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BRANDING | Make Storytelling Work For Your Brand

February 1, 2018

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BRANDING | Make Storytelling Work For Your Brand

Storytelling by itself is not a new concept. However as a brand strategy, it’s an effective way to engage with consumers and build bonds with them, and it’s something that more and more brands are starting to recognise and take advantage of.

Having something to say in the first place is, of course, the first piece of the puzzle. But what is being said needs to have some relevance to the product, the consumer and the overarching brand message, in order to have any level of resonance or authenticity. From authenticity comes trust and trust, as we know from the laws of attraction, leads to long-term relationships.

Steven Levitt, economist and author of Freakonomics, has said:

“In a marketing world where people are constantly being bombarded by false messages, authenticity is the one thing.”

Brand storytelling though, isn’t as simple as just having something to say, or just having a story. As with any effective communication strategy, to be truly successful, a brand has to have a thorough understanding of its audience, and as well as this, the narrative needs to be delivered in the most appropriate way for them – and for today’s brands, there are many choices of channels to use.

The media that consumers are using to engage with brands is changing all the time.  Our use of technology brings with it another, different level of emotional engagement. This can be leveraged to deliver a story in a way that aligns and resonates with the way that consumers are experiencing the world around them.

The use of technology, especially social media, enables consumers to actively interact with brands like never before. Consumers are now, more than ever, expecting to connect to brands in this way, and what’s more, are willingly becoming part of the storytelling process.

Social media is very much about the here and now. But how does storytelling benefit a brand in the future? The designer, Vivienne Westwood has talked about the identity, longevity and life her products are given when stories are ingrained into them:

“One of the reasons some things I designed 30 years ago are still seen as edgy is because they tell stories”.

Westwood believes that stories are inherent in everything but that it is the consumer that edits that story when they engage with the product and makes it theirs in their own unique way.

“Everything has to tell a story. Somehow the clothes have this story integral to them. And for everybody that tries the clothes on it becomes a different story. But because it’s had the story to begin with, it adds character to the person.”

I hope your own brand story has a happy ending!

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