How do you market your brand?

Do you go for one of the following methods:

“Hey everyone we are an Events and Video Production Agency!”

“Look at our products, they are really cool!”

Not really engaging. Here’s a typical response from your target audience to that kind of marketing:

“Oh…” “So what…?”

Sometimes we forget that a brand is not the same as a product or service. Of course they contribute to it, but essentially your company brand is a concept; it embodies not only what you do or sell, but who you are, what you stand for and where you are going.

Your brand is the personification of an idea, and this is what your target audience will engage with.

Why Storytelling Is Important For Brands

We’ve been telling stories for thousands of years. Stories that pass down an aural history. Stories that instruct and shape our lives. Stories that entertain and delight. Storytelling is all about engagement, immersing your audience in your tale; using the power of words to create empathy, loyalty and aspiration. This level of engagement is what brands want too, and learning the art of storytelling is a powerful tool for brand marketing.

I looked at how John Lewis used behind-the-scenes footage to raise brand awareness in another blog post: How To Build Relationships With Video Communications. Here I’ll share a breakdown of the advert as a great example of a brand using storytelling. First, check out the ad below:

In this instance John Lewis has identified their core story as being of a brand that has been part of our lives, and our ancestor’s for 150 years; and that JL has continually evolved during that time. There can’t be many of us who don’t identify with parts of this video; I can’t help smiling at Action Man on his zip wire every time I watch it! This is what great storytelling is all about; discovering your brand’s core story, the story that will resonate most with your target audience.

Different Stories For Different Audiences

Just as stories evolve over the years, so should yours. In fact for those brands who have several different target audiences there is room to create specific stories for each demographic. As your brand develops, grows and changes, your core story will too.

John Lewis won’t be celebrating a significant anniversary again for some considerable time; however the core message that John Lewis has been part of our lives, a national institution, will remain. Creative storytellers will find new ways to sell the John Lewis story to us.

Using Storytelling Across Your Brand Marketing

Storytelling is not limited to one channel: a video production or a one off event. It should be integrated across all your marketing material. In the case of John Lewis’ 150th Anniversary, this storytelling extends to events held on the roof garden at Oxford Street, limited editions of commemorative products, and an opportunity for customers to share their stories related to John Lewis.

Stories Get Shared

We can see from the example above how effectively a brand can engage with their customers if their story is relevant. The other major benefit of storytelling is that stories get shared. We may not retell them around the campfire, instead we do the modern equivalent; we retweet, share videos, post on Facebook and occasionally may even tell someone verbally about a brand’s marketing campaigns:

storytelling brands

If you have a favourite campaign with storytelling at its heart, share in the comments below.