Tell Me a (Brand) Story!

There’s something about a good book that makes us truly connect with it’s content. It resonates with us, and we often find ourselves thinking about it even long after the final page. The effects of a good story are impactful, and that is why brand storytelling is such an effective marketing tool.

With consumers being exposed to more and more content every single day, it is so important to produce a brand story that not only intrigues them enough to engage in it, but also one that stays with them. One that they will want to share with their friends or family. One that evokes some sort of emotion.

Guinness: The Irish-American Dream

Like any other strategy, it is important to understand your target. Knowing what brings out their strongest emotions and building a story around that is essential in brand storytelling. Which is why Guinness’ “Empty Chair” spot is a perfect example:

What does their target love? Beer. What do they love even more? Patriotism. Put those two together in one heart-warming story, and you’ve got yourself a winner. This spot was not only successful because it offered an intriguing message, but also because of the execution. Every shot, every angle, every facial expression was shot with a purpose, and this can make a huge difference in how your story is perceived by the audience. Having a story is one thing, telling it effectively is another.

May I “S Suggest” A Better Script?

When it comes to uncomfortable and poorly written videos, Samsung does a great job. The video tells the story of a typical father-teenager relationship, and how Samsung brought them together and helped make their relationship stronger.

Awwwww. Cute, right? In theory.

I understand the intent behind the story. It had potential, but the extremely poor execution made for a terribly unsuccessful spot.

The bigger issue here is that they were trying to promote a certain Samsung App, S Suggest, and not necessarily reflect on the company as a whole, or its values. Brand storytelling is just that, brand storytelling. The purpose is to represent your brand as a whole in order to better communicate your company’s true purpose. A brand story sells an experience or an emotion, not a product. And I use the term “sell” figuratively.

The Story of Telling author Bernadette Jiwa explains it best when she says:

 “Your story isn’t just what you tell people it’s also what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends.”

Brand storytelling goes far beyond the messages you send your audience. It is about some sort of personal connection to your brand, and the sooner you begin to understand that, the sooner you can begin building your brand to it’s full potential.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. These are some really great examples Andrea!
    I agree that the Samsung advertisement was way off the mark, you’d think they would have thought it through a little more? Or at least made the story fit with their brand a little better. Strange.
    The Guinness clip was clearly a stroke of genius. The level of emotion that it was able to capture in such a short amount of time, is a testament to how well a company like Guinness can be such excellent (brand) story-tellers.

    Again great post!
    -Sadie

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