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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

3 Brilliant Examples Of Brand Storytelling

Open book with a story to tell

Get comfy, lean in and get ready to find out why a good story is one of the most effective ways of getting your voice heard…

Remember those halcyon days – it’s getting on for 3-ish on a drizzly weekday afternoon, you’re tired after a day learning your ABCs and splattering paint anywhere but the paper. Then your teacher manages to revive you with two little words – story time. A chance to collapse on the rug and get lost in a world of dragons and unicorns.

Well, our love of stories, fostered on parents’ laps and in primary school classrooms, didn’t disappear along with our scraped knees and gappy grins. In fact, one look at the branding arena shows our passion for a good yarn is stronger than ever.  More and more companies are turning to storytelling as a way of connecting with customers and forging that all-important emotional connection.

Why Brands Tell A Story?

Good stories capture your attention. They make you stop, take notice and buckle up for the ride. They trigger an emotional response – we cheer for the goodies, boo at the baddies, and bask in the feel-good factor of a happy ending. Then there’s the fact that a good tale has staying power. Cognitive psychologist, Jerome Bruner, suggests stories are 22 times more memorable than facts alone.

So now take all of those factors and think about how powerful that could be for a company, especially one doing its level best to be heard in a noisy marketplace.

How Brands Tell A Story

The first and most obvious story is how a brand came into being – the company’s journey, if you like. Another, equally effective, one is the story of how a product or service improves people’s lives. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Every business has dozens of stories to tell and, in a digital-first world, plenty of ways to tell it. Here are 3 that caught our attention…

1. Apple – Creativity Goes On

The tech giant brought us this digital story in April 2020, just as COVID had started to turn our world upside down. The ad showed the many creative ways people could still connect and support each other through these unprecedented times, with Apple tech providing the link.

2. Disneyland Paris – Where Magic Gets Real

Who better to captivate with a story than Disney? This heartwarming ad features a little duckling who finds a Donald Duck comic book and, at the same time, a new hero. A spate of bad weather forces him to head for sunnier climes and, unbeknown to him, he ends up at Disneyland Paris where he gets to meet the real deal. An enchanting story that perfectly captures the magic of a trip to Disney.

3. Land Rover – The Land Of Land Rovers

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Land Rover brought us a true story set deep in the Himalayas. The video shows the villagers of Maneybhanjang who rely on a fleet of meticulously maintained Land Rovers dating from 1957 to reach Sandakphu, a village that sits at an altitude of 3,636 metres. The story, which shows locals tackling the treacherous route in their vehicles, reinforces the remarkable power and durability of Land Rovers in an enthralling 3-minute clip.

6 Steps To A Happy Ending

Looking to use stories to bring your brand to life? Then follow these simple steps…

  1. Go on a story hunt. Yes, there’s the tale of how your company began. But look beyond that to the stories of how your product or service has benefitted your customers. Speak to your frontline staff and invite customers to share their stories on social media – it’s all about creating a culture of storytelling. Look out for the stories that will resonate with a wider audience.

  2. Make it personal. It’s important your story packs an emotional punch. If it’s the story of how you came to be, introduce us to the person who started it all, show us the teeny tiny workshop where it all began. Or if you’re putting a customer journey at the heart of your story, give us relatable characters and scenarios that we feel a connection with.

  3. Don’t cast yourself as the main star. That role belongs to the consumer, and your story needs to show how your product or service can enhance their life. We’re not talking lottery-win changes, but an improvement of some sort. A popular narrative is one where the central character has to overcome a hurdle, something your company can help them do.

  4. Focus on the visual element. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. It’s likely you’ll only have a minute or two to get your story across, which is why pictures and videos have a crucial role to play.

  5. Continue the story. Great stories spark conversation, hence why we regularly find ourselves talking about the plotlines in books, films and TV shows (Line of Duty, anyone?). Give people a platform to continue the conversation on social media and be ready to build on the story’s success.

  6. Be authentic. The stories you tell don’t necessarily have to be your own – they could come from customers – but they need to be based on truth. It’s not about spinning fairytales, it’s about telling real, relatable stories.

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