Is Brand Storytelling Important?
What is your brand story? What do you want people to feel when they come in contact with your brand? Warmth, love, humour — do you know?
Your brand story is a core part of your brand identity and helps give life to your brand.
Your brand story isn’t just what you tell people. It’s what they believe about your brand based on the signals your brand sends. The story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings, and interpretations, which means that part of your story isn’t even told by you. — Source: The Story of Telling
Let’s look at some examples that showcase the power of storytelling and importance of a brand story in marketing.
3 Reasons Why You Should Have a Brand Story
1) It Makes Customers Emotionally Attached to Your Product:
Research and my personal experiences show that that beyond the product, people buy from brands they are emotionally connected to, brands they can relate to. One of my personal favourite Nigerian brands is GoNutz — a product of Foodpro.
Case Study: GoNutz West African Cashew Nuts by Foodpro Group
Foodpro is a brand that has been able to fully utilise the power of brand storytelling in this unique story you’ll find at the back of every pack of GoNutz cashews you buy.
During our early days, as I walked the factory floor, one of the women walked up to me to say a prayer.
It was Lola’s prayer that our work would always be successful so that she and hundreds of other women working in the factory would always be able to earn a living and provide for their families.
A beautiful story, right?
They didn’t end there, they went further to say;
Each time, you buy our handpicked and carefully processed cashew nuts coated in traditional West African spices, you keep the factory open, helping hardworking women like Lola earn a sustainable income, support their families and impact their immediate communities.
I don’t know about you, but this story gives me goose bumps each and every time and makes me feel like I am part of something bigger when I buy a pack of my favourite cashew nuts to snack on.
Watching the video (fast forward to 3:30 min) below where a CEO of a different made in Nigeria brand emphasises the impact of made in Nigeria goods with regards to job creation using the Foodpro brand story, which he repeats in his own words, clearly demonstrates the deep emotional connection to the story and the Foodpro brand — The story makes people feel like humanitarians, helping Lola and other women to earn a sustainable living. Can you see where I am going — the power of this story can make you do a lot, from repeated purchases to becoming a self-made brand advocate.
That’s exactly what a good brand story would do to your customers.
2. It helps build Top of the Mind Awareness
If your product is placed side by side with 5 other similar products, what would compel customers to choose yours? There’s a popular saying that out of sight is out of mind. People will always connect with that product they always remember.
An experiment in the office
One afternoon in my office, we had an argument as to why we had our individual preferences for the different cola drinks, we all said it was because our preferred product tastes better. We decided to put this to a test.
We got bottles of Coke, Pepsi and Bigi Cola, poured them into glasses and shuffled them until we didn’t know which one was which and then the tasting began — at the end of this experiment, we discovered that not everyone could really differentiate them by using taste as the only determining factor.
This made it clear to everyone on the team that the unique brand story of our preferred Cola Drinks and the consistent nature in which it had been told over the years helped our number 1 brand gain top of the mind awareness and a spot in our heart and when we visit the store to get drinks, it will always be that one.
3. It triggers a Sense of Belonging:
A great brand story can make you feel like you are a part of a brand.
I am sure you can guess by the next example what my favourite Cola Drink is :-)
Case Study: Coca-Cola
Kate Stanmore — the senior integrated marketing content manager at The Coca-Cola Company — in an interview with CCO talked about the four archetypes of Coca Colas Story telling — she said:
At Coca-Cola, we want to create Coca-Cola stories and not stories by Coca-Cola. That holds true when our product is a character in the story with a credible role to play. There are four typical archetypes that we look to: object of desire, embodiment of an attitude, social connector, and functional offering or benefit. If you read a script or even partner-created content and say to yourself, “Can I tell this story without Coca-Cola?” and the answer is yes, then it’s a not a Coca-Cola story. — to read full interview click here
Let’s zoom in on the social connector archetype — Share a coke and a smile is a phrase that everyone knows and Coke deepened the meaning of this phrase with a campaign that allowed people to personalize bottles.
Coca-Cola utilized the power of storytelling focused on building social connections between people, by making consumers feel special and giving consumers the power to share customized bottle with loved ones….as we all know this multiplied sales revenue as people were eager to have Coke bottles with their name on it.….and suddenly instead of calling it a COKE thing, people began calling it OUR thing.
Now you can see that which brand comes first to the heart of a consumer is beyond the quality of your product (very important factor though). A good brand story will certainly grant you that spot.
If you are still confused about how to go about creating a compelling brand story, here are a couple of things you should pay attention to;
YOUR WHY — Why did you begin your brand?
YOUR WHAT — What is your brand culture? What are your brand values?
YOUR HOW —How do you define your unique selling point and stand out from the crowd?
When you have honestly found answers to these questions, find the connecting dots and you are one step ahead in your journey to tell a unique brand story.
Are you currently leveraging storytelling for your marketing? Tell us how it’s working for you and don’t forget that Sharing is Caring!! *big grin*