Emotional Branding: How Great Storytelling Can Boost Your Business
Even before humans had the ability to speak, they had a great need to communicate. Caves all over southern Europe are covered in drawings that tell stories and as history has taught us, some stories can last forever. It is a universal truth that everyone has a story. Your life, your business, your heritage, your passion — they all contain a personal narrative and there is something about a great story that moves people. They identify with the major players, sympathize with the bumps in the road, are delighted with each new twist in the plot and ultimately root for a satisfying resolution. This cycle of storytelling is the same when it comes to emotional branding, but is even more important because that story is real. It isn’t enough to have a great product. Great brands must be great storytellers in order to make people care about the difference they are trying to make.
Chapter 1: Keep an Authentic Point of View
As we’ve mentioned before about marketing to a new generation of savvy consumers, people today can spot a fake at 10 paces. Being phony and insincere will get you nowhere. You aren’t just working to sell something one time and then close up shop. You are building lifelong relationships and all human relationships (in the business world and the real one) are based on trust. From your business partners to investors to associates to even your consumers, everyone must trust that you will deliver what you say you will. Therein lays the connection between telling your story and growing your brand: the trust of the people.
Forget selling, it’s a total turn off. Instead, build an experience your clients can trust. Think about some of the most epic brands out there today. Ralph Lauren immediately evokes images of the rugged yet simplistic style of classic Americana. Apple is instantly recognizable for its minimalist aesthetic and cutting edge innovation. It is beyond product. It is beyond gimmicks. It is an authentic way of life. Their distinct point of view allows them to not just sell merchandise, but to offer an experience that people yearn for.
Chapter 2: Throw in Some Interesting Plot Twists
As new business owners, not only are we building our own brand and telling our story, we are in the business of helping others tell theirs. We package their unique experience into something visual and definable. How exactly do we accomplish this? By telling their story in an innovative way while adhering to three golden rules. Here are our three most important “plot twists” for our take on successful brand storytelling:
- Tell the story in their language. Today’s consumers are more connected than ever. From smart phones and tablets to streaming video and the internet, the language of storytelling is digital and shared on a global scale. People don’t step outside every morning to pick up the daily newspaper. They check their iPhone as soon as they open their eyes and instantly know the day’s top headlines. Exploring new mediums of getting your name out there will always set your business ahead of the pack.
- Don’t be afraid to show them something new. We know we just said that exploring new mediums would already get you ahead of the pack however; it’s not enough to do what everyone else is doing. Someone has to be the first to try something out of the ordinary, so it may as well be you. Remember when a YouTube video was revolutionary? Years later, everyone has at least several up. We always encourage clients not to be afraid to explore inventive ways of having their voice heard. If it doesn’t work, you can always try something else and if it does, then suddenly you look like a genius and everyone will talk about (and emulate) what you’re doing.
- Make them feel something. Our most important rule is to make sure that people are so moved by an experience they have to share it. Tell one story that people across the board can relate to. Use music, video, words or narration to create a compelling narrative that breeds engagement and a more personal connection with potential clients. It is about much more than just seeing a visual. They must feel it and care about it in order to elicit an organic reaction. Ensuring that your campaigns are resonating with people on an emotional level when telling your story will always be the epitome of good brand behavior.
Whether your business’s journey is just beginning or you’re already many chapters in, how you present your story matters. From building trust to strengthening relationships to communicating ideas, crafting your story in an interesting way will make all the difference in the world.
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