Creating A Brand Story With The Art of Storytelling

A pink typewriter in the center of the image with a blank white piece of paper sticking out of the top. When writing a story, every storyteller begins with an empty blank piece of paper, and this blog post describes the process of the art of storytelling.
A pink typewriter in the center of the image with a blank white piece of paper sticking out of the top. When writing a story, every storyteller begins with an empty blank piece of paper, and this blog post describes the process of the art of storytelling.

Who doesn’t love a good story? For ages, stories have connected generations and cultures. They help to put complex topics into easy-to-understand perspectives. They help us relate to each other and learn more about ourselves in the process. No wonder brands love storytelling to connect with their audiences, too.

Brands have been embracing the art of storytelling to captivate their audiences and create stronger bonds. A well-crafted narrative certainly stands out in others’ minds long after any trace of the brand is out of sight. It takes a great deal of creativity to tell your brand’s story in a way that not only does it justice but also wins over the hearts of your audience.

And, when done correctly, your brand story can help to earn trust and present you with authenticity.

What does it take to create a brand story to boost your content marketing? Here’s how you can use the art of storytelling to create a compelling brand narrative.

Table of Contents:

What is a Brand Story?

A brand story is a retelling of your brand’s life, how it came to be, and how your narrative is continuing to drive your success today. It shows a side of your brand that goes beyond the visual elements and highlights the emotional side of what makes your brand special. Brand stories are an excellent tool to build greater brand awareness.  

Like any story, a brand story must be compelling to make your audience care about your brand. A brand story can help to build authenticity around your company, help your audience remember who you are, and feel just as connected to your company as you do.

How to Develop a Brand Story

Just like any narrative, a brand narrative is more than a collection of words. It bears certain characteristics, including:

  • Characters. Stories are about someone or something. In brand messaging, the main character is usually your business or your product.
  • Plot. Stories usually comprise a series of events leading to a conclusion. This doesn’t mean these events have to happen linearly, but they should be connected.
  • Meaning. The reader should be able to take something away from the story. In a traditional story, the meaning is usually a moral lesson or important values. This is important in marketing, too! Readers can’t always translate a list of product features and benefits into real meaning. Your brand story’s meaning should connect to your audience’s life in a tangible way.
  • Emotional involvement. A great story latches onto our emotions and turns the audience into active participants. They become part of the story. The most effective brand stories, ads, and marketing are those that make us feel connected to the brand.

These elements are the building blocks of an effective brand narrative. As a marketer, you should develop your brand messaging beyond features and benefits. When your ideal customer understands the impact of your product or service, they can make the right connections. Once you know your brand story, you'll have to decide how best to tell that story. The channels and tactics you use to communicate the history, values, and benefits of your brand are all usually overseen by a brand manager. They are responsible for carrying out your brand management strategy to make sure your story is told in a consistent way across your channels.

What is Brand Storytelling?

Storytelling key elements.

If a brand story is the narrative of your brand, then brand storytelling is the act of putting that narrative to work.

Writing an authentic brand story is the first step of brand storytelling. The next step is to share that story with others. A story left untold can’t make the emotional connections intended.

Brands share their brand story in different ways. For many brands, the brand story exists as its own page on the company website.

But other brands use brand storytelling throughout their marketing. For example, a weight-loss company might share testimonials or case studies of satisfied customers about their journeys. Each of these personal narratives helps to support the narrative of the brand.

The goal is to earn an emotional response from your audience. Get them to share in your values. When done well, brands can build trust and stronger relationships with their audience.

Understanding the Power of Storytelling

Holding the power of storytelling.

What can brand storytelling do for a brand? A lot, actually.

Brand Stories Foster Trust

Storytelling gives us deeper insight into others’ experiences. We get to know people through the stories they share. The same holds true with brands.

Trust is earned through understanding. By connecting with readers through storytelling, brands can generate trust from their audience.

Brand Stories Highlight Your Brand’s Personality

Facts and figures have a time and place. But in marketing, readers are more likely to absorb a message when they’re emotionally connected and engaged with it. Brand storytelling infuses your brand’s personality into the mix to help readers get to know you better.

The reason this is so important is that people trust people, not companies. Personality helps brands because it makes your brand appear more human than corporate.

Brand Stories Shape Perceptions

Stories that connect with us emotionally have a way of sharing, strengthening, and even challenging our own values. They can support or alter our opinions and make us think of things in a different way.

