When it comes to building a brand, the story behind your business is just as important as the brand itself. Storytelling offers your selling proposition in a more discrete manner than previous branding models and provides a less invasive means of promotion to the modern consumer. According to marketing agency Contentworks, Gen Z’s interest is hard to capture with an average attention span of around 8 seconds, only increasing to 12 for Millennials. “69% of the Gen-Z demographic also find traditional ads disruptive, and not in a good way.”1 Now, this isn’t doctoring a narrative just because you think it’s what your target demo wants to see. Brand storytelling is not to be taken lightly. It’s not random and it can’t come about by mere happenstance. There needs to be a purpose, a reason for the choices you make when telling your story and when making decisions for your business. This article dives into the basics of brand storytelling as well as our tips for a memorable end user experience including…
- Brand Storytelling: Defined
- Ensuring Clarity
- Authenticity Through Consistency
- Having Fun with Mixed Mediums
1. What is Brand Storytelling?
Brand storytelling is the act of communicating your brand identity and values to your consumers by illustrating a narrative that resonates with them. It establishes an emotional connection that surpasses the outcomes of traditional marketing approaches because it relies on the one thing that unites us all; the human experience. “You get to tell stories about how people’s lives are impacted because of what you do. Share dreams for the future. Reminisce over shared histories.”2 Brand storytelling can present through public relations initiatives, marketing tactics and content marketing – the key is continuity across all fronts. Incorporate contextual and relevant print and promotional products in any of these initiatives to drive your message home and ensure a long-lasting experience. When executed properly, brand storytelling is a more meaningful, more authentic, and more effective way to drive loyal consumers to your brand.
2. Clarity in Your Message
It goes without saying that your efforts need to clearly define your brand. Your end user must understand without a doubt what your brand represents, what you sell, and what services you provide. If you’re developing content for social media or directing an ad, prospects and clients should be able to see themselves as the main character in your story in order for the technique to be effective. For example, if you own a luxury automobile dealership, your story must illustrate the benefits of incorporating your product and services in the lifestyle embodied by your target demographic. Consider depicting a scene featuring a high-profile business person stepping out of the office and into their Rolls Royce or Bentley, rather than a parent picking the kids up from soccer practice. Don’t make assumptions about your end user, either. Do your research! Conduct surveys and gather data from your next campaign to support the relevant execution of future storytelling efforts.
3. Authenticity through Consistency
Would you trust a self-proclaimed vegan eating a Big Mac? Probably not. You have to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk. If your brand represents simple beginnings turned into the American Dream, source promotional product and print vendors that are owned and operated out of the United States. Consistency between your narrative and actions will naturally translate to authenticity. Considering the aforementioned attention spans, inconsistency in your brand in any aspect can lead to an unmemorable experience, or even worse … a memorable experience for all the wrong reasons.
4. Explore the Possibilities with Mixed Mediums
Don’t limit your story to only written mediums! By nature, a story should include characters, a setting, a plot, and a climax. These elements can be communicated via any modern medium including but not limited to social media, emails, podcasts, blogs, short stories, documentaries; even a well-crafted television ad. In fact, leaning into videography and film may serve you best as 65 percent of the population are visual learners.3 They need to see visual representations of information to retain it. The key component to visual retention is the speed with which the message is delivered for processing. Studies show that the human brain can process images and videos 60,000 times faster than text.4 Additionally, people retain 80%5 of what they see, compared to just 20% of what they read and only 10% of what they hear. Try incorporating a visually appealing printed infographic in your customer’s next order or send them a tutorial video via email that features a person unboxing your product, just like them! In this digital, multi-tasking world, visual cues with a powerful hook may be the best way to share your story.
Humans have shared tales in one way, shape, or form since the beginning of time. Back then, the messages were drawings on walls of caves. We’ve long since evolved from those days, but the act of connecting through stories remains. These messages are at the backbone of any business’ success. The right message can catapult a company to new heights but even the right story told the wrong way can bring the same company crumbling down.
Proforma has been in the business of brand storytelling for 45 years. We are here to facilitate a comprehensive print and promo product experience that captivates your target audience and represents all your brand has to offer. Contact us today to set up a call with a dedicated member of our team and learn more about how we can help you share your story.