in different cultures (countries), stories are very effective. Various branches are brought together by a story of a common mission and vision. PepsiCo, which is located in many countries, has been prioritizing health (aiming to reduce sugar and sodium in their food and drinks) through nutrition. Another core value that they include is environmental responsibility. They have undertaken projects that include growing a healthier species of potato in South America, which is better suited for the environment. They are also working with Inter-American Development Bank to establish a sustainable market for sunflower production by providing farmers loans.

7. It can be used to hire and retain desired employees, who form an important part of your brand

When you tell your story honestly it conveys an accurate picture to current and potential employees. This way, you can get those employees that suit your company culture. There are greater chances of the values that are a part of your company being practiced by the people you hire. Their interactions with clients will also be in alignment with those values, and this will reduce the gap between your company and brand. These people, who appreciate your values, may then be advocates for your company. This can help you increase brand awareness through word-of-mouth marketing. It will help you convey information about your company to potential employees, and hire those people who appreciate your culture.

The story of your company can be told on various social media platforms, with the use of good design and other visual elements. It can highlight the CSR work done by your company, which can make people feel good about buying your product. By sharing an honest narrative of the humble beginning of your company, you can provide an emotional basis for people to connect with you. It gives a backstory to make your values, mission, and vision meaningful and credible. Showing the bigger purpose that you are aiming for can make you compete better. Values highlighted through storytelling can help companies involved in mergers and acquisitions retain their brand identity. It helps convey information about your company to potential employees, who can then help reduce the gap between your company and brand. It helps bring various branches of a multinational corporate together using a common story, thus creating one brand to represent your large company.

If you’d like to explore ways to tell your brand story online, contact us here for a free consultation on ways you can use digital marketing to grow your brand:

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