1. Use sentiment rather than data
The reason why storytelling works so well is that in a fast-paced world full of brands with all the bells and whistles, storytelling offers an honest and personal insight into a company. According to a recent study conducted by The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), in instances where the likeability factor rated highly among viewers so too did increasing brand sales. Further research found that consumers rated emotions, personal feelings, and experiences more highly than information such as brand attributes, features and facts. In addition to this, advertisements garnering more of an emotional response were found to be of greater influence.
Your story should not only influence the way your audience thinks, acts and behaves, but the way they feel, and stories that demand emotional investment tend to succeed and drive audiences to take action.
2. Storytelling can set you apart from the competition
Another company with a strong story to tell is brewer and pub owner Adnams which was established in 1872. It is based in the Suffolk seaside town of Southwold and Adnams constantly reminds people of its work with local farmers and producers. It is also active in the community and has strong green credentials. It is, for example, committed to turning brewery waste into bio gas.
“A brand’s narrative can set a company apart in a competitive sector,” says Adnams marketing director Emma Hibbert.
Measuring the effectiveness of any brand story is never easy but Hibbert says it is possible, if not always scientific. “A strong story is engaging, and we know from the popularity of our brewery tours how it creates brand advocates and repeat sales.” When it comes to creating that engaging and authentic story, the marketing team will often work closely with the communications/PR department.
Brand stories are not marketing materials. They are not ads, and they are not sales pitches. Brand stories should be told with the brand persona and the writer’s personality at center stage. Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can.
Brand storytelling requires that you create characters your audience will like and cheer for. That doesn’t mean you’re required to create fictional characters or brand mascots to tell your stories. While characters like ‘s Mayhem can be very effective in presenting brand messages and stories in a variety of ways, you don’t need to create a fictional mascot to tell brand stories. For example, create buyer personas and tell stories from their perspectives. Tell stories from your employees’ points of view or from a third-person point of view. The important thing is to create characters that enable your audience to become emotionally connected to them to such an extent that the audience wants to follow their character arcs
Fiction stories follow a structure that includes a beginning, a middle, and an end. Your brand stories should follow a similar structure. In the beginning, you need to open strong and establish your story setting and the characters. The middle should set up your main character’s problem and present conflicts that get in his or her (or its) way before he or she (or it) can find resolution in the end. This is your character’s story arc, and you need to take your reader along for the ride. If they enjoy the ride, they’ll stick around, tell other people about it, and come back again and again