The numbers are in, and they seem to suggest that brand narrative and storytelling are key to success in the modern age.
For example, research by Headstream suggests that 55% of people are more likely to buy a product if they love a particular brand story, while 44% will share this narrative and 15% will buy the product immediately.
Brand storytelling refers to the use of a narrative to create an emotional connection between a business and their customers, with a clear focus on the company’s underlying values and its core selling points.
But what are the key elements of brand storytelling, and how can this type of narrative help to successfully build customer relations?
Exploring the Core Elements of Brand Storytelling
As with all stories, brand narratives include a number of core elements, including characters settings, conflict, climax and denouement.
Because of this, brand stories may also have distinct stages, creating a more fluid narrative that’s far easier for customers to engage with.
If you read any significant pieces of literature from the 1950s onwards, you’ll also see that more stories and novels are underpinned by key societal and political messages. In a similar vein, brand narratives are used to convey company values and a business’s core essence, with these interwoven into everything from dialogue to similar types of interaction.
Remember, values are the character traits boasted by your brand or business, and it’s important to capture these within any successful narrative.
From a preparation perspective, it’s crucial that you develop and understand a clearly-defined purpose before launching any kind of storytelling marketing strategy or brand loyalty program.
This starts with the process of defining your brand’s core mission and vision, which will help to inform the external visual elements of the brand and create a character that can sit at the epicentre of your narrative.
Make no mistake; you’ll need to use this purpose as a key driver of your narrative, as this will help to provide some much-needed context to the story and create a clear entry point for relationships with customers.
How do Narratives Help to Build Relationships?
The question that remains is how do brand narratives help to build relationships with customers? Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Brand Narratives Grab the Attention of Customers: Every marketer’s primary goal must always be to grab the attention of customers, and brand narratives (as outlined above) can help to achieve this objective. This is based on the premise that very few people actively seek out advertisements and sponsored messages, while a growing number are now looking to block such promotions. However, stories can be used to subtly engage customers while effectively drawing their attention, creating the ideal balance from a business perspective.
- Brand Narratives Sell Better: On a fundamental level, stories have the combined effect of building interest around your brand and boosting purchasing intent. After all, customers don’t always buy products based on price or technical specifications, and many can be swayed by concepts such as loyalty and an emotive narrative that tugs at their heart strings.
- Brand Narratives Help Businesses to Stand Out: Depending on your industry, there may be a number of similar businesses competing for a finite number of customers. While it can be hard to differentiate yourself on the basis of price or innovation, however, the development of an engaging brand narrative does create a key point of differentiation that may afford you a genuine competitive edge in the marketplace.
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