Using Effective Storytelling to Sell Your Brand


Think about your favorite television show. What makes you want to watch? The characters? The storylines? A surprising twist ending each week? While that answer may be different for everyone, the desire to connect and truly be engaged is universal. Time spent in water cooler chat can be some of the most satisfying of the day. And the emotional connection we feel to a show, film, song or even product is a vital part of how marketing works.

I recently read an interesting article in Forbes titled "5 Secrets to Use Storytelling for Brand Marketing Success" http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/02/05/5-secrets-to-using-storytelling-for-brand-marketing-success/

The points that resonated the most with me were numbers 2 and 3, and are below:

2. Infuse personalities into stories.

Brand stories are not marketing materials. They are not ads, and they are not sales pitches. Brand stories should be told with the brand persona and the writer's personality at center stage. Boring stories won't attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can.

3. Create characters your audience will root for.

Brand storytelling requires that you create characters your audience will like and cheer for. That doesn't mean you're required to create fictional characters or brand mascots to tell your stories. While characters like Allstate's Mayhem can be very effective in presenting brand messages and stories in a variety of ways, you don't need to create a fictional mascot to tell brand stories. For example, create buyer personas and tell stories from their perspectives. Tell stories from your employees' points of view or from a third-person point of view. The important thing is to create characters that enable your audience to become emotionally connected to them to such an extent that the audience wants to follow their character arcs (discussed in #4 below).

So, it's all about personality. What makes your product or service unique? How can you encourage potential customers to connect with you, your staff or your mission? What, in essence, is your story? Because just like a great TV show, once you get 'em hooked, they'll keep coming back for more.

Katherine Roberts

Katherine Roberts is a Director of Video Production at Carbon8. An Emmy-nominated born storyteller, she loves translating Clients’ needs into effective marketing narratives.

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