The art of storytelling - the key to consumer connection and loyalty
It is such a joy in our line of work to watch our clients performing at their best. We are in a privileged position to gather unique insights into what makes a brand successful. Sure, you need a strong product and service. However, to cut through the noise in a hyper-competitive and saturated marketplace, this is not enough. It is essential to also have a compelling brand story and impactful storytelling.
This will enable you to:
- Define your brand identity and communicate your story with clear purpose
- Create a lasting impression on your audience
- Ultimately grow your business
So what do we mean by your ‘brand story’ and ‘brand storytelling’?
A brand story is a summary of your company’s history, mission, purpose and values with a narrative structure that brings it to life. Who you are, what you do and most importantly why you do it.
Brand storytelling is the process of creating a series of plot points to build an emotional connection between a brand and its target audience. The objective is to humanise your brand and interact with your audiences in a more meaningful way. This way, rather than a customer base, you build a loyal and devoted community who will support you and tell others about you.
Successful brand storytellers tap into feelings, desires and frustrations that resonate with others. In other words, they reveal a common ground that consumers can connect with. Studies show that brains are genetically wired to respond to stories rather than facts as they stimulate feelings.
Steve Clayton, Microsoft's Chief Storyteller identifies five fundamental elements to tell the story of your brand:
People - stories should always be about or come back to people
Place - anchor your story in a defined environment or setting: it is easier for people to relate to you this way
Pictures - can be powerful and if you build great assets they will travel
Personal - don’t shy away from revealing something personal about your company: showcase the human side
Platform - consider which is the best platform to reach your audience & grow your community
Once you have completed these steps, your story should address three touchpoints:
Status Quo - talk about the industry you are in and the way things are
Conflict - be honest about the challenges your company faces/ has faced
Resolution - demonstrate what you are doing to solve this
Finally, always remember to be uniquely you, backed by facts, stats and testimonials. This will allow you to build an authentic connection to cement the trust between the brand and the consumer.
Authenticity is key because your story has to be honest and credible. According to the Content Marketing Association (CMA), “authenticity and building personal connections are two of the most powerful ingredients to content marketing success.”
“Consumers in 2023 seek community-driven content that evokes an emotional response, keeps their attention, and helps them understand a brand or product better. Your brand stories define who you are, what you do, what you care about, who your customers are, and the values you align with.”
Here are three of our favourite examples of brilliant brand storytelling in 2022/2023:
Heineken’s clever ‘Closer’ campaign highlights our desire for greater work/life balance to spend less time in front of screens and more time with loved ones.
The Selfie Talk campaign highlights the harmful effects of social media on self-esteem and appearance, particularly in young people.
Maltesers ‘Motherlover’ campaign shines a light on the challenges faced by mothers in the workplace and the ways those around them can step up.
To leave you with some words of wisdom from acclaimed storytellers and South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker - a great story needs causation. They explain simply that between each beat in the outline of your story you need the words ‘therefore’ or ‘but’. Whatever you do - avoid ‘and then’ at all cost - otherwise your story is likely to be boring. This could be a good starting point to tell the story of your brand. Why don’t you have a go? And drop us a line if you get stuck.
To find out more about how FF&M can help you tell your brand story, email email@example.com.