Nowadays people buy the brand, how it makes them feel and how they connect to it. Customers are no longer interested in agressive marketing strategies that tell them what to buy and how amazing the product is. With the advent of the digital age, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube has only added advantage and value to your marketing strategy and offer endless opportunities of how you can tell your brand story. How do you make audiences fall in love with your brand? Often, by using storytelling to engage them with your business.
In this article we will give you 10 snackable tips for how to tell your brand story. We will give you, as well, examples of how other companies used these strategies and successfully engage their audience.
1. Reveal something personal
Often, we you want to keep customers excited about your brand, you have to reveal some personal, unknown about your brand. Otherwise, after some time, it gets boring.
Did you know that McDonald’s logo was not inspired by the name of the restaurant, but by its store’s original architecture? The owner wanted the buildings to be recognized from distance, so they had large yellow arches. Today’s designers took them as an inspiration for the current logo. Such short, interesting stories for brands, previously “unknown”, do quite well – people love to read and share them!
2. Tell us about your origins
Nando’s restaurants have done a great job in telling us about their origins. They are operating more than 1000 restuarants in 30 countries. Their wonderful story is not only told on their website, but also in their actual food chain restaurants – they have pieces of their “storytelling” on the walls, napkins, etc. You immediately feel at home, some place cozy and you feel as welcomed guest, that will be taken good care for. Not on last place, you can read something curious about their tradition, while waiting for your meal -suddenly has passed and you were entertained.
They have also posted a heartwarming legend on their website, which resonates on a deeper emotional level and wires up with our love for stories and legends of past times.
3. Show the people from your company
57% of the 2015 Forutune 500 companies share their employee stories on their career sites.
When showing the people who work in your company to your customers, you help them to associate with your brand more easily. You convey authenticity and transperancy, you show that you are responsive and accessible. You can take things one step further, allowing your employees to tell your story from their own perspetive. People love to feel part of a community. Evenmore, you show your customers that you care about other’s opinions and they will believe, you are more likely to act in their own interest and consider their needs as well. So don’t be shy and show the positive, enthusiastic faces of your team, show your product launches, office transformations and celebrations – people would love to see you have fun doing your job! In the end, people who love their job – do better job!
Here is how Google does it, presenting their interns. You get a feel of how interns are treated, who they are, how they feel at work. Phrases that you hear are “willing to learn”, “something new”, “impossible is not a word”, “helps you imagine”. Definitely, these words evoke certain emotions in us:
4. Show what is happening behind the scenes
Here is a fun post on Instagram, telling a “behind the scenes” story. It is a simple visual, showing a fun moment from (and outside) the office with creative and happy employees:
Office fun, source Instagram
Teambuilding fun, source Instagram
Other types of photos that have proven to do well and keep audience happy and engaged with your content are pictures of customers, old photos, showing how things were before, photos from fans, collages of what the brand is representing.
5. Show your values
You should show your audience what principles you align with, what you represent and what you stand for. Tell people if you help people with disabilities, if you hire and support people with different sexual orientation. What do you care for? The planet, animals, water? People who care for these issues too, will gravitate around your brand and will be more likely to associate with it and listen.
A story of a restaurant who offers a free meal on Christmas for the homeless got more then 315,000 shares and a lot of other engagement from people. People were sharing posts about the event on Twitter and other media, including words such as: “community”, “spirit”, “generosity”. You can read the whole Independant’s story here.
6. Connect with specific emotion
How do you get more than 3,000,000 for a product that is well known, for a company that everyone is familiar with? How do you get people to engage? Still? Here is an example of how Coca Cola did it:
It is clear which specific emotion they are connecting with – the one, which is emblematic for their brand and that pops in everyone’s mind – happiness!
7. Use narrative
Use dynamics in your story – there should be a beginning, knot and an end. Without them, there is no intrigue, there is not story at all. Provoke your audience’s interest by showing them how an event connected to your company starts, show preparation for important days, use spontaneous moments and follow up with your audiences what has happened next/til end. Just like watching good series, we can’t wait for the next episode to come and we cheer up for our heroes. Be a hero in your customer’s life, who changes, develops and have a lot of experiences to show.
8. Make your audience part of the experience
Who is the hero of your brand story? Of course, it is your customer and follower. You are just the helper, helping him/her to achieve his/her dreams, goals, desires. Herschel Supply perfectly understands that and they often include in their Instagram visuals, contributed from their followers.
This is how the term “listening brand” was born. Successful marketers understood that in order to win audiences over, they have to listen to what they have to say, understand their life context, make them part of the story and last but not least, make them share the story of the company by themselves! Often, this is also the most sincere compliment for a company.
9. Set your stories apart from others
It is not always easy to create unique stories, but have always your customers in mind and what their need might be, who they are. Address your stories to them, help them solve possible problems, offer them interesting perspective to certain themes. Be authentic and create also content which concerns you, that way you will attract the most loyal followers and audience who care for what you care.
10. Golden rules of storytelling
There are 7 golden rules for every great story and you can easily apply them for your brandtelling (brand’s storytelling) as well. We left them til last, as sort of recap for some of the points we already made and added some extra insights:
What we see from the last points is that the role of successful storytelling is not only understanding and being a friend to your customer, but also educating and connecting. More and more brands become educators for different communities and they send powerful targeted messages to audiences. They become a powerful leaders of opinion, they are standing for certain values. When creating stories for your brand, be aware that you also educate and lead your followers.
We hope that article was useful for you. Your opinion is important for us – drop us a line in the comment section below and we’d post a picture of happy employees on our Instagram!