Contrary to popular belief, branding is more than just a logo. One of the most important parts of building a brand is developing your brand story. Using brand storytelling in your business is a way to make your audience and customers actually care about your brand and what it does.
Storytelling is a skill as old as time. People have forever been captured by a great story. Why? Because great stories can hold your attention and give you something to believe in.
Brand storytelling is no different.
What is brand storytelling?
Brand storytelling uses an emotional narrative to connect your brand to your audience through shared values.
Creating a powerful brand story means developing a powerful emotional response to your brand.
Here’s the truth: humans connect better with stories. We remember what we feel and not so much the facts given to us in sequential order. The most powerful brands in the world have taken their products or services and given their audiences something to believe in beyond what they buy. That’s what makes great branding: emotional connections.
Examples of Brand Storytelling
One of the most popular and well-known brands around the world is Apple. We all know they sell computers and electronics but what makes the brand so much better than its competitors when they both sell the same thing? Well, Apple sells a story, whereas its competitors sell a product. That’s what makes the difference. Apple focuses on its customer’s drive to be different, express their originality, and fight against the status quo. This main story is the purpose behind the brand and drives the connection between the business to its customers.
Toms is a brand that sells shoes. Beyond that, they also sell the desire to join a cause. What makes Toms’ brand storytelling so great is that they have tapped into the values that their customers hold true. Their whole concept is if a customer buys a pair of shoes, the company will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need around the world. This one-to-one concept has driven its brand purpose, mission, and the interactions they have with its audience.
Airbnb doesn’t sell vacation rentals, they show you how you can belong anywhere in the world. That’s how brand storytelling works. When you look at Airbnb’s content, they don’t sell you anything, instead, they tell stories. Airbnb is a great example of how you can create a customer-centric brand. The entire brand revolves around customer stories, interactions, and community.
How To Use Brand Storytelling In Your Business
Be a Human First
With the way the world is today, we’re constantly distracted by information being thrown at us and need something real to make us pay attention. Customers can spot a fake brand a mile away and tend to steer clear at all costs. Humans desire connection and authenticity. In order to establish this as a brand, you need to focus on what your brand values are and the purpose behind them. This brand purpose will drive your brand storytelling and thus the connection with your audience.
Focus on Emotional Desires, Not Deliverables
Do you think Apple would be where they are today if it solely focused on what it could offer? What sounds better: 1) We sell mobile phones, computers, and tablets, or 2) We drive originality with unique experiences? I don’t know about you, but I’m more drawn to number two. In order to develop a brand story that works, you need to focus on what your customers desire, not the deliverable or product you can hand over.
In order for your brand story to be remembered and believed, you need to repeat the message multiple times and in multiple ways. Every decision you make within your brand needs to reinforce the brand’s story, purpose, and values. By doing this, the brand can establish a relationship with its audience that will eventually build trust.
Need help establishing your brand story? Book a 3-day brand strategy workshop to uncover what your story is.