In today’s fast-paced world of social media, where attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, capturing your audience’s attention in unique ways is increasingly important. Brand storytelling is using a narrative to connect your brand to your audience with a focus on linking what you stand for to the values you share with your audience. Storytelling can be a great way to share your point of view, differentiate your brand and connect with your audience.
Consider The Honest Company, for example. The brand’s ad campaign, website and social media content all highlight the challenges and triumphs of real moms. The stories feel authentic and unscripted. The company makes consumers feel like they’re having a conversation with a trusted best friend. This is the type of storytelling that’s impactful because it makes the audience feel understood.
People Crave Connection
As The Honest Company’s stories show, people like to feel connected to others – and helping them bond over shared experiences can bring storytelling to life. Consumers value the opinions of the people they trust, and they most often turn to family and friends to help them make big and small decisions. When brands tell their stories using real customers, they cultivate this kind of connection and establish trust with their audience.
Communicate a Message
Storytelling can be a powerful way to communicate an important message to your audience. Nike, for example, recently featured all women athletes in its “Dream Crazier” commercial. Using inspiring images of athletes like Serena Williams, Simone Biles and members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, the ad created a huge buzz on social media and helped the brand share its point of view. The underlying message was that Nike empowers and champions women athletes now, just as it has for the last 40 years.
Take a Stand
Today’s brands aren’t simply existing to make a profit; they’re now also expected to take a stand on social issues. The 2018 Edelman Earned Brand report revealed that 64% of consumers worldwide are “belief-driven buyers,” meaning they’re choosing brands that align with their values. Consider Ben & Jerry’s. The ice cream brand launched a full-scale movement to fight climate change in 2015 with a campaign that included the launch of a new ice cream flavor, “Save Our Swirled,” and a published list of endangered flavors that include ingredients at risk, should climate change continue to impact global farming. Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t view the issue as an opportunity to sell more ice cream, but rather the ice cream as an opportunity to shed light on the issue.
So before you start outlining your next blog, social media post, commercial script or website update, consider these three questions:
- What are my company’s core values?
- What kinds of stories is my audience already telling?
- How can I appeal to my audience’s emotions and address their passions and pain points?
By pausing to answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to telling a compelling story for your brand by catching your target audience’s attention and relating to them in new and exciting ways.
Caitlin Roscioli McNichol
When Caitlin’s not busy working with Dotted Line’s clients, she can usually be found planning a skydiving adventure (which she has done not once, but twice), preparing for her next marathon or hiking the Shenandoah Mountains with her family.