In this day and age, telling a brand story is what businesses need to do to boost their online presence and give them an edge that appeals to human emotions.
An increasing number of brands are writing brand stories, even huge names such as Coca-Cola.
A brand story builds an emotional connection with the audience, helping cement it in the minds of others.
So what exactly is in a brand story, and how can it help bring an authentic appeal? How can stories work to create a feeling of trust in customers?
Let’s look at the answers to these questions.
Creating Trust with a Brand Story
There are many reasons as to why stories create trust and are popular among both companies and individuals.
Scientific research has shown that humans respond to the message of stories in numerous ways and engage with stories in a meaningful manner, often stimulating lobes in the brain that deals with sensory information and motor skills.
Reading a story helps us connect with it and pay attention to the subject matter — this can be important for brand marketing.
The scientific term “neural coupling” is when a speaker and listener share stories that create brands to interact in dynamic ways.
This brain activity is occurring within two different people at the same time, having an effect on the same brain areas during the storytelling process.
The brain activity of the listener mirrors that of the speaker, allowing for greater understanding, comprehension, receptivity, and anticipation.
The net effect of this is a feeling of trust.
When you tell a brand story, and the audience connects, the storytelling process generates trust in the brand.
However, not every story is going to produce trust, in the way that not every book is going to be interesting to read.
Creating a compelling brand story requires the right features that will allow for the neural coupling process to take place, so how can this be done?
Any good brand story needs to have a strong personality to make an appeal and be used for marketing.
Brand stories are not marketing materials in the generic sense, nor are they a sales pitch — the story needs to be told with the branding and the writer shining through and providing something interesting to read.
Boring stories will not do here, but a story with personality will work.
You have done everything else, got a mighty name, created a brand, but now you need brand storytelling.
It should focus on the personalities that have created and made your business.
How have these personalities come together to create a brand image and a thriving business solution to a particular problem that people had?
Your brand story is not some Lord of the Rings-style saga but rather a reflection of the personalities of particular individuals.
Why is it important to focus on the personality in the first place? It is because people trust each other.
You will need to provide some real people that the audience can grow to trust while they read your story.
A Simple Story
How can one remember your brand story?
The simpler the story, the better it will engage with the audience.
You must have many things that you can say in your brand storytelling, and you may be tempted to try and remind your audience of all the different things that it can do, but you have got to try and hold back a bit here.
The ideal story should be simple enough to follow, without the nitty-gritty detail that people either won’t care about or won’t remember.
Think about the most critical parts of your story and how you can make it straightforward.
Think about three things: the problem, the solution, the success.
We are not writing a novel here, just a simple story.
The simpler, the better — momentum needs to be kept, and the message should be crystal clear.
This is no place for colourful language and verbal diarrhoea. One needs to bring about a sense of clarity.
Every story needs a structure, and brand storytelling is not an exception.
A simple story requires a simple structure such as the following:
The start: explain the problem at hand. The middle: think of the solution to the problem and describe how you helped to solve it. The end: describe your success and get excited about all the good you have done.
How did you find the problem, and how did this problem resonate with you?
How did you decide to create a company to provide a solution?
Let your audience know and build a picture of this.
Make sure that you do not end your brand story abruptly — think about your brand identity, it needs to echo through every piece, and it needs to carry on till the dawn of time.
Emphasise success and continuity in your ending, enticing the reader with what may be yet to come from such a powerful brand.
This simple structure is the best way to establish trust. Any complexity and ambiguity will not resonate with the audience — the story at hand should shape the reason for the brand’s existence.
Why exactly is your story relevant to the audience, and why is yours such a great brand?
If you answer in a banal business-like style, for example, “it was important for us to develop a strong brand so that we could make more money”, then you will not build any trust with your audience.
Of course, you want to make money, but why should the audience care about this?
A good story should tell about how your brand helps to improve other people’s lives.
This will ultimately build up trust in your business and will make your audience carry on reading.
Take the previous question and phrase your answer differently, for instance, adding “it was important for us to start our brand so that we could provide millions of people with the kitchen equipment they were looking for.”
This shows why the business exists and is attractive to the audience, all building trust.
Show that you are improving lives, and this will work in your brand’s favour. Why should one want to buy from you? Because you can help people out.
A story is not very useful if it does not connect with your customers.
This is not a place to brag about your company or blog; this is a place to connect with your customers in every piece of your marketing.
