Brand storytelling is using your narrative as part of your marketing strategy, by telling your story and explaining to your customers why your business started and what values your company represents. It also outlines where you see your business going in the future and how that will benefit your customers.
In a 2019 article Forbes magazine said ‘Brand storytelling is no longer a nice to have. It is a need to have, and what will ultimately maximize your business’s visibility, profit, and impact.’ That’s a lofty assessment indeed, so how can you take advantage of this trend and make your corporate videos more appealing?
In 2009 Simon Sinek delivered this impactful TedX talk about how great leaders inspire action by focusing on the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’. Using examples ranging from The Wright Brothers to Apple, he demonstrates how many of the world’s great innovators were driven not by what they sought to make, but why it was important that they did.
Your business exists for a reason, it started with a ‘why’, and whilst many companies often forget what that ‘why’ is, it still underpins every business. So take a look at why your business is your business, what you’re aiming to achieve and where you want to go in the future. This is the foundation of brand storytelling and is key to getting customers to buy into your brand.
Consumerism has evolved. ‘Today’s consumers aren’t just passively buying from brands. They view their purchases as extensions of their identity and values’. The modern customer expects your brand to have a story and wants to know how your brand values align with their own. If you can build a strong brand identity with a clear set of business values you won’t just have customers - you’ll have a tribe.
A classic example (as referred to in the TedX video I linked earlier), is Apple. How many people have you met over the years that swear by Apple products? They won’t even consider buying another make of smartphone or laptop, even if another brand’s products might represent better value for money! They feel Apple reflects their priorities, values and what they stand for - standing out from the crowd, being innovative and making bold statements.
One of the most iconic advertising campaigns of the last 25 years was Apple’s ‘Think Different’ - not ‘this shiny new computer is great for running these applications you’ll find useful’ - ‘Think Different’. It has nothing to do with how their product actually works or how you’ll actually benefit from it, it's aimed entirely at invoking a deeper, emotional response and sets out their company values clearly and simply.
It might seem quite abstract to be talking about one of the largest companies in history and how their marketing campaigns relate to your business, but Apple (and every other company for that matter) started small and was widely unheard of.
‘Find a way to connect with your customers on a deeper, more emotional level. Do you give them peace of mind? Do you make life easier? Use these triggers to strengthen your relationship and foster loyalty.’
Regardless of how big you want your company to be, your business will benefit from creating a ‘tribe’ of dedicated customers who keep coming back to you, not just because your products or service are useful, but because you’ve created a culture that your customers are part of and share with you.
This is where the video part comes in. Once you’ve done the groundwork to establish your ‘why’ it’s time to tell your customers about it. So take advantage of a medium designed to tell stories - video.
This is a great example of using storytelling to demonstrate the value your organisation brings to the community. Being There is a small and underfunded charity based in Greater Manchester that offers support to people with life limiting illnesses. We were asked to create a couple of videos to help raise awareness - so that they can get more donations allowing them to expand their services and help more people. Instead of focusing on the service we focused on the why, which in Gwyneth & Maddie's example is the invaluable impact Being There has had on Gwyneth’s quality of life.
Gwyneth’s own experience, told in her own words, is both relatable and heartwarming, demonstrating clearly why charities such as Being There need to exist and why funding them is critical to improving the quality of life of those less fortunate than ourselves.