We have all become a lot more familiar with stories especially with social media platforms implementing them into our lives but that’s not the kind I’m talking about here (although those are important for your audience too). Here we are highlighting the role stories play in developing a brand, building a community on socials and even hyping up product launches.
So let’s start at the beginning, a story is either a made up event, a real life experience shared to entertain and evoke emotion in it’s audience and this is where the real magic happens, the emotion! Most of us were told stories as kids with astronauts, cowboys, princesses and of course sometimes baddies in and these were often used to inspire us and occasionally teach us lessons. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that stories drum up emotions in adults too, making them a great tool to harness to connect your audience to your brand or product, right? RIGHT!
Brands often use this insight to help grow their community and build up attention surrounding their latest release - good time for an example I think: Take Nike, who don’t just say here’s our new trainer and it’s super comfy with the most advanced shoe tech but instead they create a story around the trainer to make it evoke emotion in the listener.
Jumping back to when you were young hearing stories, why do we attach to these tales so much. Well I know I would hear a story about cowboys and think “I want to be a cowboy,” rather than I want to be the cowboy from the story I wanted to be one in my own right because then I’m the star. Woo! Being the hero of the story taps into human psychology perfectly, feeding our pride, ego and winning us some social approval meaning that a story is really relatable to its audience. Expanding the Nike example, the story they create is of a young child outside each day practicing their basketball and as they grow so does their skill until finally they’re in an arena playing in front of adoring fans but he is still wearing his favourite trainers. We see this and don’t think I want to be LeBron James but instead this, “If I had those same trainers then I could be that good.”
Now that’s powerful marketing for any brand!
So, when creating a brand story always ask yourself a couple of questions:
Writing this article I thought:
The second part of this strategy is the (story) telling part and this is easier especially if you use the data you have at your disposal. Data now helps us all out so much with audience insights such as who consumes our content, which gender buys our brand more often, who is watching and when are they watching etc etc. These insights are incredibly useful as it allows brands to target their ideal users, hopefully with useful and relevant content (lets face it otherwise we won’t stick around, theres enough crap out there). All this makes the telling part of your strategy way more straight forward because you know your audience is split equally in gender, aged 24-30 and watch videos on TikTok and Instagram so straight away you can create a kick ass story and get it posted to these sites whilst using the platforms marketing tools to get your content in front of those users! What a win! It’s when you don’t use the data that things can start to go awry because you’re guessing then.
Its great because you can tell your tale in so many different ways - vlogs, blogs, tiktok dances, Instagram highlights etc it’s all about how your audience consumes, which makes your role of teller important for the message - the message can be world class but if no one hears it then its a flop
You’ve got story telling down now and can see why we relate so well to it and how you can split it up to the story and the telling to add the greatest value to our audience, resulting in the best brand results! Oh and as a big plus, when the story attracts consumers to the product or brand for you then you don’t have to sell because your story is the seller and no one likes being sold to but we do like story time!