In the wise words of The Doctor: ‘We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.’ They might be talking about a different type of story, but it can still be applied to your marketing strategy. If there is one thing any story must be, it’s good, and if you’ve jumped into any form of marketing for your brand already, you’ll be aware of how important it is to have a solid brand story.
Let’s take it right back to the beginning and talk about what storytelling in marketing means. In the simplest terms, storytelling in marketing is about, you guessed it, telling the story of your brand. It’s telling your customers about the nuts and bolts of your brand in a compelling way, in a way that gets them excited about what you have to offer, and to let them know just how unique you are. It’s another form of communication with your customers and letting them in on the humans that are behind it all.
Storytelling will be part of everything you create and nestled within every campaign. It allows your target audience to care about your services and your products, and for an emotional connection to be made. However, before all of that can happen, you must find out who you’re telling your story to. Essentially, you need to have a good understanding of who your target audience is.
Once you’ve completed your research and found out what makes them tick, what they’re looking for when it comes to branding, what problems they need solved, and what they’re missing from your competitors, you can begin cultivating your brand story to fit all these aspects. If you can give them exactly what they want, you’ll earn brand trust and loyalty in no time. People crave relatability and compelling storytelling is one of the best ways to convey that.
The most notable brand that can be used as a great example of storytelling is Apple. Steve Jobs once said: ‘People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. Apple knew how to show consumers what they wanted before consumers even knew they wanted it.’ They looked at the problems people had been having with their desktop computers, how clunky and unattractive they were, and they went about solving it by trying to give them a sleeker and more attractive design. This is a concept they have carried throughout their entire branding, nothing is complicated, everything is minimalistic, and it works.
So, how do you get to the same level of storytelling as Apple?
To start with, you’ll need to create a fictitious character who will relay the narrative of your product or service and how you’ll solve a problem with it. Your brand story will indirectly market your company in a more engaging way than just releasing the facts and figures.
These stories usually comprise a protagonist based on your target audience, a problem they face that links to your product, and lastly, the solution they discover – which will be your product or service. If you can make it so your target audience come out the other side of your brand story believing they can’t live without your product and let them know the positive impact purchasing it will have on them in the end, you’ve created an effective brand story.
Let’s dig into this further.
If the protagonist of your story is not relatable, your target audience will take no interest in what you’re putting out. They have to be someone your audience can step into the shoes on, see themselves in, and ultimately want the happy, problem-solved ending your product or service can give them. Researching your target audience and creating a persona based on the defining characteristics of this customer base will allow the creation of a character that is instantly connectible.
Like any other piece of brand marketing you create, keeping it simple and authentic will do you a world of wonders. Though this persona you create is fictitious, the problem-solving and the story of your brand will not be. Consumers don’t want to see marketing that is completely see-through as being a lie, as they will immediately be turned off from your company entirely; what they want is authenticity. The best way to achieve this is by staying to true to your brand morals and values – when this shines through, consumers will take notice.
Keeping it simple comes into play largely here, too. Putting out a large, complicated, almost fairy tale-like campaign will result in the attention span of your potential customers dropping very quickly. Telling a story within marketing is at its best when it is succinct and to the point, with the successful formula being grabbing their attention, making them feel, and leaving them thinking about your company.
Putting emotions into your brand story comes hand in hand with being authentic. Evoking emotions in your audience is a powerful technique to master, but the emotions you evoke will humanise your brand and allow consumers to connect with you, resulting in only good outcomes.
On the other side of this, you also want to include some facts and figures on the way that support your marketing about how good you are. It’s a fine line to balance: when does it become too many facts or when it becomes too emotional that it doesn’t seem real, but a nice sprinkling of facts and figures to add credibility to your story is the route to take. By letting your audience in on your research and data, they’ll be further persuaded into at least looking into you a little further.
Once you’ve got all these elements down, you can leave everyone on a cliff-hanger so irresistible they have to stop whatever they’re doing and find out more. You want to intrigue them by leaving the ending of your marketing open for them to do their own research for themselves, and possibly turn into a loyal customer…
If you’re still not sure how to tell execute brand storytelling, get in contact with us at blazon and we can help you tell it.