Once Upon a Brand: The Art of Storytelling
The art of storytelling lies in the intrinsic ability to connect with people. A good brand story doesn't just tell you about itself, it is also a reflection of the people it's trying to connect with. A powerful narrative speaks to the motivations, dreams and thoughts of its audience. It makes its consumers feel understood, flooding them with a sense of belonging. For what consumer doesn't like to feel heard? Beauty isn’t skin deep and neither is branding.
‘All the world’s a stage and all the men, women, and brands merely players’ – modified from Shakespeare.
Stories are the heart and soul of what drives us as a society. Our stories connect us and it’s what we use to relate to one another. It shapes who we are and how we present ourselves to the world.
So how important is a brand narrative?
Well, believe it or not it’s the part of your brand that you sell.
Most people believe a product is nothing without a memorable brand attached to it. However, have you ever considered that a brand might become a distant memory without a compelling narrative.
Conceptualising the story of your brand is the key to unlocking every other aspect of your brand identity. From design to copywriting, from communications to sales, it’s the type of branding that will carry personality.
Beinc believes that brands are just really complex people with lots of different parts. We give it a personality, a history, likes and dislikes; a voice, a look and a say.
You want to be able to take your consumers on a journey, because when they take that journey with you they become loyal to you.
Creating and sharing a story is a brand’s way of opening up and nurturing trust with its target audience. People crave connection. And more than that, they love paying attention to things that resonate with them.
If you want to build a brand story that’s cognisant of its target audience, you need to start paying attention to what they are paying attention to.
Not convinced? Take the case of news publications. Now that’s branding done right.
People wonder why COVID floods our news feeds on a daily basis, but it’s the narrative that everybody wants to follow at the moment.
Whether you hate it or love it, you follow it.
Why? Because you’re invested in the narrative.
And the only thing news publications sell: Stories
Branding works the same way.
Designing a storyline means understanding who your love interest is (consumer), your antagonist (competitors and defamatory news publications) and your protagonist (your brand).
And most importantly, the point of your plot.
Psst. Let’s not forget ‘the best friend’, your trusty brand communications expert (beinc).*wink* *wink*
Getting consumers invested in your brand narrative is the foundational bedrock of creating the kind of business that goes viral.
As renowned classical horror writer Edgar Allen Poe said, “the writer should begin by deciding upon a certain unique or single effect he or she wants to achieve and should then make sure every element in the story contributes to this effect. If this is achieved, the soul of the reader is under the writer’s control.”
This is a fancy way of saying that it doesn’t matter how your brand story got started, but what does matter is where it’s going and where you’re happily ever after is.
Because it needs to be the kind of ending that your consumers not only want to get on board with, but are ultimately routing for.
At that point your brand’s story and your consumer’s story have found a place in one another.
What you want is for your brand to be the main character in its own story. And you have the power to stop your love interest from running away with the antagonist, if you create a story worth investing in.