Brand Storytelling Comes To The Forefront Of Digital Marketing
In a digital age in which sites bombard us with pop up ads, cascading banners, rolling tickers and newsletter sign ups, marketing agencies have turned to brand storytelling to craft a more informal and personal connection with consumers.
What is Brand Storytelling?
Traditional Brand Marketing would entail a case of hard selling to the consumers what we believe they want to hear and see. Brand Storytelling requires creating a narrative, perhaps even a campaign, that elicits an emotional connection whilst making clear the brand’s message and values – it doesn’t necessarily directly tie to a company’s product or service. It is about creating trust in the brand first before anything else.
What are some examples of Brand Storytelling?
More recently, directors and creatives have been brought in to deliver stylised pieces that would rather focus on how the product/company should make you feel rather than what it is.
Award winning film director Wes Anderson was hired by H&M for their Christmas Ad ‘Come Together’, Baz Luhrmann has worked on numerous fashion pieces for ‘Chanel’, Lena Dunham produced a stop motion art piece for ‘Planned Parenthood’.
The focus isn’t entirely on the product or company in any of these adverts but mainly on the tone, the language and the conversation which aims to break that formal barrier between company and consumer. Should the consumer value the story and the message, they will instantly have a deeper connection to the company or product because of that emotional tether.
Why are companies turning to Brand Storytelling?
Online consumers and media have acclimated to a point now where one can be inundated with adverts and callouts and find that most, if not all, is either skimmed over or entirely scrolled past and ignored. Modern online users are masters of the lean-back method of browsing and conditioned to ignore anything bland or samey, especially when visiting a site can now result in five pop up ads, an overlay banner and non-skippable videos.
As a result, brands are turning to creatives to catch the eye of the reader and provide some colour and personality with the hope that they want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Traditional marketing copy can read as boringly as a page of mundane IKEA instructions. The trick is to bounce off the page – identify consumer points and keep their best interest in mind without being a hard sell.
Different types of Storytelling
Make no mistake: there isn’t one right way to tell a story and one must obviously adapt the narrative based on the location and nature of the advert.
We have consumer-generated storytelling in which we repurpose reviews as consumers are more likely to trust and value their peers than a company with a vested interest. Consumer-bias is a real thing and brands have to see their loyal consumers as a key asset in the quest to expand their customer base.
We have fact-based storytelling which naturally lends itself to social media posts and visual storytelling. People can get lost in the numbers and that could spell disaster, but they also process images quicker when attention and time is scarce, data driven storytelling can often cut to the heart of the matter and get your message across with no fuss.
And finally, we have creative storytelling. Here, brands and companies often schedule a campaign around a holiday, a social moment or a societal initiative to break down that barrier between human consumer and a faceless company. The point of Brand Storytelling is to give a brand a personality, a level of trust so that consumers see a service that wants to help rather than a service that needs to help to stay afloat.