Are you sitting comfortably? Excellent… then we’ll begin, as we focus on the importance of the continued use of narrative and storytelling in helping audiences make the emotional and personal connections with brands.
Brand storytelling is an amazingly powerful means of boosting brand recognition and engagement – especially when done well.
This is a sentiment strongly backed up by research, which has shown that:
- 55 percent of consumers who love a brand’s story are willing to make a purchase.
- 79% of UK adults think that it’s a good idea for brands to tell a story.
- The top format for storytelling is video.
- If people love a brand story 44% of people will share the story, and 15% will make a purchase immediately.
Brand storytelling is a concept that’s been around for years, but its popularity has skyrocketed as digital marketing takes precedence over print. And it’s increasingly become a means by which brands can present themselves as more human and relevant to their stakeholders.
It’s also a fantastic way to build and establish relationships and gain the trust of individuals, as opposed to going straight for the sell – of a product, concept, idea, or approach.
Reach out on an emotional level
With around 90% of B2B purchasing decisions being made subconsciously, based on emotion rather than logic, and with business professionals around 50% more likely to buy a product or service that demonstrates personal value through emotional appeals (source B2B Marketing), brand stories can be used to great effect as a means of engaging with people’s emotions.
What’s the best way to achieve this? By making your story humorous, dramatic, inspiring, uplifting, energising, heart-warming, aspirational, or potentially even heart-felt.
HubSpot suggest that at the core of great stories are the tales of overcoming adversity. They argue that if no conflict is presented, then there’s no drama or emotional journey that people can relate to. And if you don’t have that, then you won’t hold anyone’s attention.
Keep it real
Interestingly, 66% of people believe that the best stories are those about real people and real events (customers and employees). These types of stories in particular help to humanise a brand, adding relevance and something objective and tangible that people can relate to.
They also help give the brand a face and a persona – hence why it’s important to think carefully about the main characters, making sure they’re representative of your target audience, i.e. not a brand bigwig, or celebrity.
Real life stories are more successful at helping stir deeper emotions in people, helping brands to forge stronger ties – especially with those aged between 18-34. The only age group seeming to want a break from harsh reality stories are those aged 55 and over.
It’s also worth noting that the stories with the greatest influence are not brand-generated stories, but stories generated by the audience themselves, through things like social media. That’s why it’s vital that brands work on gaining the loyalty and advocacy of both customers and employees. And why it’s vital to provide them with a platform for these stories to be told.
Make it memorable
When we asked our own team about their favourite stories, they often recalled those from their childhood – stories with a strong, moral message. And stories beautifully told through illustrations, as well as words.
People of all ages process images much quicker than they do text. Utilising photographs, infographics and even music in videos will help a brand story deliver a much deeper, sensory and emotional experience.
If you need help making your brand story come to life contact us. We’ve got the team, the skills and experience to make it happen.