The art of storytelling has been around for centuries. Long before brand guidelines and marketing plans and social media strategies, people provided their services and products to others by going door to door sharing their stories. Some would say it’s the oldest form of marketing, yet so many companies simply overlook it when it comes to developing their brand’s vision. But storytelling must be a critical part of any brand’s overall plan.
Why is storytelling important to marketing? Why should your company tell its story? How can you tell this story? What benefits come from brand storytelling? Well, let’s start at the beginning.
Stories Are The Bones To Your Brand
Very similar to how stories can shape a person into who they are, they can also help brands determine their identity as well. Stories provide structure for a brand, they allow companies to really hone in on their vision and why they are doing what they set out to do. Without a story, a brand can feel aimless and inconsistent. Having a story helps guide a brand in a focused direction and can set the entire tone.
If your company is struggling to determine what your story may be, ask yourself these three questions:
1. How did your company or idea begin? Was it over coffee with a best friend? The dinner table with family? What made you think there was a need for it?
2. When and why did you finally decide to make that “leap of faith?” Did you quit your grueling corporate 9 to 5 to start your passion? Maybe someone inspired you?
3. What feeling or service do you want to give people that you think will make a difference in their lives and how does that relate to your past experiences?
Storytelling Makes Your Brand More Human
When it comes down to it, true connection is developed through stories. And when told well, a good story can help a wide range of people connect and understand your brand better. Helping your audience understand why they should believe in your vision through your story will encourage them to not only support you, but trust you. It also breaks the fourth wall in a sense, showing people that real humans are behind your brand bringing in emotion, creativity and community into the entire experience.
The more real your story is, the more real the connection between you and your audience will be in the end.
Only You Can Tell Your Story
With the introduction of the internet and the emergence of social media, it’s incredibly difficult to sell a service or offer a product nowadays that hasn’t been seen or heard of before. Even with unique twists to what you offer, it can be a challenge to stand out in the crowd.
This is one of the main reasons why sharing your brand’s story is so important. No one can tell your story the way you can and no one person has the same story. Even if you feel your story has been told before, it hasn’t because your voice will always be unique to who you are.
A great example of this is the origin story of Bumble, a dating app that was developed when these apps first started gaining traction. The founder, Wolfe Herd, was a co-founder at Tinder when she decided to leave and write her own narrative, a narrative where women controlled the conversation. Based on her own experiences with dating, she knew there was a need for this type of dating app and her story made the app stand out even after an influx of other apps hit the market.
Stories Help You Build An Authentic Audience & Following
Think for a minute about every brand you’ve ever been loyal to. Think about what sparked this loyalty. It’s probably safe to say that a good amount of these brands caught your attention through some sort of story that made you feel allied with their values, vision and goals. Most brands struggle to find their ideal audience, but this is mainly because they lack a story, a real tie to the outside world. Incorporating your company’s story into your brand not only helps you gain a loyal following that will lead to profits, it will also tailor your audience for you.
Once your story is out there for the world to see, the people who resonate with your core values will come to you. In the long term, this will help you to determine where to put your marketing efforts, how to develop profitable strategies, and how to center your brand moving forward.