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Why Tell a Brand Story?

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

“Why tell a brand story?” Brands need to tell stories to draw people in and captivate them. Studies show that our attention span is less than a goldfish, but this isn’t true. We have an attention span and can focus on things for longer than a New York minute. We just take a fraction of a second to determine if we want to pay attention to the thing in front of us, before moving onto the next interesting thing vying for our attention. With so many brands competing for eyeballs on a small screen, audiences have an infinite amount of content to cast aside when looking for something interesting. Due to marketers and advertisers using the same data to create their content and copying each other, it’s easy for people to swipe for the “NEXT” because we’ve seen it all before.

Our Brands are Lost in the Content Overload

There are more content creators today than ever before and they are screaming at the digital world at the same time, resulting in nothing but noise. To stand out you need to do something different - you need to create an emotional connection with your audience and give them something for their attention.

what happens in 60 seconds online in 2021
What Happens in 60 seconds online in 2021 Infographic created by Twitter user @Lorilewis

How can You Get Seen Online with All That Content?

Brand stories, when told right, enable brands to connect with their audiences and customers by putting them at the centre of the story. You have to make it about the audience, not about YOU - unless you are building a personal brand - then you need to tell your story to the marketplace.

Personal Brand Storytelling and Brand Storytelling are different due to who the story is about. In personal brand storytelling, the hero is you. In Brand Storytelling the hero is your customer. Be clear about who the audience is and what story they want to hear before you craft one word.

Yuvi Alpert, Founder, Creative Director, and CEO of Noémie

The internet has become overrun with short form advertising that has left our intended audience numb and is why we leaned towards ways to connect with our customers on a human level, and we found that ability in storytelling. The average short-form advertising such as pop-ups, holds a viewers’ attention for less than three seconds, but storytelling promotions have engagement rates of up to ten times higher and sharing rates approaching nearly twenty percent.

Book Review of the Storytelling Animal by Jonathan

Humans are Hardwired for Stories

The human mind constantly creates and consumes stories because they affect us physically and mentally. We love stories because they help us understand the world around us and clarify what we learn and experience.

In brain studies, researchers discovered the same areas of the brain light up if the person is having a real world experience or watching a movie where characters are going through the experience.

So, we can use storytelling to create experiences for consumers that are just as impactful as if they were participating in a real-life event.

During an escalation of conflict driven events in a story, chemical reactions take place within the brain, like the release of oxytocin and dopamine, flooding humans with a rush of emotions. This happens according to Marsha Rossiter, in her 2002 work, "Narrative and Stories in Adult Teaching and Learning", because the audience becomes engaged and therefore remembers the story messages. Researcher Jerome Bruner found that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22x more memorable.

Retrieving, reliving, or repeat watching of stories results in what Aristotle refers to as “proper pleasure”—a catharsis— a slow unfolding of tragedy and catastrophe that then leads to the moment of realization and release—the “hamatea”—or experience of catharsis (1)

Brand stories help marketers resonate with their audience by weaving common threads between them and their audience to create an emotional connection, helping people to remember what they learned, and make brand decisions. So, to ensure your marketing messages have impact, use brand storytelling techniques to successfully achieve your marketing goals.

Liza Kirsh, Chief Marketing Officer of Dymapak

Brand storytelling is a key strategy for companies that want to stick out in the minds of consumers and shape narratives about themselves in the marketplace. Every company needs to fulfill these capacities and they are only going to become more important in the future world of business. The ability to tell an effective brand story is a competitive advantage and this is only amplified in the realm of online business.

David Rowland - Head of Digital Marketing at EcoOnline.

Brand storytelling is the future of marketing because it is personal and human. The marketing industry is moving away from impersonal, mass-marketing campaigns and instead focusing on communicating with consumers in an intimate, individualized way. It's about a relationship between brand and consumer—not just a transaction.

brand storytelling community
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What is Brand Storytelling?

Brand Storytelling is a messaging strategy to connect a brand with an audience using a variety of channels and approaches. It starts with understanding who the brand is, what it wants to be known for, and then telling stories around how everything associated with the brand is exemplifying the core message. If you and everyone who touches your brand doesn’t know your story’s core message – You have a problem.

