Brand storytelling has been a trend for a few years now. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? It rolls off the tongue. If you do a quick Google search on it, you will find a lot of brand storytelling experts. They talk about storytelling like it’s a new invention, and no one has ever thought to use it before. The obvious truth is storytelling is nothing new. It’s been a tool for advertisers for years (even before video). So why is it suddenly so important now? Do these experts really know what they are talking about?
Well yes, and no. There is a ton of people out there that don’t know what they are talking about and are just jumping on the brand storytelling bandwagon. At the same time there are many others that fail to explain what brand storytelling really means. The point they should all be making is that brand storytelling isn’t unique because of what it does, but in how it does it. Brand storytelling is a way of telling stories authentically, from the point of view of employees or customers of a brand (in the simplest terms). The key word being authentic.
You’re probably saying that all sounds great. I’m authentic. I don’t need a brand story to show that. Well maybe, but here are three simple reasons why you might want to reconsider that before you reject brand storytelling all together.
1- Convert more Customers
It doesn’t have to be said that we need to trust someone before we do business with them. We want to see that they are authentic and are real human beings. You can accomplish this with sales pages and other tools but you only have a limited amount of time to capture someone’s attention before they move on. Telling stories through video is the quickest most efficient way to do that. Your audience can get a much quicker sense of who you are by watching a story than they can by reading long web copy. The faster you can create a connection with your audience, relate to them and show them you’re authentic self (through storytelling), the faster you will be able to win their trust and convert them into customers or draw them into a sales funnel in the long run.
2 -Save Time & Money
If you are a large or small company, it’s the best way to inspire your employees and align them with you vision. This can save untold amounts of time, energy and money in the long run. Brand Storytelling keeps everyone focused on what’s most important about a brand and helps everyone understand not just what the brand is, but why it exists (core values). Instead of spending time in meetings getting everyone on the same page or countless project / product revisions, you can spend less time and money by showing your employees and contractors the stories behind your brand and why it exists.
3 – Retain your Customers
Traditional advertising has always been about grabbing someone’s attention. Which is good, but it’s only half of the recipe when you are thinking about building a viable long term business. With so many options out there today you have to not just think about converting customers but retaining them and the best way to do that is to be authentic (there’s that word again). Discovering the stories that surround your brand is the best way to do this and cements a powerful bond between you and your customers. You can’t just be content with customers anymore, you need a fanbase. People that will spread your story by word of mouth.
In the end, brand storytelling and authenticity goes hand in hand. Brands have learned that grabbing someone’s attention doesn’t mean going for some unrealistic viral videos anymore (that often come off looking desperate for attention and can further alienate your brand from your audience), but the far more realistic and effective method of sharing authentic stories. It’s about the adventure that you and your audience share.