Why is storytelling important? We tell you all you need to know about it: the why, the how, even the science behind it. How have stories evolved over the years, how they help create shared purpose, and how telling a great story can help your brand grab attention.
What's all the buzz among marketers about storytelling? Okay. Sell with stories. I get it. They work better than explicit hit-them-over-the-head-and-kick-them-in-the-behind-fact-based-and-really-boring-selling messages.
"At the center of all marketers’ brand ambitions sits the hope of creating a fan base. All brands have customers, the people that buy the brand, but few have a substantial fan base. The difference between fans and customers is behavioural. Fans are the type of customer that feels they are brand stakeholders. They are part of and some create the brand story itself. Fans go out of their way to buy and use a brand. They talk about the brand for you, harnessing the power of story through word of mouth. They position your brand better than you will. To your other customers they are the authentic voice of the brand, more so than you."
A brand is like the lead character of its own story. And like any story character, brands have values and beliefs that become associated with them through their actions. The challenge for marketers is to characterize their brands first before products are introduced. This provides a foundation on which the brand is built with each new development. It also helps to define thebrand’s culture in order to help employees discern the difference between programs and products that fit vs. those that don’t.
Whether yours is a big national or small local brand, and to the extent that you have a clear definition of your brand character, customers, prospects and employees will relate better to what you’re all about.
Shown in this infographic are twelve character types. Use this chart as a starting point to define what your brand stands for. It’s always best to find a single characterization that defines your brand, but oftentimes a blending of two or possibly three character types is needed. At the very least, this chart is meant to stimulate your thinking. Don’t be afraid to invent your own character type, just make sure your state the necessary details that clearly set you apart from your competitors. Above all, it is important to demonstrate this characterization constantly across everything you do.
We live in a culture saturated with stories. From commercials lasting a few seconds, to TV shows lasting a few seasons, we are inundated with more tales every day than any other generation in history.
We can’t seem to get enough stories. We can’t seem to tell enough.
And brands are no exception.
Many brands want to have their stories told. Yet ironically, they (and their marketing teams) often aren’t quite sure what a story is. Marketing wisdom may extol the virtues of storytelling as a technique for engaging audience emotion, but much less is said about what elements make up a story. Or even more crucial, how marketers can use those elements to craft a compelling brand story.