Throughout many decades, brands have been successful enough to send emotional signals using mass media and other means of communication, but the core of branding has always been telling great stories, whether it was told through a ten second TV commercial or through a print advertisement with picture and words.
Stories are nothing new. They are as old as human civilization. It started when humans gathered around the campfire and figured out that effective storytelling was the best way to pass on the information that was vital for survival. When you fast-forward 10,000 years or so and we see that the emergence of the Internet, mobile accessibility, and social media have changed some of the ways we tell stories. It has allowed anyone to become a publisher of content. It allows us to tell stories in as little as 140 characters through twitter and six-second videos through Vines.
Today branding is not only about what you say who you are, but also about what consumers think who you are. Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world that you are a great company with great products and services. Content marketing is showcasing to the world that you are a great company with great products and services.
Brands tell authentic and engaging stories. 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. Creating a brand story is not simply about standing out and getting noticed. It’s about building something that people care about and want to buy into. It’s about thinking beyond the utility and functionality of products and services and striving for a deeper bond with your customers. Stories go beyond the facts. Facts can be told, but stories can be sold. Stories make memories and builds loyalty with your customers.
Brand stories are powerful testimony of your brands existence. Whether it’s about solving a challenge or a problem or the underdog rising, or the quest for something remarkable; all stories have a personal connect at a deeper emotional and spiritual level.
Today any medium can be used to tell a story, including blogs, vlogs, videos, short films, print, social channels and multimedia. Brands like Nike, H&M, Cisco, Gillette, Mc Donalds, Starbucks, Apple, Toms Shoes, Warby Parker, GoPro, Airbnb, Under Armour, Beats Audio, Virgin etc. are all built on story telling.
What stories do you want to tell around your brand? Begin telling a compelling and honest story that makes a deeper connection with your customers and associates.