Tell your Brand’s story in a way that shows your audience that your brand relates to them. The viewer should feel validated and understood for trust to be reciprocated.
If for example, you are working on writing a story for your sports clothing brand, helping it connect with adventurous and like-minded people.
Make the story give off an aura that the idea behind the brand was to inspire a sense of adventure in the outdoors and to carry on exploring no matter what, living life to the full.
Over time you will see that you will be getting many more customers because they felt a connection with your brand story.
What does this mean exactly?
If you can create this connection, you will build trust and your brand will come out on top.
Purchasing Part of the Story
When customers are reading the story, they should be buying it every time, not just your product.
The idea here is that a customer needs to be participating in the brand story themselves while also participating in monetary terms.
In essence, the customer will engage with the story if they purchase from the company within it.
Get Others to Tell Your Story
One of the best things you can have is for others to be telling your story and for your account to be shared, this way you will not have to do anything, so how can you do this?
The best thing is to be highly active on social media and to reach out to other like-minded people out there.
Share your story through all the usual channels and on other people’s websites and blogs if you can. Pass it around, share, retweet — whatever it takes to put it in front of many people.
If your story is perfect and engaging, you will be able to get others to tell it too as long as it is spread and out there initially.
Get their email address — encourage your customers to tell your brand’s story on their social media and to tell it if they can.
Customer testimonials bring about some of the highest levels of trust in your brand. Think of ways you can reward your customers for sharing it.
Brand stories and stories, in general, are compelling pieces of writing.
Make your story as engaging and emotional as you can, helping to cement your connection with the audience in a subtle way that appeals to as many people as possible.
Keep your story alive and give your audience the best experience, building up a foundation of trust that will ultimately help better your brand and increase its presence in the market.
6 Examples of a Great Brand Story in Marketing
When you are writing your brand story, the world is your oyster. You will see that the world is competing in the same room, with the same people, to tell their tale.
That means innovation is your friend. But how do you innovate to your benefit and make sure that the world does not feel that you are trying to break barriers that may not be real?
Here we have told the story of the best brand examples of when it comes to iconic identity.
These branding examples have found unique and genuinely compelling ways to tell their story in a room full of myriad noises.
You can see for yourself why we shared these stories with you and get your sense of inspiration.
Bacardi uses the content to spotlight their heritage and culture. They are selling a lifestyle, and they are the largest family-owned company for spirits in the world.
Heritage and connection are essential facets for them, so they focus on exhibiting these traits in their online content.
Music goes hand in hand with a good time and lack of inhibition that is the signature of spirit consumption. That is why they have developed a brand content strategy that heavily focuses on music and makes use of this identity to enhance their brand style.
They launched a 4 part documentary named ‘Sound of Rum’ that is amazingly deep and a mystic journey through the Caribbean lands.
It shares a significant cultural legacy with the users who understand the brand as well as gain considerable knowledge and engagement.
The company ran a fantastic campaign that focused on educating the masses on honey bee related causes. As they are an ice cream brand, they focused on helping the animals that they were observing in suffering for an extended period.
They were, of course, inspired by ‘The Bee Movie,’ but it was a compelling and thoughtful attempt.
They created a brand storytelling system that shared the world from the perspective of a bee. Of course, the idea was not new, but it was highly regarded as effective use of the voice they had as a major brand.
The campaign focused on a Virtual Reality (VR) experience that shared the issues that honey bee colonies face every day and how these issues affect human life and the planet.
The VR experience concludes with initiatives humans can participate in to change the situation for the bees and the earth.
Supreme is a skateboarding brand; skateboards are famous canvases for pure and youthful art.
The brand launched a massive campaign of ‘random videos’ that mainly showcased examples of branding without bringing the skateboards into the picture.
They were small snippets, but they had a raving following because they were organic, natural to relate, and a great work of art.
There is a massive moral for all the brand designers of the world that less can be so much more. Viral content is the key to a successful marketing agency, and that can be only achieved by genuinely developing content that captivates the audience.
Always try to ask yourself, do we have anything unique that our audience may be able to admire?
We all remember that Don Draper moment from the pilot episode of ‘Mad Men’; when he makes a groundbreaking advertisement with the tagline; ‘it’s roasted’.
The main idea of that episode was that just because the competitors had never focused on bringing out this simple feature; a straightforward tagline changed the game.
