Brand Storytelling: what it is, examples and how to put it into practice

Brand Storytelling Examples More
Brand Storytelling Examples More

Brand storytelling is the creation of narratives around the history of a brand and its identity. Use storytelling principles and techniques to connect emotionally with consumers. Next, you will better understand what brand storytelling is and how to apply it to your brand.

How would you tell your story? Where do you come from, where did you live, where did you study, why did you get that name, what do you like to do, what are your dreams? These questions help build a narrative for your life, that is, your personal storytelling.

Like people, brands also have stories. And these stories become interesting and attractive narratives from the perspective of brand storytelling, one of the main branding strategies.

Brands also have an origin, places they have passed, difficulties they have faced, people who have crossed their path and many dreams ahead. Telling this story can be a crucial emotional connection point with your audience .

In this article we will talk about brand storytelling so that you understand what it is, the importance and how to use this concept in your brand.

What is brand storytelling?

Brand storytelling is the creation of narratives to communicate the identity of the brand and connect emotionally with your audience.

The history of the brand is one of the pillars of branding. It is made up of everything that is, everything it does, and why it exists. It encompasses all the definitions of brand building, such as personality, purpose, values, culture, mission, and vision.

It should be remembered that the history of brands is also being written in the present, in their day to day, in the decisions they make at all times. Thus, brand storytelling is not only about how the brand got here, but also what it is doing to get where it wants to go.

But we are not just talking about the description of these items on the About us page of the website. Brand storytelling goes much further. This area of ​​branding creates a narrative, with the elements and techniques of telling stories, to speak in an attractive way about their origins, their trajectory and the values ​​that guided their choices.

We are not talking about invention either. You can use fiction in brand storytelling and create a more interesting narrative – and therein lies the art of storytelling. But you can’t make up facts about the brand’s history, okay? People connect with transparency and authenticity. When they feel cheated, the brand throws stones at their own roof.

Why use brand storytelling?

We live in a fast-paced world. There is no time for anything, but new stimuli, new information and new demands continue to appear to occupy our day.

Consequently, consumer attention to brands is increasingly dispersed. It’s very easy to forget the brand of the ad you saw – after all, so many have appeared at once … It’s also easy to switch from one store to a competitor – just open a new tab on your computer …

At the same time, people are looking for stronger connections with brands. As new generations advance, brands and consumers establish ever closer and more humane relationships.

Millennials no longer want brands that only sell products – they want real commitments to society and the future of the planet. Starting with generation Z, this demand on brands intensifies: they must have a purpose and values ​​that connect with the audience.

For this reason, brand storytelling has become one of the main branding strategies. Stories are capable of involving people on a deeper level, which awakens emotions and affective memory, which triggers empathy and generates identification.

Therefore, storytelling is a way of communicating what the brand is, what it represents and the values ​​that underlie its personality. But not through a text that mentions this information in topics, for example. Storytelling transmits the brand in a more subjective and abstract, interesting and attractive way.

Remember that stories are told from the origins of humanity, before any form of writing existed. They are the most primitive way of spreading knowledge from generation to generation. For this reason, dedicating oneself to telling stories is in the very essence of being human.

Think of the image of an old man, with a group of people sitting around him, eager to hear his stories, as in the image below. This is also the case with brands that tell their brand storytelling and involve the community that surrounds them.

What are the benefits of brand storytelling?

Below we will detail the benefits of brand storytelling by bringing together the facts, emotions, values ​​and purpose of the brand in a narrative. Let’s go to them:

Engages consumers

Telling stories hooks the audience. Storytelling inserts people in the story, in the relationships of the characters, in the setting of the story. It is as if the viewer participates in the moment. For that reason, people get involved in the storytelling.

As we said, in a scenario of numerous stimuli and distractions, engagement can keep people closer to the brand for longer and with more intensity.

Humanize the brand

Brand storytelling conveys the idea that brands have stories just like people. They have a personality. They have values ​​that guide their decisions and a purpose that motivates their journey. They go through difficulties and have conquests. They want to find their “place in the sun.”

Thus, storytelling humanizes the brand. Humanization awakens empathy, identification and brings the brand closer to the person.

Build an emotional connection

Brand storytelling brings narratives of achievements and failures, of obstacles and redemption, of friends and foes, of heroes and villains.

Like when reading a book or watching a movie, these stories stir emotions. You support the hero, you cry the defeats, you laugh with the jokes, you suffer with the difficulties and you cry when everything goes well.

That is what brand storytelling also does. By awakening emotions, the brand’s story connects more deeply with its audience.

Increase brand attraction

Brand storytelling not only brings victories and achievements. It also talks about obstacles, failures, difficulties and pains along the way – if it weren’t for them, the brand wouldn’t have gotten this far, right?

