Our society has developed so that consumers are constantly bombarded with information. There is always a new product or service out there and new information to absorb. Consumers cannot pay attention to all of the stimuli they are presented, as such, marketers must rely on storytelling to create compelling narratives that connect with the consumers that matter most. Storytelling involves using narratives to communicate ideas, illicit emotions and drive behavior. As marketers, we must know that we cannot appeal to everyone, however, we can try to delight certain customers with storytelling and keep them coming back to our brands.
Good storytelling can create lasting and deep connections with audiences. Humans are driven to stories so when a brand humanizes their product, they are much more likely to influence target customers. Stories elicit emotions and motivate consumers. They also tend to be easier to remember and are more likely to result in learning and recall. Customers that connect with your storytelling efforts are much more likely to engage in a conversation with your brand and provide insights that allow your business to thrive.
Storytelling has the ability to generate interest and turn seemingly boring brands into exciting ones. Let’s look at some brands who have done storytelling right:
Burt’s Bees is a personal care brand that sells skincare products, makeup and more. The brand prides itself in creating all-natural products but could have easily been perceived as excessively tame and uninspiring. In recent years, the brand has utilized storytelling and humor to increase excitement.
In 2014, the brand created a documentary in which they introduced audiences to Burt and his simple yet untraditional view on life. They also created 30-second videos with “Burtisms” or Burt’s philosophies (i.e., “If the shoe fits, wear it. Unless it’s my shoe”). The brand even provided users a 360-degree view of Burt’s cabin. Burt’s Bees storytelling is well integrated across platforms and gives audiences a compelling view into Burt’s life, making customers much more compelled to engage with the brand and purchase their products.
Thinx sells period-proof panties, a product that is surrounded with stigma and countless misconceptions. The brand has utilized storytelling to tackle the taboo around menstruation with its blog. Called the Periodical (how clever!), the brand includes hygiene tips, recommendations from gynecologists, essays, poems and information to help women better understand and celebrate their bodies. The blog helps differentiate Thinx from other menstruation products while providing value to consumers and building deep connections.
Known for selling antiperspirants and producing clever ads in the last years, the brand has continuously used storytelling to entertain viewers and position their product as playful and thrilling. Aside from TV and online ads, the brand has recently published a site called the School of Swagger where they teach boys to navigate and thrive during puberty. They even have an e-book called The Struggle is Real: A Wild Guide to Growing-Up for Moms and Sons! Their content is appealing, tells a clear story and entertains while educating consumers: a success in storytelling.
Storytelling can help brands forge deep and lasting relationships with customers and cut through ever-increasing competition. We can use the aforementioned examples as inspiration for future strategies and campaigns to develop stronger storytelling for our brand.