What is Brand Storytelling?
Written by Joe Gillard
One of the most prominent buzzwords in the marketing industry in recent years is the idea of “brand storytelling”. Certainly anyone in advertising or marketing who has been to an industry conference recently, or even read an article online, has likely heard of “brand storytelling” and how important it is these days.
But what does it mean? It’s not exactly clear, is it? What do you think of when you hear the word “storytelling”? Perhaps a gregarious old man sitting in a rocking chair, recounting wild tall tales to his grandchildren about his many adventures? How about a campfire storyteller entertaining a group of friends? You’d be right, to a degree. But that’s just one form of storytelling.
Brand storytelling is what cuts through all the noise (the hype, the shouting, and the promotion normally associated with marketing and advertising), and connects with your audience on a human level. Remember the old man and the campfire mentioned a moment ago? The wide-eyed grandchildren and the friends around the campfire are all experiencing an emotional connection to each other and to the storyteller. This emotional connection is now a positive relationship that’s been formed between the storyteller and the listener. It’s all about emotion — just like it always has been in marketing.
But people don’t fall for cheap tricks, either. We know that the man in the magazine grinning while he holds a cigarette is merely a paid model. But what about a real video diary of a family’s road trip across the country in their new minivan? That’s brand storytelling because you’re telling the story of how your minivan has changed someone’s life. The “story” might go as follows:
- Family wants to do something epic.
- Family takes their new minivan on a road trip across the U.S.
- Viewer enjoys seeing the road trip video and sees how the minivan was the catalyst that made the trip both possible and pleasurable.
- Viewer had a positive emotional experience connected to the brand.
That’s just one example of what brand storytelling is. There are fantastic new examples happening every day so be sure to check them out for ideas of what brand storytelling can do for YOUR brand.