Advertising is a powerful and persuasive medium. In today’s world advertising is omnipresent, though people may not be aware of it. We are surrounded by all kinds of advertising. Whether it is on TV, radio, or on billboards and hoardings on the side of the road, advertisements have become a part of our life and marketers are making the best use of it. These days marketing isn’t about the products anymore, it’s about how it makes people feel and telling great stories. But how do they do this? How do they engage with their target audience on a much deeper level? How do they convey the right message that resonates with the target audience?
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”
- Seth Godin
Everyone loves a story; a story that gets us involved evokes emotions and inspires people. Stories connect us. That’s where Brand storytelling comes in. Brand storytelling is basically using a narrative to connect your brands with the costumes, it unites the emotions and the messages your brand evokes. For a brand story to stand out in the digital world, it needs to have a strong narrative.
Through stories, we share passions, experiences, and we communicate ideas. The power of brand storytelling is such that it evokes emotions in the mind of the people and creates a strong bond between the brand and its customers.
How important is brand storytelling?
Brands simply can’t advertise a product. Without a compelling narrative, marketing mostly falls back. They need to give more to the audience. In addition to promoting the product features, they need to talk more about the brand- the story behind it, the purpose, why it exists ,etc. Brand storytelling is gaining momentum in the marketing world. In fact, storytelling is the oldest form of human expression. Marketers just don’t make ads, they tell stories. When applied in advertising storytelling is one of the most vital elements.
Here are some of the reasons why brand storytelling matters
Stories engage your audience
The human mind is clearly drawn towards stories, so it’s clearly easier to remember stories than facts and data. The brain processes images faster than your words. Telling a compelling story with a strong narrative will help the brand to engage with the audience at a deeper level. It establishes a relation of trust between the brand and the audience. The brand connects to the audience through stories. This leads to brand loyalty and increased engagement with your brand.
In advertising, the audience is being bombarded with the same messages by different brands. Think of an ad you liked recently, certainly you remember the ad because of the story and the message it delivered rather than the product. With brand storytelling you get an opportunity to differentiate your brand from the crowd. Telling well done brand storytelling will set you apart from your competitors. The narrative should be thoughtful and real that will evoke an emotional response from the target audience. Keep your story original and real.
Brands’ core values
The audience doesn’t want to know about the brand’s growth or data, the audience wants to know what the brand’s purpose is, what are their core values or how are their efforts making an impact, what is something the brand cares about other than figures and profits. With brand storytelling brands have the perfect shot to display their core beliefs visually. Including human elements in your storytelling will help the audience resonate with it. Audiences incline towards the brands that feel more human and this gives you an advantage over your competitors. The core values of a brand are generally exposed in the brand’s service, products and innovation and their actions. But storytelling is something that defines these values innovatively in the mind of the audience.
“Storytelling is a game. It’s what we all do. It’s why Nike is Nike, it’s why Apple is Apple, it’s why Walt Disney built Disney World”
Source- Marketing Week
Storytelling can happen through any medium and biggest brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Nike understand the power of brand storytelling. But what makes them the market leaders? In addition to the marketing and the brand loyalties that goes beyond the technological and business aspects, it’s their brand storytelling expertise- their ability to tell the most compelling stories about their products. For example when I say Nike, what crosses your mind? The shoes and the clothes or the great athletes the brand has associated with. There’s a strong possibility the athletes. Have you ever come across a Nike ad that promoted the addressed any offers or any discounts on shoes? No right, the brand talks to the audience through stories- brand storytelling. Through their storytelling they inspire the audience to achieve their greatness through their ‘Just Do It’ campaigns. Storytelling has been part of Nike’s strategy to convey its brand’s core values. For the launch of one of their products- Nike’s Pro Hijab, a head covering designed for female Muslim athletes, Nike made a video campaign titled “What Will They Say About You?”, which featured Arab and Muslim women athletes training and competing. The ad pointed at the insecurities of women in the society and became an empowerment means. This was one of the emotional brand storytelling video campaigns the brand made to connect deeper on an emotional level with the users and audience.
Here are some pointers on how to create a compelling brand narrative:
Your brand story should have a compelling storyline and have all the necessary elements like passion, a hero, feelings and a strong transformation. The narrative should be short and precise and should convey the correct message to the audience.
The narrative should be relevant to the target audience. Think of what your audience needs from the brand. The characters of the film should resonate with your audiences on an emotional level. At times adding an element of suspense will make the audience stick to your ad.
Keep your stories real but at the same time keep them engaging. Sometimes that is very important to give the stories an authentic vibe. Your ad should keep the viewer engaged with the story.
There should be a consistency in your storyline. All the dots need to be connected. From start to end, all the parts of the film should be given equal importance and stay focused on how you deliver it
Establishing an emotional connection with the audience is extremely important for brand storytelling. Your brand narrative should make the audience feel positive, pull at their heartstrings and should evoke emotions.
Try to tell someone else’s story and turn the storytelling into a strategic approach. Share the stories of real users- this makes the brand come out as quite authentic and reliable.
Keeping the above points in mind, our production house Purpose Studios created a fine festive campaign for the leading Indian fashion E-commerce brand - Myntra
The film is about a middle-class family with a couple, two siblings - a young boy child and a teenage girl child, and a grandfather and how they create a happy and a memorable moment in the lives of their house help Anju & Krishna on the occasion of Diwali festival. The ad has a compelling storyline supported by elements like emotions, strong characters, a purpose and a heart-warming message towards the end. The purpose of the film was to portray a heartfelt message to the viewers; a message that completely synthesizes the brand’s goal through this campaign ie, enabler of joy. The characters and the narrative of the film completely strikes a chord with the audience and establishes an emotional connection. With the film delivering the right sentiments, this campaign was a hit and resulted in getting 10Million views in 6 months on Youtube alone.
At Purpose Studios, everything is made with heart, soul and purpose.
No one buys a feature, they buy a story.
In conclusion, Brand storytelling is the present and future of marketing. A great story should always have a purpose. The more you connect with the story, the more it is easy to remember. Use brand storytelling as a smart marketing tactic to grow your brand. Tell a story that will transport your audience to another place and motivate them to take action.
Share with us your favourite visual storytelling ad in the comment section below!