Consumers want to feel a real human connection with the brands they purchase from in the current business world. In order to build real trust and relationships with consumers, brands need to connect to a bigger story. Businesses can no longer afford to be faceless entities. In order to survive and thrive, businesses need to connect with people in such a way that it tugs at their heartstrings.
Brand storytelling is the overarching narrative that weaves together all of the facts, values, and emotions that your brand evokes. It involves explaining why the brand exists, why it matters, its bigger mission, and why people should care. Brand storytelling helps brands engage on a deeper level with consumers, building consumer relationships that will hopefully last for long periods of time.
In today’s market, brand storytelling is vital. It will maximize your business’s visibility, profit, and impact. It will help you to create a brand that is both profitable and engaging.
The Coaching Industry
As somebody with a lot of experience in the coaching industry, I have long understood the power of storytelling. As a coach, you are essentially your own product, and you are selling yourself and your own experiences. Rather than listing all your qualifications, what people really want to know is how you can help them to transform their lives.
I have found that you should coach people in the area where you have had the biggest personal transformation in your own life. This way, you know how to guide people through the same steps, and it also provides you with a powerful story to tell.
If you are a relationship coach and you had to overcome huge problems with intimacy to create a soulful, loving relationship, you have your powerful transformation story right there. If you are a fitness coach and you went from being obese to slim and healthy, people will want to know your secrets. If you are a business coach and went from being penniless to hitting six-figure revenue months, this will resonate with people and want to work with you.
I believe these same values and principles can be applied to all businesses as companies seek to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Why Storytelling is so Important
Storytelling has been integral to the human experience since the dawn of time. From cave paintings to the internet, stories are a part of who we are. It is a proven fact that stories stimulate brain activity and get our neurons firing. It has also been reported that stories teach social norms and foster cooperation. According to social studies, storytellers improve their chances of being chosen as social partners and receiving community support.
Stories Help You to be Unforgettable
Every day there is a ton of content being created. Businesses are spending billions trying to reach customers and make their brand known. The internet has made marketing accessible to everybody but has also made it difficult for brands to truly stand out.
A quality product or service isn’t enough. You need to have a powerful story. Instead of focusing on facts, figures and testimonials, focus on wrapping your message up into a story. This helps to shape brand perception, and it simplifies information, evokes emotions from consumers, and makes your brand seem real and tangible.
What is it that makes your brand unique? No other brand has had the same history, challenges, successes, or the exact same values. Think about the emotion you want to elicit from consumers when they think of your brand. As the saying goes, people may forget what you said, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.
Stories Help You to Build a Tribe
What does your audience really need from you, beyond the product you sell? Apple is a well-known tech firm, but beyond selling phones and laptops, they have let their audience know that it’s okay to be bold, brave, and to think differently from the masses. This creates a narrative that is appealing for many consumers and attracts a certain grouping of people who see themselves as part of a tribe.
Use your story to create a deep emotional connection. Start conversations and ask for engagement. Survey your audience and ask them what they want from you. Make them feel involved. This turns your brand into a consumer experience. This will build consumers that follow your brand with loyalty and come back for more.
Show consumers a snapshot of your life behind the scenes. Let them know you are a real, living, breathing human being. Let them know you love dogs, trainspotting, bird watching, or whatever you do in your free time. This will make you stand out and will help people to know trust, and like you.
Stories Generate Profit and Add the Human Touch
Consumers increasingly want to see how businesses are positively impacting the world. Knowing that a company cares about more than just its own profit margin can ironically increase sales.
What is your company mission? How can you make the world a better place? Consumers gravitate towards brands that feel more human. How are you touching and transforming lives? How are you impacting society? Does your brand have a soul?
People will resonate more deeply if you have meaningful answers to these questions that come through in your story. In a crowded marketplace where many businesses focus simply on more efficiency and automation, you can be the brand that stands out by being more human and showing that you care.
What is Brand Storytelling? | A Messaging Strategy to Build Brand Value | McNabb Storytelling
Brands with Powerful Storytelling
The socially conscious shoe company TOMS' entire story can be summed up in two sentences; "While traveling in Argentina in 2006, TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need. One for One®"
In this short statement, you immediately understand why TOMS was founded and what its mission is. You believe that they not only want to sell shoes but that they are invested in something more noble and human.
The health and beauty company Dove actively supports several social causes. They also carry out social media campaigns that promote the celebration of inner beauty and all women feeling confident, no matter their shape or size.
By focusing on these kinds of social messages, they barely need to promote their actual products. Their empowering campaigns build an emotional connection with their audience, which builds loyalty to their brand values.
Luca and Danni
Luca and Danni are a jewelry company. Their founder has included on his website a story page that tells how he watched his father handcraft jewelry as a child. It is filled with childhood photographs and heartwarming tales. For every product they sell, they also include an inspiration story.
These kinds of personal touches and insight into a company's founding inspiration undoubtedly make consumers feel connected to a brand. If the jewelry doesn’t stand out, the branding certainly does.
A powerful story will etch your brand into the mind of consumers, and it will help them to feel emotionally connected and loyal to your brand. Storytelling can help you stand out in a saturated market and build a base of long-lasting consumers.
In a fast-paced world of instant gratification, consumers are now looking for the human touch. They want to feel that they are connecting with something real and tangible. Storytelling can help to create an experience for the consumer, and not just a product.