The Essentials of Brand Storytelling
New research is continuing to reinforce the power of storytelling, and demonstrate the need for compelling narratives in communications. According to the 2015 Brand Storytelling Report, the vast majority (79%) of consumers feel engaging, memorable narratives are essential to establishing a connection between a brand and its audiences, but only 15% can recall examples of impactful brand stories.
Why aren’t people remembering the stories they hear? It isn’t that brands aren’t telling stories or generating creative content. Often, they’re trying too hard, at the expense of authenticity. High-intensity, glamorous narratives are fascinating and eye-catching, but they don’t establish a connection with audiences rooted in reality. Respondents to the Brand Storytelling Report survey overwhelmingly wanted to see brands telling the stories of their customers (38%) and regular people (66%). When brands take the time to insert their narrative into real-life, the connection to their audience and response to the product will be more authentic and ultimately establish deeply-rooted brand loyalty.
As communicators, it’s incumbent upon us to find the right balance between what’s compelling and what’s realistic. The intersection between a brand’s attributes and a consumer’s expectations is a narrow juncture. Storytellers should utilize narratives as an opportunity to engage stakeholders with a compelling scenario, educate regarding a value proposition and humanize complexities through the use of familiar themes and language. A truly successful story is one that sparks conversation and provides a reason to engage with the brand.