What is Brand Storytelling?

BrandStoryTelling | Imageffect

Let me tell you a story…

Now get comfy… can you remember when your Mum or Dad read to you before bedtime? The soft feel of the sheets, perhaps some warm milk, the snuggle… zzzzzzzz.

Not so fast!

I need to ask you a few questions…

Why do your client’s buy from you? Why don’t they visit your competitor instead? Why do your client’s want to work with you as opposed to some rinky, dink outsourcing company who might be quicker and cheaper?

Are you scratching your head?

Well, if you fall into the category of a successful business, ie. customer’s ARE buying from you and client’s WANT to work for you, there is one common denominator.



YOUR CULTURE, which has originally stemmed from YOU, if you’ve hit the big time.

It’s what YOU – your passion, your drive, your expertise, your love, your amazingness that is delivered to the table each time a customer buys from you or a client chooses you over a competitor to work with.

So it’s VITAL you harness this.

One of my favourite parts of working as a Visual Designer is Brand Storytelling.

Brand Storytelling is the art of creating a story around a brand that an audience can connect with emotionally. Harnessing all that is special about the brand – what it does, how great it is, how it helps the consumer, what its values are, what it stands for, what it shares with its customers, and being able to wrap it up in a unique story that set’s it apart from the gumph of its competitors.

Using a narrative to connect with your consumer is apparently 22 times more memorable than presenting facts and figures.

Good advertising campaigns have used a narrative method to sell products for years. I still remember this fabulous NSW Milk ad from the 90’s. Who hasn’t been around drunk farm boys in a pretty, pink taffeta number? Classic.

And more recently I discovered this great ad for fathers and sons who like to get a bit teary around Christmas.

Actually, I cried too, so it’s not just for father’s and sons. Would I buy a phone from this company? Absabloodylutely! I will 100% remember this company and this story. Because…

In some way, I can relate. I can picture myself in both situations and therefore my brain has illicited an emotional response. I’m at the B&S ball dancing, I’m thinking about my efforts entertaining my daughter as she has grown up, (I’m at the daggy café dancing scene end of the spectrum right now…) Bang, I’m in! Please sir, can I have some more?

Now I’ve provided those two ads as examples of ‘advertising narratives’. They’re BIG. They probably had very big budgets. But, hang on to your purse strings… what do you do when you’re a much smaller business or service?

I am working with a number of small brands right now and we’re beginning the art of Brand Storytelling. One of which is creating a STUNNING range of handmade beauty products. The owner is SO DEEPLY PASSIONATE about his product that I’ve created a written story that will appear on all his packaging design…

“Scentric is made by hand from quality, natural ingredients by passionate owner and creator Robert Shannon,who takes pride in delivering beautiful products with all the benefits a small scale label can bring.”

“Each Scentric Hand Soap is carefully made by hand to the highest of standards, cared for and packed like a piece of art, before being gifted to its owner to enjoy.”

With these simple words we’ve highlighted three things…

  • Small scale label
  • Passionate owner and creator
  • Products are a piece of art

A piece of art. How beautiful. Wouldn’t you like to use a product that someone has cared for so beautifully to care for your skin? Can you see yourself in a herb garden as you use the soap bars?

There is a magical spark beginning to happen between the product and the consumer because we’re highlighting its values and points of difference via a simple story. I can see the owner carefully making his products.

So, where to now?

Here are three simple tips to start your brand story off in the right direction:

  1. Make it personal. Your audience, despite your misgivings actually wants to know about you. Your likes, dislikes, how you work, where you work. What’s WORKING and what’s not. Failures, successes. All of it.
  2. Talk about your history as a business. Did you start in a crappy shed at the back of your parents house like Steve Jobs did? TALK about it. Don’t be afraid to celebrate where you’ve come from, where you’ve got to or where you’re going.
  3. How do you use your product or service? What’s it good for? What does it solve? Can you represent this in a way that’s interesting… perhaps includes humour? Everyone loves to laugh.
  4. Add a surprise. Something unexpected. Something memorable. Can you connect with something or someone that helps you stand out. I shamelessly plug Dolly Parton… I just wish she’d notice! Haha!

We live in a day and age where we have SO MANY social platforms to access and use to to tell our stories. My brain hurts just thinking about it! So go forth and prosper. Come up with a story that’s unique to you…

And if you’re stuck I’d be happy to chat. For the first two months of 2020 I’ll be offering free ‘Explore Your Story’ sessions via Skype. Please reach out to me if you’re interested.

Bree x

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