The brand focuses on personalising cars for their customers, and their brand strategy was close to Supreme because they are also into art on a commodity.
Rather than going big, they went minimal. They developed video content that expressed their artistic process.
A few fantastic examples of a brand story working well in these videos are how they captured painting their vintage store.
They used time-lapse videos to capture pervasive processes in a captivating and engaging manner.
As we all know, time-lapse videos get picked up as standard content a lot, so they also garnered attention and success in that manner.
The artistic process is presently gaining an incredible amount of interest from the audience, and they are going for a completely unknown brand like ‘Tasty’ and ‘Nifty’ simply because of artistic presentation of captivating ideas.
In a time and age, when the process of creating things is giving people a sense of wonder and making them feel engaged with the brand itself, notable brands can own the digital world if they focus on presenting their brand in this light.
Visa used its marketing strategy to make people understand the changing financial world.
Visa focused on explaining complex concepts like credit and debit cards in engaging and friendly videos to make their users understand their business module.
The campaign was much needed because the electronic currency was new, and it needed to be explained on a deeper level to the users who did not know much about it.
The campaign was an excellent example of how promotion can be used as a brand awareness campaign, and the awareness campaign can soften the promotion sense of the content.
That being said, we believe that they have barely tapped the endless universe of ideas for digital money and how individuals engage with it.
Even a very generic sense of how credit works and good practices regarding credit management, would have worked wonders for the brand identity of Visa.
There are endless avenues that the company has left alone only to stay prestigious and not engage in complex issues.
The brand focuses on helping children develop creative muscles through highly innovative games and products.
They developed a fun and entertaining, educational videos that explained how their products could be used to enhance and broaden the children’s perspectives and horizons.
We found their brand’s material enlightening and thought provocative.
Also, the content they shared was dead useful so that it will be picked up by parents regardless of any branding requirements.
How can you use the same technique?
They did an excellent job of making their mark on the internet. But it should be noted that the brand was small, so they were more engaged in enhancing their brand identity through free and engaged connection with the customers.
There is a severe inverse correlation between brand engagement online and the prestige of the brand in question.
That is not good for high profile and famous brands who seen to be cringing away from the connectivity with their customers that the internet shall grant them.
If it is not apparent by now, let us lay it out for you. The better your material serves the viewers, the more people will be inclined to engage with it.
You will find that if your article educates, helps, or entertains the audience, then you will get a lot more viewers than directly a promotion content.
Please make no mistake, and we are not saying that you should not be promoting your content. But only that you should not be wasting your add buy or content strategy budget on self-serving and promotional material that is backfiring like crazy.
Focus on finding added value in the content you develop and make sure that your content is connecting with the right audience.
Simple ideas like you how your product works, any issues that your company may be an eye witness to, and any social change that you can promote are all good causes.
Every major brand has a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) wing; all you need to do is go down there and hang out with them for a day. They will tell you a bunch of really fresh and useable ideas.
Focus on the concept of less is more and launch on Digital media and social media as well as through conventional advertising.
The more thoughtful your content marketing is, the better you will feel about the delivery process as it is easy to talk about something other than yourself.
Always understand that content online is generated in bulk, and a massive amount of material is developed every day. There is little or no space for exclusivity in online digital content development.
There needs to useful and informative and yet, a massive amount of content that is planned for digital marketing execution.
The best way to do that is to explore the relationship you have with your audience and understand where you can connect with them on a much deeper level.
You will be well served by a system where you are merely engaging with your audience, helping them out and sharing your thoughts from a human angle with them regarding things you both care about.
Let us be a better brand and make sure that the content we develop for our audience adds value to the experience of our audience rather than be promotional.
That will make you the king content maker in no time!
Loius Martin is a Senior Creative Marketing Manager who’s also tech-savvy. Owing to his passion for scouring new tech and latest gadgets, Loius pens detailed review articles after experimenting with the gizmos. These days, he’s all about the new Expense tracking software My EasyFi. He owns his opinions like he owns his responsibility at work — honest and informative
Christina Battons is a web content expert from LA. Creative writer, she can connect various thoughts into a single theme. Christina loves to stay up to date on the latest content marketing trends, and her works have been published on www.custom-writings.net. Connect with Christina on Twitter.
Originally published at https://inkbotdesign.com on April 13, 2020.