BrandingDigitalHall of FameOpinion

The brand of storytelling

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Every campaign is a woven story

“The best brands are built on great stories.”—Ian Rowden

We have all grown up on stories. Fairy tales, real life adventures, imaginary world in our minds; all of them are stories in one way or the other. Compelling stories have the power to change minds, hearts and even life.  Stories have the capacity to ignite emotions and inspire our spirits. Well written or well-narrated stories become a part of us. And since it is difficult to give away that part, brands have found a way to establish themselves in the minds of the customers.

The art of storytelling is still alive and running and brands are trying to develop a long lasting relationship with the audience. Customers do not just buy products; they buy emotions and relation to everyday life. Just content does not create a brand; it is more than the pitch and power point presentations. With stories, brands send signals and the way they are interpreted give an indication of how exactly customers respond to your narrative. If it is a narrative that grabs their attention and is relatable, then it makes more interesting for them to buy the product.

ONCE UPON A TIME…

An effective brand building requires a compelling storytelling. Stories build brands and brands build customer loyalty. Given the intensity of social media interactions, campaign stories which reflect the current social and political issues tend to tug at the heartstrings of the consumers. The commercial by Anouk, The Visit was a poignant statement about the need for LGBT equality in the country. Featuring a lesbian couple going about their daily routine and preparing for a visit from their parents, the commercial generated a lot of conversations on social media. With this simple narrative of a story, the brand established itself as a favorite for those women who are not afraid to be themselves.

STORIES: CONNECTING PEOPLE

Google, the most popular search engine in the world also took the route of story-telling to show its humane face to the users in India. For a country still dealing with the scars of partition and a populace trying to get used to a digital penetration, Google combined both in its story. Showing the reunion of two friends divided by partition, the ad showed how Google is built into our daily lives. A well-narrated brand story is often re-narrated to someone else. After all, a brand is a brand when customers create other customers.

When a story remains, you know that the brand has created some sort of an impact. Stories make the brand feel more personal, it helps people connect. A heart-warming narrative behind selling a product makes customers feel that the brand will keep up to their promise. Samsung also took this route to promote its customer service amongst the audience.

CHANGING NARRATIVES, DEEPENING COMMUNICATION

Brands have changed their marketing communication to connect with people on a deeper level. A commercial with a good story cleverly intersperses the product into the customer’s minds. When Maggi re-launched itself in the Indian market, it did so by digging up memories. One of the most popular ones that struck a chord with the audience was the commercial set in a hostel. The tone of the commercial was such that every ex and current hostel dweller could relate to it. After all, there is #NothingLikeMaggi.

Dove took storytelling to a different level and included the customers in its narrative. It turned its customers into heroes in its ad. The effect? It has become one of the most trusted beauty brands that promote the idea of the real beauty of women. This is an example of using customers to gain more customers.

Branding is no longer only about entertainment, it is about narratives. Customers cannot be just taken along for a ride; they need to feel like they are a part of the ride.

 

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