“Today, I realised the importance of having a story to tell. It’s what really separates companies. People don’t just wear our shoes, they tell our story.” – Blake Mycoski, founder of TOMS.
For a great extent of time, the art of storytelling has been an enjoyable activity for the any generation. People across all age groups are able to respond to tales in different ways as we age, grow and experience life. This response mechanism allows brands to utilise the power of storytelling in order to form personal connections with their customers and give life to the brand.
Storytelling is an example of what marketing strategists call “emotional branding”. This term is used to describe a process, by which brands are able to tap into personal emotions to increase customer retention. An effective story does not simply provide a series of statements but provides an authentic and inspiring insight into the brand to allow people to not only relate to your stories but to believe them as true.
When customers relate to a brand’s values and voice, they will instantly feel a strong connection. Building positive relationships between the brand and its customers is pivotal to building a successful company, as customer perception is what determines the degree of brand loyalty one will hold. However, before any steps are taken to capture the story of a brand, it is essential that values and what the brand itself stands for are settled. To delve deeper into this will enable the brand to better reach the audience’s attention and emotions. Therefore, we can confidently say that storytelling has the power to set brands apart from their competition.
Mark Truby, vice president of communications for Ford Asia Pacific once stated, “A good story makes you feel something and is universal. People want to buy a car from a company that they relate to and that they understand.” He also said “They want to grasp your values and your commitment to excellence; be inspired and intrigued. Storytelling is the most powerful way to convey these ideas.”
The response gained from storytelling depends on the way that brands use this tool. Some use it to inspire people, by sharing how they view the world around them, while others use it to convey their story in a way that would attract new customers, investors and even potential employees. Many major brands such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Nike provide us with perfect examples of how effective and beneficial storytelling can be.
As all stories have a focus, Nike’s main focus has always been product evolution, to pass on their legacy to future generations and to share their heritage. Examples of this can be seen in many of their campaigns, such as “The chance” campaign. This shows the journey and dedication of a young aspiring soccer player working hard to achieve his goals. The message portrayed from this particular advertisement – was that if you wear Nike shoes, then you will also be able to achieve your goals.