How Storytelling in Marketing Can Lead to a Happy Ever After for your Brand
“No matter what you do your job is to tell your story.” — Gary Vaynerchuck
My grandma was a great GIN player. While playing my grandma would tell me stories in Yiddish and English. My favorite English story told was that of The Tortoise and The Hare.
The story goes that for years the Hare mocked the Tortoise for being so slow. To prove despite his slowness he can go places, The Tortoise challenged The Hare to a race. Of course at the start of the race the Hare jumped out to a big lead… But midway the Hare stopped to take a short nap. In the meantime — the Tortoise slowly but surely passed the sleeping hare. Suddenly, the Hare woke up and realized that no matter how fast he ran he would never beat the Tortoise to the finish line. Of course its a very old wise tale…however, it remains timeless.
Why do I love it?
And, it’s memorable
It must be in our DNA to love stories. After all, this is how we connect with people. From the family dinner conversations sharing the day’s events, to gossip from our nice but nosey neighbors to secrets exchanged between partners — we create deeper and more intimate relationships.
Now imagine using the same storytelling approach in marketing your business. With the right message, good storytelling skills, visual imaging, and precise channels, your customers and prospects become familiar and trusting of your brand.
Let’s take a look at a few brands that have effectively utilized storytelling in their marketing approach.
Dove real beauty campaign — empathetic storytelling featuring real women to celebrate diversity, inner beauty, and confidence. With emotional messages, they are able to foster loyalty by building a bond with their customers.
Nike, Just do it — even 33 years after its introduction — this slogan is still the power that drives the motivation behind the entire brand. The appeal of this message (along with the iconic Swoosh) is simply and global enough to mean something motivating to every single customer. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just starting out, the story resonates and empowers everyone.
Polaroid Originals — with personal interview-style articles, their Magazine showcases customer stories told through the photographs they’ve taken. The user-generated content is important in building an authentic brand for one simple reason: customers trust each other’s content as much as 85% more than they trust yours.
Lucca + Danni — through a personal Our Story page where the founder, Fred Magnanimi, recounts the heartwarming tale of carrying out his brother’s dream of re-inventing their father’s jewelry manufacturing business after his brother lost his battle with cancer, he made their customers feel like they were part of the brand’s journey from the start.
Warby Parker — by sharing an anecdotal, universally-loved underdog story about the founder losing his glasses on a backpacking trip and not being able to afford new glasses throughout grad school, customers are able to picture themselves in the founder’s shoes. And don’t we all root for the underdog.
So instead of throwing facts, statistics, and testimonials at your audience focus on making your brand thoughtful, memorable, and real. Wrap your message in a story that transports people, simplifies information, and provokes an emotional response. Use narrative to share your brands history, challenges, successes, and value propositions. Keep the message simple and universal along with adding a human element to the story as well as an easy-to-respond call to action.