Storytelling is central to the way we communicate as humans. Think about the visual storytelling that existed in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics that communicated complex narratives in simple illustrations.
Fast forward a few thousand years and we’re now using emojis as another way of communicating.
Since childhood we’ve been been used to the power of storytelling. Think about your favourite stories. Today, storytelling helps brands connect with people. It’s a great way of using creativity to get our message across (beyond facts and figures).
Let us share the basics of storytelling with you and help you identify opportunities to tell your brand story in a different way.
1. Think about your favourite childhood story, film or book. The formatting of stories is vital to their success and they are largely based upon five key pillars:
A premise – the point of the story. What is your central theme?
A goal – What’s the objective of the story? Add some hurdles and an antagonist to add tension, intrigue and the opportunity for victory.
A hero – A person/organisation that assumes the hero role and becomes critical to achieving the goal of the story.
Beneficiary – Who will benefit from the hero’s efforts? How will it affect them?
Resource - what can we use to reach the goal?
2. Try this….can you de-construct these stories? Titanic, Jurassic World, Beauty and the Beast
Many brands use storytelling as a brand building strategy. If you sell a product or service, it’s easy for competitors to blend into each other. Finding opportunities to differentiate can be tricky. Let’s see how some brands have done it…
Dove – leading FMCG brand in women’s beauty and healthcare. They compete for mainstream consumer attention at a similar price point and distribution base. The challenge is to find a way to cut through the noise.
Recently Dove saw an opportunity to develop a position that flew in the face of convention and created strong differentiation. They connected with their consumers, broadened the definition of ‘beauty’ and introduced real women into their brand. “Dove’s purpose is to promote self-esteem and to celebrate real beauty.”
They relaunched the brand using the campaign ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’. You must watch this! >
Video taken from Dove YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk
This campaign won many awards and accelerated the brand’s financial performance and it quickly became the category leader in the UK.
3. How you should think about storytelling
It’s not exclusive to communications, it should be everywhere in your business. Your stories need to be told when meeting customers, at a football game or even in the pub. Stories are 22 times more memorable than facts and figures, it’s a really powerful way of getting your message across.
But what types of stories do you want to tell?
Things that matter - where your products or services have helped customers. Think of a scenario where you listened to the needs of a customer, took ownership and suggested a solution.
Create the magic – Showing you care about your customers. Your customer service.
Going above and beyond – what do you do out of the ordinary?
Think about the opportunities you have to deliver your brand and personality. What about that instruction poster, the functional piece of signage, a non-descript piece of collateral. These are all opportunities to elevate your communication beyond joe blogs and deliver a bit of magic.
How to do it:
3 important things to consider:
Insight into the problem/issue you are trying to resolve.
How your business is relevant to solving the problem.
There’s your story.. What’s your idea? Make it relevant and credible and the magic will come from the creativity.