For this reason, brand storytelling increases its attraction. According to the Pratfall Effect, the attractiveness of people – and we can understand that also that of brands – increases after making a mistake.

It may sound strange, because nobody likes failure. But the error is human and shows that the brand is authentic.

How is brand storytelling applied in communication?

It’s not enough to create a narrative for your brand. You have to know how to communicate it to the public. Therefore, brand storytelling must appear in communication, at the different points of contact with the consumer, from the most basic formats to the most complex narratives.

The story of the brand can be told in many ways. The most basic channel is the page about the company on the corporate website , which can include a text about its origin or even a timeline with its main milestones. Let’s take Netflix’s About page for example:

How would you tell your story? Where do you come from, where did you live, where did you study, why did you get that name, what do you like to do, what are your dreams? These questions help build a narrative for your life, that is, your personal storytelling.

Like people, brands also have stories. And these stories become interesting and attractive narratives from the perspective of brand storytelling, one of the main branding strategies.

The brand can also tell its story in an institutional video or on social media – in a presentation post, a series of posts, or in featured Instagram stories, for example.

A creative example of using social media to tell the brand’s story and engage audiences is the Fisher-Price Toy Museum.

In 2020, on the brand’s birthday, the company created an Instagram profile as if it were a virtual museum, with all the toys it has launched and that marked the childhood of several generations. It is a nostalgic timeline that tells the story of the brand and, at the same time, connects with the memories of the public.

MailChimp, for example, created MailChimp Presents, featuring various film productions and podcasts on entrepreneurship. In this way, the company is positioned not only as a marketing platform, but as a brand that drives the growth of small businesses.

brand storytelling

So look at how brand storytelling can unfold in different formats in content marketing – far beyond the timeline or basic text about the founding of the company.

The important thing is that all the narratives told by the brand make sense, depending on the branding. The history of the brand, which encompasses its personality, its values ​​and its purpose, becomes one of the pillars that underpins all its actions and strategies.

How to put brand storytelling into practice?

The creation of brand storytelling starts from an in-depth analysis of the real history of the brand and the principles that guide its trajectory. Next, we will see what are the main points that you should analyze to build the base of your narratives.

Debbie Williams, in an article for the Content Marketing Institute, proposes six questions to find the core of brand storytelling. Are:

1. What is the purpose of the brand?

Why does your brand exist? This is the key question of brand storytelling. We are not yet asking exactly how it arose, but the purpose that motivated its creation and that motivates its existence today.

Purpose is the raison d’être of the brand, which makes you wake up every day. It is related to the impact that the brand wants to generate in the world and the causes it defends. It is an aspiration and an inspiration. It should serve to improve people’s lives.

2. What is the history of the brand?

Now is the time to analyze the real story of the brand. Where it appeared? How did it happen? Through what places did it pass? What are your main achievements?

People like to know the history of the products they consume or the brands they admire. So, try to recapture the notable events and the most curious moments, which have the most potential to attract attention, engage the public and be engraved in the memory.

Even if you think the history of the brand is boring, there is always an interesting fact that can be explored to build a good narrative.

3. Who are your main characters?

Throughout the brand’s history, countless people crossed its path. The founders, the employees, the investors, the partners, even the competitors – all have contributed to making the brand what it is today.

Thus, identify who are the main characters in this story. It may be that the founder had an extraordinary conversation with a friend, who generated the idea for the creation of the company, for example. An employee may have had an idea that revolutionized product development. So, catch those stories!

4. What is the mission and vision of the company?

The mission and vision of the company show, respectively, the value that the company offers today and where it wants to go in the coming years. Note that this is a more corporate definition than purpose, which is much more aspirational.

The mission and vision help tell the current story of the company and the future it wants to achieve. Therefore, they also influence brand storytelling.

5. What were your failures?

There is no company that has only got it right along the way. Mistakes, glitches, and failures are common, because brands are made by people. Remember that your company becomes much more human and attractive when it accepts its mistakes.

So don’t be afraid to show your flaws. Identify in the history of the brand what the problems were and how they helped generate the changes that led the company to success.

6. Where are your gaps?

Every story has loopholes. In real life, there are years that go by in white, in which nothing happens or in which things do not go as planned.

When creating a narrative, these moments tend to be erased. After all, there is nothing interesting about them, right? However, when going back to the facts of the brand’s history, it is important to identify these gaps, which may contain interesting moments. On many occasions, this is where the motivation for the changes in the company that lead to its success comes from.

Finally, with these answers, you will be able to capture the essence of the brand and build the narrative of the brand storytelling. From there, you can tell stories that reinforce the identity of the brand and propagate its values ​​to generate empathy and identification with the public. So harness the power of stories to stir people’s emotions.

Probably you wanna read:

Storyselling: learn how to tell stories that sell