Does Your Brand Tell a Story? How Storytelling Content Markets Your Brand

 

Everybody loves a good story, €”even your customers and potential customers. Using storytelling techniques and building narratives is something that can help businesses and organizations connect with people. This type of connection often resonates with customers and ultimately helps to build brand trust and recognition. If you aren’t telling a story, what are you telling customers? Consider making some changes to your communication platform so that you can effectively engage customers with stories that drive home what your company is all about, what it values, and why people should become your customers.

Create Distinction

When you provide a story to your clientele, you actually create a memory about your business. Customers can better relate to businesses that share stories rather than content that is purely informational in nature. One of the reasons stories resonate so well with audiences is because they create emotion. When a customer is emotionally bonded to your story, they become one step closer to bonding with your business. Moreover, the memory you create with your story helps to define your brand and helps set it apart from your competitors.

Market Your Brand

When you tell your customers a story, you’re actually marketing your brand to them. Depending on the type of story you tell, you can actually pinpoint areas of your business you want to promote, areas you hope will resonate with your audience. You might want to reach your clients with a story about your environmental platform or how you take care of your employees. These stories aren’t just interesting in themselves, but become viable vehicles for marketing your brand with each and every story you tell.

Human Touch

If you look at a wide array of business websites, you’ll begin to divide them in this way: websites that are personable and websites that are not. If your business is trying to sound more personable, it can rely on storytelling to give it that personal touch. For instance, “this business was started by my grandfather who left Italy when he was 17 years old.” That type of storytelling detail puts a human spin on something that could very well sound more formal, more like corporate speak: “our team has a combined experience of 20 years.” The second example does not generate the same emotional response in customers that the first will.

What Types of Stories Should You Tell?

There are many types of stories that businesses can tell in order to connect with clients and build their brand. Your company could discuss how it came to be, what motivates your team to create innovative products or services, or even the types of customers and clients you work with. By employing a narrative, you can draw your audience in and help them connect with information in a more emotionally meaningful way.

If you have used the storytelling technique before, try it in small ways. Create a blog or series of social media posts that rely on a narrative technique. Consider other ways in which you can use the storytelling technique to market your brand in email or even on the home page of your website. Chances are you’ll find that the technique will help you make those connections needed to drive your business forward.

J.A. Young

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J. A. Young has been freelancing professionally for 8 years. She has directed multi-type libraries and is an adept researcher. Her repertoire of published work includes marketing materials , straight journalism, and academic writing. J. A. Young has an MA in English and is comfortable writing/researching for any topic.

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Rob Toccs
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Rob Toccs

Nice points. Did you come across any examples of companies telling great stories that you especially liked while researching this piece?

akmoyer91
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akmoyer91

Although people today do tend to appreciate that “hometown” approach, people have also adjusted to becoming more open to formal storytelling as well. This is mostly because we are a digital world spread far, causing us to grow an appreciation for refined descriptions and formality .

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

In what cases does the internet encourage formality? Memes and grammar (including the typo above) don’t.

Christine Birch
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Christine Birch

More than formality, I think sometimes the internet audience isn’t patient enough to read a story – they want to get the facts quickly and move on. That’s why stories have to engage and involve their audience more directly.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

True, there’s a lot less subtly online. (Anyone ever see a subtle meme?)

akmoyer91
Guest
akmoyer91

Memes certainly aren’t the entire internet, although the internet certainly revolves around grammar on a large scale. I’m glad you asked though! In terms of shopping for services, I find that friends and family lean towards sources that have refined their sites in formal ways. I suppose it has something to do with that “corporate” look and feel. Something about it speaks higher volumes compared to those who try a hometown approach.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Do they actually gravitate towards formal sites? Very few sites, for instance, use formal grammar (e.g. no contractions). There’s a reason why lots of marketing materials is requested as semi-formal / everyday casual / etc.

Linnea S.
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Linnea S.

That’s an effective way to market your brand online. I like the stories that tell about an individual employee, what she does at the company and why she likes to work there.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Is it fair for businesses to take advantage of their employees in that way?

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

I totally agree. I love digging into the dynamics of a brand when there’s a story involved.

Anabelle BF
Guest
Anabelle BF

There’s actually research in psychology and neuroscience that shows that people understand the world narratively. Adding a narrative to your brand basically makes it easier for someone to remember it and understand it.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Yes, and it’s true in virtually any industry that storytelling is what gets attention. Storytelling can work to sell newspapers as well as deodorant.

melissann
Guest
melissann

The nature of storytelling has gotten lost and it’s nice to see it come back to blogs.

Tay H
Guest
Tay H

This is becoming more visible in Marketting using more personalised stories and CEO’s telling their start up story’s. Marketting has always told a story of some kind to sell. It’s sutle but it’s there, e.g ever notice women in most ads have a ring on their left hand? Or car ads with happy smiling families? Something I have seen in the car ad is deconstructing the Marketting campaign as a point of difference. There is an add that purposely points out husband fake, kids actors etc ‘at the end of the day what are you really paying for? The car’

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

I agree! I like this trend.

Tay H
Guest
Tay H

Richard Branson of virgin group has always made his story a part of the brand and I think it has really helped make the brand relatable and trusted. There are many other examples but virgin really stands out to me as an individual building a very successful brand.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

I actually don’t know there story at all. Can you relay it in a nutshell?

Tay H
Guest
Tay H

Richard Branson is dyslexic and left school at 16. He went on to start a record company called virgin and signed some very famous bands, he went on to virgin mobile, virgin airlines, virgin money and many more but those are the main ones I think. He has been knighted and named on the richest lists. Wikipedia will be able to tell you the long story

Bethany A.
Guest
Bethany A.

Putting in a human touch and creating a memory are great tips!

Christine Birch
Guest
Christine Birch

Storying is so important. Making clients feel like they’re part of the business’ story is one of the best ways to engage people, I think. If they’re part of something bigger, they’re more likely to want to be involved in what the business is doing.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

“If they’re part of something bigger” — especially if that’s something bigger than even a company, like a cause or movement. Being involved in charity work makes developing this connection much easier.

Christine Birch
Guest
Christine Birch

Yes, I think connecting to a cause is one of the most motivating stories a company can put out there. Everyone wants to be part of making a difference for the better.

auntieemily
Guest
auntieemily

I love storytelling, and I love hearing the stories that are out there when it comes to companies.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

How big a role does a company’s story play when you’re deciding if you want to do business with it? If you had choose between two companies, could the one with the better story sway your decision?

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