Daniel Carter, Marketing Specialist at says, “brand storytelling keeps your staff on the same page by recording your brand narrative. By developing brand rules, you decrease the risk of the story being misinterpreted or misspoken. Documented principles serve as a reference to which every area of your business should align, down to the font of your storefront sign, because every component is important to present your story.”

Adam Ng, the CEO and Founder of Trusted

Brand storytelling is a cohesive, consistent narrative that intertwines the facts and emotions your brand evokes. It focuses on using a narrative to connect your customers to your brand by focusing on your values, mission, and history.

Is Brand Storytelling a Buzz Word?

As a content creator, writer, novelist, marketer, and advertising salesperson, I’ve been a brand storyteller long enough to know – it isn’t anything new. It’s not a buzz word but a long tried and true method to advertising, marketing, and selling. In his book, the Science of Advertising, Claude Hopkins, tells stories of how he used storytelling in advertising at the turn of the 20th Century to get people to buy products from tires to oatmeal.

Kevin Daly, Marketing Manager, Zevo Health agrees saying Brand storytelling isn't just a buzzword—it's a proven strategy that helps companies build relationships with their customers, which in turn helps them sell more products and services.

Does Brand Storytelling Work?

When I was selling advertising, I used my graphic skills to create a spec ad to take to a meeting. As I went through my sales pitch, I marked up the spec ad to tell the story the business owner wanted to tell to the market. By the end, they were ready to buy because they saw their story coming to life on the paper.

I recently was going through boxes of stuff I put into storage when I got divorced 10 years ago. Inside the boxes, I found books on selling, marketing, and advertising. From Brian Tracey’s Stories Sell CDs to Hey Whipple Squeeze this by Luke Sullivan and Sam Bennet, these professional textbooks told me that storytelling works.

When it comes to the future of marketing, the brand story methodology is popular. To find out if brand storytelling does work in the real world, I asked people, “Why tell a brand story?” I got 85 responses.

Brand storytelling is a method of communication using multiple channels for marketing and advertising initiatives.

Cody Candee of Bounce

By telling the real stories of our customers, it showcased common problems, which in turn, demonstrated our service as the common-sense answer to dealing with them. In doing so, we were able to message our brand, rather than having to explain it, making communicating the concept much easier. Storytelling gave our niche business the identity that matched the consumer’s need.

To Attract the Right Customers

Ever get a customer who gave you more headaches than they were worth?

When we tell a values-based story and show what we can do, we will attract customers who are like us and repel those who will be a problem. Which is why bad reviews are a good thing, they let people know if you expect this then look elsewhere. WAIT SHANNON – “I DON’T WANT TO LOSE CLIENTS.” – You’re not losing a client. Your reviews are clearly telling people what they can and cannot expect when they hire you and you really don’t want another client like the one who expected high end luxury service for budget cost cutting prices.

Robin Brown CEO at VIVIPINS* says, "storytelling is the best way to describe what your brand is about, who you are and who should be connected to you. By telling honest, genuine stories, you define yourself and your brand. Those who identify with your ideals will be drawn to your content."

Chenadra Washington CEO, Founder Black Orchids PR

In a society where many are striving to “find their tribe,” brand storytelling is becoming a more appealing option for marketing. Effective brand storytelling makes people feel like they are a part of something. It ignites feelings beyond the product or service that is being offered.

Sumeer Kaur, CEO and founder of Lashkaraa

Today's customers want to feel connected to what they buy. They don't want to purchase items at a big box store but prefer to support smaller brands with a mission and values they can align with and a brand story they support.

Why tell a Brand Story?

Telling brand stories helps customers identify with your brand and adopt it as their go to because your stories gives them the reasons to choose you over their competitor. If you want to stand out in today's busy and loud Internet world, you need to have advocates out there talking about you and telling people to check out you brand.

Word of mouth is key to success, but they have to have a story to tell and most people can tell a story, few can tell a great story. Discover how to help your customers tell your brand story better - Become a MarketAPeel Member for premium content.

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