The right brand narrative has the power to increase the value of your business’s product or service by over 20 times.
Why does the story matter? It is what makes your brand significant. It’s the inspiring copy, the well-thought-out Instagram posts and website design, and the compelling video that turns mashed peanuts into Peter Pan Peanut Butter.
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What Defines Great Brand Stories?
When marketing storytelling is done well, it:
- Clearly establishes what your brand is all about – its purpose, core values, and mission
- Offers the consumer more than just a product or service, but rather an experience that transcends mundane reality
- Motivates the reader or viewer to step into that experience. This is done by crafting content in such a way that your audience feels as though they’d risk losing access to this somehow sublime experience of being a part of your brand if they don’t buy, follow, or sign up right now.
- Will boost your lead generation by as much as 16 times!
Whether you are trying to convince someone they can’t live without creamy peanut butter on toast or the financial advisory services that can set them up for a comfortable, vacation-filled retirement, it’s through the way you tell the story of your brand and what you’re selling that you make an impact. This is how you can wield the true magic of experienced content marketers.
1. Marriott’s #AtTheMoxy
Moxy is Marriott International’s new boutique hotel brand that caters to millennial globetrotters. The brand is a trendy harmony of luxury-chic accommodation, youth hostel, and all-night bar. The marketers for Moxy have crafted a brilliantly entertaining video series, Do
Not Disturb, which features the host, Taryn Southern, dishing up her best cheeky antics with social media influencers like Amy Pham and Oli White.
Every episode, uber-cool Instagram shot and even the hip black and magenta site design tell the Moxy story – and allude to expert mixologist services. What wanderlust-struck 20 or 30-something can resist?
2. Warby Parker Eyewear
Positioning themselves as the alternative to the high-priced, oligopolized eyewear industry, Warby Parker doesn’t just sell quality glass frames and sunglasses. It invites its customers to become a part of the brand’s movement
That’s a story every hipster with less than 20/20 vision would appreciate – and tell their friends about. Warby Parker gets the whole storytelling thing right, providing a socially-conscious brand with a genuine vision. The company donates a portion of their monthly profits to their nonprofit partners to make basic eye care and affordable eyewear available to communities in developing countries. This huge gesture is just a part of the Warby Parker story. And one which can yield a lifetime commitment from customers.
3. Zendesk Alternative
Zendesk, the makers of customer support software, created one of the most hilarious and ingenious marketing campaigns to drum up interest in their company. Their ‘anti-storytelling’ has the effect of making their brand extremely likable and even trustworthy as they cast a very human impression – something any small business owner would appreciate from an SaaS provider.
Instead of creating a video to tell the story of Zendesk, they crafted an entertaining video about Zendesk Alternative. Which happens to be a fictional indie rock band, frustrated that a customer support company ‘stole’ their band name, yet admitting their need for Zendesk’s services to keep their careers going. To finish this masterful example off beautifully, the band writes a cheesy jingle about the importance of customer service.
Mouth is a living, breathing anthology for some of the most passionate food and beverage makers in America. The company exists to tell the (really interesting) brand stories behind the indie creators of everything from artisanal chocolates and hand-made pastas to small-batch tequila and gourmet honey – and to sell the food and beverage products as gift packages and subscriptions on their mouth-watering e-commerce site.
You have to admit, learning about apples, grown on a small orchard in upstate New York by people who view making cider as one of the last vestiges of true American folk culture, is pretty compelling marketing. By posting the personal stories of the small business owners who make these products, Mouth adds a whole new level of meaning and value to the items they sell.
5. Nike – Equality Campaign
Nike has always excelled at brand storytelling. One of their best campaigns is Equality. It makes a strong statement about the company as a force for positive social change, offering something more to today’s athletes than just a pair of sneakers and branded workout gear. This is an example of using brand storytelling to connect with the audience, inviting them to become a part of a collective movement by wearing Nike products, or at the very least, engaging on social media, such as sharing one of the brand’s always inspiring videos.
6. SoulCycle – Find Your Soul
SoulCycle has come up with a powerful story to compel people to pay close to the price equivalent of a monthly membership at your typical gym, for one 45-minute class. While this brand does offer a high-end fitness experience, with a focus on atmosphere (there’s music, the instructors are more inspirational speaker than fitness coaches, and there are candles), it’s the narrative that entices people to try it out.
SoulCycle offers a tribal, transcendent experience with each workout. “Our riders share a SOUL experience. We laugh, we cry, we grow – and we do it together, as a community.” There’s the promise of real motivation and a sense of belonging. The high-powered workout almost becomes an afterthought to the excitement of signing up for a SoulCycle cardio party.
Great brand stories may not change the world, but they will let your target market understand why your brand is worth their time and money.
As Dan McAdams, PhD, author and professor of clinical psychology at Northwestern University says, “If you want to know me, then you must know my story, for my story defines who I am.”
Image credit: Pixabay
Are you interested in activating the storytellers inside your business?
I use a combination of personal branding, consistent social audience building, and support in creating authentic and ongoing thought leadership content. I’ve done it for myself. I’ve done it for the companies I’ve worked for. I’ve helped activate hundreds, probably thousands, of thought leaders to tell better stories. I’ve done it for numerous clients. And I can do it for you.