Today’s brands are trying to successfully steer marketing through a world full of strong opposing opinions. By focusing on stories that get at the root of the human experience, brands can meet people in this unique time in history and unite us around simple human truths and shared experiences. The best way to accomplish this is through brand storytelling.
What is brand storytelling?
If you’ve done your marketing correctly, you know that your brand is more than simply the product or service you sell. In an article for Forbes, Celinne Da Costa explains:
“Brand storytelling is the cohesive narrative that weaves together the facts and emotions that your brand evokes. In addition to giving your customers reasons why they should buy a product or service, businesses need to start sharing the story behind their brand, why it exists, and why this matters, consistently across all communication.”
In other words, how did your brand come to exist and what motivates you to provide the best product or service that you can? Hint: This story should not be about money or revenue. The narrative should focus on your customer (or a character that represents your customer) and show how the brand impacts their life experience on another level.
When brand storytelling hits the mark
Dove Men+Care – In this spot, Dove doesn’t even mention its product. It’s all about the story of a military service member who misses his family and was deployed during the birth of his second child. When you see the surprise reunion (which Dove arranged), you can see the father hugging his family and holding his son for the first time¾it’s all about human connection and touch, and you know that Dove’s product can help make every moment special.
University of Phoenix – This spot focuses on a character that represents the online university’s target market. Told from the point of view of the target’s child, comparing his mother to a hero dragon that learns how to fly. It addresses the busy work schedule and family responsibilities that an online student most likely faces and shows how online classes can help students overcome those obstacles. The narrative is highly effective, especially being told from the child’s point of view, looking up to his mom and being proud of her, as he would be proud of the hero in his storybook.
Right now the world is hurting. It can be hard to think of a marketing message that seems appropriate at this time and reaches a broad audience. Rally your marketing efforts around the basics of brand storytelling. Create an authentic narrative that shows what your brand is all about. By connecting with your target market on the human level, you’ll be able to tell a universal story that makes a lasting impression.