Stories Are Everywhere So Why Do Brands Struggle With Storytelling?
Brand storytelling is red-hot. Brands want to connect with audiences. They want to engage, entertain and educate. They want to be authentic. They want to tell better stories. Sadly, many brands struggle with storytelling. There’s a troubling disconnect between concept and execution. Why is this happening? Why is storytelling so difficult? A major culprit is failing to consider what the audience wants to know or what interests them. What are their questions? What kind of experiences should be reflected in the stories that brands tell them? It’s Storytelling 101. Unfortunately, too many brands take a brand-centric or product-centric approach to storytelling. It’s about them, not the audience. And here’s the thing: stories are everywhere. As a long-time storyteller and newspaper journalist, good stories pop up all the time. For example, I was talking to my local butcher recently and, bang, an idea for story suddenly emerged. Seriously, storytelling is not that difficult. It takes creativity, brainstorming, collaboration, and a willingness to take risks. There are big and small stories. There are expensive and inexpensive stories. There are complex stories and simple stories. Here’s a couple of examples: At one extreme is a short film created by Harry’s called “A Man Like You”. It’s a three-minute story about a boy, whose father has died. He meets an alien and attempts to teach him how to be a man, which includes shaving. It’s a heartwarming story that has attracted more than 1.7 million views. It’s also an expensive project by a brand that has raised nearly $500-million in venture capital.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is a business card that I picked up at a conference. The business card features a story about Brent Lizotte, rather than listing his contact details. It’s a short story but it’s effective brand storytelling because it’s different and interesting.
Bottom line: Storytelling is easy. It really comes down to thinking about the audience. What are the stories that will resonate with them? What are the stories that people will remember and share? It’s that simple. How do you identify the audience for your stories? Again, it’s simple: talk to them. Ask your customers about their interests? Ask them about the stories that they want to hear? Ask them about the stories that have resonated with them. The more you know about your audience, the better stories that you’ll tell. In many ways, it’s like creating buyer personas for your product. By constantly thinking about your customers, you’ll develop better story ideas and tell stories that make an impact.
I make marketing work for fast-growing companies..and companies looking to grow faster. Through strategic and tactical services, I create marketing that drives brand awareness, customer engagement and sales growth. My approach to marketing is underpinned by storytelling, creativity, and proven frameworks. I also offer coaching services for entrepreneurs looking for strategy and tactical guidance. Join the 2,000+ people who subscribe to my free weekly newsletter for hand-picked content about marketing, operations, sales, raising money…and Canadian news.
I make marketing work for fast-growing companies..and companies looking to grow faster. Through strategic and tactical services, I create marketing that drives brand awareness, customer engagement and sales growth. My approach to marketing is underpinned by storytelling, creativity, and proven frameworks. I also offer coaching services for entrepreneurs looking for strategy and tactical guidance. But wait, there’s more. Do you want to have a better answer to “So, what do you do?”. Take Story Spark, my free video course.
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