At its heart, marketing aims to influence people’s perceptions and behaviors to drive optimal outcomes. Brand stories play a role in this process by creating stronger emotional connections and creating memorable experiences based on feelings, not facts and figures.

5 Tips for Brand Storytelling

Your brand story will be unlike any other. The most important thing to remember is that your story should read like a story, not a sales pitch. Use these tips and best practices to craft a compelling brand story for your digital marketing strategy:

Tell the Right Story

The older your brand is, the more stories you likely have to share. Brand stories are more than just origination stories. They’re all of your brand’s products, services, experiences, and values woven together and told in a way that highlights what makes your brand so special.

To choose the “right” story, think about why you’re telling your story in the first place. What about your brand will reinforce it in the minds of your readers?

You can tell multiple brand stories in your digital marketing strategy. But each one should circle back to your brand’s core values and relate to your audience.

Know Your Audience

Choosing the right story has a lot to do with knowing with whom you’re sharing your story. To find the right target audience, consider where you plan on sharing your brand story.

Brand stories are popular social media marketing tools because they can reach a wide range of people and present your brand in a non-salesy way. Social media is already a popular storytelling platform, making it easy for brands to enter and start conversations.

You can also turn your brand stories into blog posts. Stories on your blog humanize your brand and give people a different perspective of your company. They can also help you increase your PR coverage and serve as a resource for media inquiries.

Make Your Brand Story Relatable

It’s difficult to buy into a story emotionally when you can’t relate to it. Brand stories pull people in by allowing them to see themselves inside the story.

When brand stories are relatable, they become shareable. Inspire your reader to make your story more effective. Get them interested in the impact of the story, not just the products and services in the story.

Involve Your Readers in the Story

It’s worth repeating: people trust people. Use behind-the-scenes content to pull the reader into the story. Use your audience to help you tell your brand story. Focus less on your brand and more on the people whose lives have benefited from something you provide. This might take the form of user-generated content on social media or hand-selected customers that share testimonials, for example.

Believe in Your Brand Story

No one will feel connected to a brand story if you can’t believe in it yourself. Authenticity is key to creating deeper impressions on your audience. Be consistent in your brand storytelling so people can get to know the “real” you. If they think you’re not being authentic, they won’t bother trying to learn the truth.

For help creating your brand narrative, check out Meltwater’s online masterclass on the Art of Storytelling.

Brand Storytelling Examples

Need some inspiration for your brand story? Here’s a closer look at three brand storytelling examples from companies that are getting it right.

Warby Parker

Leader in affordable fashion eyewear, Warby Parker shares a point-blank brand story about their history, mission, and values. It’s a no-frills description, yet it’s relatable to its core audience because it highlights the struggles that many glasses-wearers have experienced at one time or another.

To support its brand story, Warby Parker infuses these same values and its mission in the rest of its marketing and branding. The company makes buying eyeglasses easy and fun, and its consistency supports the brand’s authenticity.

Moxy Hotels

Moxy hotels brand story.

Marriott Hotels’ Millennial-focused brand knows its audience and is a perfect example of a great brand story that has no end.

Moxy Hotels is upscale and trendy and features hip services like an all-night bar. In terms of brand storytelling, Moxy Hotel’s Instagram channel is a never-ending saga in branding. Its “Do Not Disturb” video series showcases what it’s like to stay at the Moxy, while images and GIFs illustrate the hotel’s eclectic décor, wow-worthy showers, and fun atmosphere. The brand uses influencers and celebrities to show why the Moxy is the place to be for Millennial travelers.

Brand stories tell, not sell, but Moxy’s brand stories do both without being intrusive or desperate.

Hinge

Hinge dating app story.

Billed as the “dating app designed to be deleted,” Hinge turns everything that people thought they knew about dating apps on its head. The company developed out of an awareness that the typical swipe right/swipe left strategy was creating the opposite of real connections. This has become the app’s core brand message and inspired its breakthrough brand story, The Dating Apocalypse.

The company's branding and marketing continue to support this image and show why Hinge isn’t just another dating app. To further its story, Hinge creates empathy surrounding the struggle of dating and focuses on its members-only community for people who want to get out of the dating app game for good.

Turn Customers into Advocates with Your Brand Story

With the right narrative, you can connect with your audience in ways that no stats, facts, and figures ever could. Put your brand into context for your audience so they can see what you’ve known all along – that you’re worthy of their loyalty.

Now it’s your turn: Reach out to Meltwater today to start writing your brand story!

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