8 examples of storytelling marketing
Branding is all about the management of meaning. The killer question every marketeer should be asking themselves is: what is the best way to add meaning to my communications? Phycologists tell us the way we, as humans, make sense of the world around us is through stories. Storytelling marketing has therefore become an essential strategy for any business wishing to grow. The most successful brands are ones that tell a compelling story that their audiences connect with on an emotional level. People don't buy brands. They join them. They join their stories and become part of them.
Storytelling marketing connects with an audience on an emotional level. It helps them experience something deeper than simply using a product or accessing a service. Telling the right story sets a brand apart from its competition.
For a deeper insight into storytelling marketing why not read this article from the Guardian: Sustainable storytelling is a powerful tool that communicates vision
In this post we have put together some amazing examples of great story telling marketing.
Fanshaw college is one of the largest colleges in Ontario, Canada. It tells it's compelling brand story through the symbol of the north star. The college has adopted this as a symbol of what they do - helping to guide and direct their students to a desired destination. This is a great example of how a story can be built around everything a brand does.
The Body Shop is a British cosmetics and skin care company. It was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and was built on making people feel good – face, body and soul. The brand always tells stories around products being natural and produced ethically and sustainably. This is done with simple and clever messaging and great photography.
Dollar Shave Club tell a brilliant story. They tell it in a direct, rebellious, tongue in cheek way which works. Their marketing is set up around the question: Why pay more for shaving technology you don’t need? Many shaving companies out there have features that promise a better shave, they also charge more for it. Dollar Shave Club wants to change that by delivering shavers to your doorstep for $1 every month. The story is told from the perspective of a rebel going against the grain and breaking free from an unwanted and unneeded shaving experience.
Birds Eye have been telling emotional stories around their products for years. In many of their adverts you find that the Birdseye products are just a small part of the family life which is being lived around them. The most famous of their story telling adverts contain a character called Captain Birdseye (also known as Captain Iglo) a clean living, mature sailor with a white beard who depicts the brand’s ethics of behaving responsibly and being loveable.
Reggae Reggae is a barbecue sauce that embodies the taste of Jamaican jerk spice. It became popular when its creator, Levi Roots appeared on BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den and went into business with investors Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh. What was the secret to securing investment and then the subsequent success of the project? The story. The story which the brand told based around Jamaican culture and fun. “Put some music in your food” is the slogan and the bright colourful packaging all go to enforce the story of living life to the full.
The energy giant British Gas is a home services provider in the UK. In 2008 British Gas was determined to revitalise its brand by putting the customer at the heart of its strategy. It did this by conducting research into how its customers related to their homes. What they discovered became the basis of its marketing approach and led to a number of key customer-centric initiatives. These initiatives transformed how customers view the brand and increased brand performance. Key to this was the story telling marketing based around the concept that the home was the customer’s world. If you needed any help in your world British Gas would be there to assist.
Los Angeles football club is a newly launched football club looking to hit the big-time and play in Major League Soccer in 2018. How are they going to raise enough support? By telling a great story. A story about their city and the wonderful game which can make dreams come true.
This John Lewis Christmas campaign from 2011 is a fantastic story which connects on an emotional level. In case you haven't watched the video above we won't spoil the end but it's all about the long wait for Christmas that many children experience. The question is - why is the little boy waiting? Is it for selfish reasons or is there something more emotional that he is waiting for? A captivating masterpiece of storytelling marketing.
Disclaimer: Attitude Design have not had anything to do with these - they are listed here as inspirational examples only.
So - what story is your brand telling? How are you connecting on an emotional level with your audience and how are you adding meaning to your communications. We hope you have found the above examples inspiring. Good luck with your storytelling marketing.