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The Power of Storytelling in Marketing

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

We live in the age of information. With our phones, we are just a few applications away from Google, email, or social media. Personally, I have taken an online course I searched for using Google, an app on the side on my home screen. Sometimes, information comes looking for us through pop-up ads. All of these leave us overwhelmed. However, somehow through all this avalanche of information, we still give more attention to certain contents than others. How do you presume this happens? Stories! Captivating stories!

Storytelling is a creative tool marketers employ to spin a narrative around a brand and its product. Irrespective of size and acclaim, companies of all kinds have included storytelling in their marketing imperatives.

An emotional connection with the audience

A good story is one that evokes emotion out of your consumers. A story does not even need the audience to relate to it before they feel something: a good story makes people want to relate to it, feel the characters' pains and joys.

The use of narrative has enamored customers to brands. It has been proven to influence audience behavior. Reportedly, 55% of customers decide to make purchase due to the level at which they connect with the brand narrative. This percentile find where they fit into the stories told and followed their sentiments which ultimately ended in patronage.

Recently, the proven effectiveness of the brand narrative is the inspiration for companies to adopt storytelling as a means to an end: establishing strong connection with consumers, and subsequently, sales. Research shows that 92 percent of consumers want advertising to come in story form, complemented with engaging images that will leave an impression on their minds.

During the promotion of their “real beauty” campaign, Dove, through storytelling, called out the unrealistic beauty standards women were pressured into having. It highlighted the difference between how women look and how they feel they should look. This campaign struck a chord within every-day people who were physically different from supermodels on social media and TV advertisements. Techniques such as this helps in bridging the gap between consumers and company.

Stories take your customers behind the scenes

There are a thousand-and-one ways to tell a story, and there are even more angles you can approach a narrative from. You can decide to go behind the scenes and tell a story from there. This appeals to the imagination of your customers.

In the early 20th century, Claude Hopkins did what no other contemporary advertising agency had done: he catapulted a brewing company from a struggling brand to a top contender in two weeks.

He had his services called upon by Schlitz Brewing Company to help salvage their issue of stagnancy in beer sales. All brewing companies were using one key word in their campaigns: purity. No one knew what that word meant, and it was never explained. One visit to the plant, and Hopkins had found out something interesting about the brewing process: the beer bottles were sterilized multiple times before use; the filtering equipment were cleaned two times, everyday; the beer was cooled in a room where the air was filtered to prevent the drink from contamination.

This was the standard all breweries abided by, and yet, that information was never included in any campaign because that routine was considered boring. Hopkins hopped on that and weaved a story about how pure Schlitz beer was.

Whenever you are telling a story, have a defined purpose, and analyse the market and your competitors. What are they leaving out? What do you have in common with them? What is the trending topic? This will serve as a guide to writing a persuasive story.

What to take home

As it is important now, brand storytelling is the future of marketing. We are emotional beings and want to feel like our choices matter. Behind every case of customer loyalty is a story pointing at the emotional connection between consumer and brand. It is the same story that explains why you find yourself going back to that brand. Do you want you to make the process of buying your product memorable for your customer through storytelling? Are you interested in making your customers feel whenever they make a purchase?

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