With the current communication resources allocated to companies, users are literally flooded with direct and indirect advertising. They may be tired of these campaigns. It is essential for the brands that they stand out and have original concepts that speaks directly to its consumers. Customers are becoming more and more expecting quality in the information provided by companies. Which clearly explains the growing success of Inbound Marketing methods. Potential customers want to find a genuine discourse and expect to a company illustrated and sincere arguments. It is from this movement that arose the storytelling.
Storytelling is the art of how to communicate a brand, while telling a story. This marketing practice aims to affect, touch the consumer, by helping to fully identify them with the characters of the story. This method is used primarily by large companies, but it can also be integrated into small companies’ communication campaigns. You don’t need drastic actions for a successful storytelling strategy, a little bit of creativity is enough.
According to the article “The impact of storytelling on the consumer brand experience: The case of a firm-originated story”, to be efficient and to charm as much as consumers as possible, the story have to engages the listener. Besides, the structure of the story have to respect some bases and to answer to some questions: who, what, why, where, when, how and with the help of what? Stories have a beginning, middle and end, and events followed a chronological order. The audience should be able to clearly identify, with its characters, the message which should put the brand in a positive light. Whether real or fictional, stories provide meaning to brands that consumers remember.
Storytelling is not the privilege of large companies. Every entrepreneur has a passion and values which can be shared with its customers. For example, a company created by people of the same family can be buil on family values. Young graduates can highlight the values of “Do It Yourself” currently in vogue. A couple who launched her brand will play the love of a craft that brings them together, etc. I wanted to show you the story of OUTO’s company, built by a young Finnish entrepreneur. This man use his story as the key point of his communication plan, and obviously, it works! You can have a look at his story by following the link of his website >>> http://www.outowear.com/#!about/c10fk.
According to the article and some researches I did on the topic, to succeed in your storytelling strategy, you have to respect three essential steps:
The first challenge is to understand consumers. Admittedly, these are your values that you convey, but they must match with those of your customers. You’re going to get into their head and reflect on the message that will be most suitable for them. The message will be different if the target is male or female, or if the target is professional or a general public.
The second step of the process is to create the hero of the story, of your story. Once you understand your customers, it’s time to offer them a customized hero. Of course, it’s your brand or product which is at the center of the story, but it can not be carried by an object. The company must be personified to allow the consumers to feel even closer. The perfect example come from Coca-Cola which identified its brand to Santa Claus.
The last point is also essential. Companies have to build a whole universe around the story. The universe is important in history because it also plays a role in the perception of the values you want to convey. The elements of decor of the characters must immediately echo your brand.
To conclude, in order to be successful in your storytelling strategy, it is important to bring your audience by causing her emotions. If you captivate the attention of your customers and that you stimulate their curiosity, they will be encouraged to share your story. This latter will enable marketing levers: increasing your brand awareness, customer loyalty, increasing sales and management of the brand.
Article on “The impact of storytelling on the consumer brand experience: The case of a firm-originated story” by Lundqvist, Anna; Liljander, Veronica; Gummerus, Johanna; Van Riel, Allard. Journal of Brand Management20.4 (Feb/Mar 2013)