THE BLOG
09/29/2014 09:52 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Build Your Brand Through Storytelling

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Garnering increased sales, adding new clients and achieving a higher level of success is what brand building is all about, and building a brand is done a bit differently today that it was in yesteryear. For example, brand building used to be primarily about telling a customers facts about your product or service.

However, today, more and more individuals are finding story telling to be an effective tool in brand building. Casey Hart of Informer Messages on Hold, a company that works with companies to create short recorded stories instead of on-hold music for their answering services, claims that "Facts tell. Stories sell." That mantra is a great way to understand the impact a good story has on a brand.

Why Storytelling?

Some assume this trend towards storytelling has to do with the increased popularity of social media, which in and of itself is a great way to get your story heard. Others believe that as humans, we have always loved a good story and nowadays more marketing professionals are rediscovering that fact and using it to their advantage.

However, regardless of the reasons behind its increased popularity, storytelling is an important part of brand building you need to be utilizing.

Read Below to Learn How to Incorporate Storytelling Into Brand Building:

Speak the Truth
Story telling sometimes brings to mind exaggerated fishing stories or a boat captain's yarn of adventure. However, when speaking about your brand, you need to be truthful, but it is okay to use colorful or flowery language and spin it a bit to suit your purpose.

In other words, don't claim your product can do something it cannot through a story. However, it's okay to set up a "fiction" story as long as your clients know it's fiction. In other words, never claim a story is coming from a real customer if it's not, but it's okay to create a hypothetical story, as long as everyone knows it's not true.

Create a Well Crafted Story That Serves a Purpose
When creating your brand story, you must be purposeful in your storytelling. Outline the steps you want customers to take and illustrate why your product or service is important to their lives. Remember your purpose for story telling is to create a memory.

Do you recall those stories your teacher told you in grade school to help you remember a historical event? Wasn't it much easier to remember a certain battle when your teacher shared an exciting story about what occurred there?

In the same way, creating an interesting, genuine story about your brand that people will remember is the best kind of story to craft.

Choose the Right Stories

Selecting the correct story to use for your brand is a must. The stories are more impactful when they are personal. To help you narrow your choices down and settle on an angle, think about how your brand was born, what inspired you to create your company and define your personal mission.

More than all these factors, though, consider the needs of your audience or clients when choosing a story to use for your brand.

Make the customer or client the main character and share a story of how your service has made them successful or fulfilled a need.

Be Indirect, Not Overly Pushy

Although you are selling your brand, you don't want it to be obvious that is what you are doing. You want to craft your story to have three acts, just as any good story should, the situation, the conflict and the resolution.

However, when creating a story for your brand, you also want to add a fourth element, that being a call to action. Remember, do not be overly pushy, instead, inspire your customers to buy your product or acquire your service through your storytelling.

Examples of Successful Storytelling in Brand Building

The following are a few examples of some widely known brands who have had success using stories to build their brand:

  • Hallmark: This card making company frequently uses stories to sell their products and create brand recognition. The ad that shows a little girl give her grouchy piano teacher a Hallmark card, which in turn warms his heart and causes us all to want to go by a card, is one such ad.
  • American Express: This credit card company used a woman's actual story as their mailing letter. Her story was about moving to a new city, getting into an accident and calling American Express to take care of problem. Her genuine story showcasing American Express in a positive light, caused a 35 percent increase in response rate for the company. The use of the story represented the company's brand well.
  • Ford Truck: Ford's super bowl ad was a beautiful storytelling display narrated by Paul Harvey. The story was that of a farmer. More specifically, why God created a farmer. The ad was designed to sell trucks, but the ad told a story about small town America and the hardworking individuals who built the nation, making it a huge success. The story of a farmer played well into the brand building element of Ford, since Ford desires to be known as a truck for hardworking Americans.

The art of storytelling goes back to creation.

However, today, it is being utilized anew in regards to brand building. By following the tips and examples listed above, you too can utilize storytelling in your brand building process.