Capturing consumer emotions through brand storytelling
Why is it that we remember our favorite stories from childhood as if we just read them yesterday? The scripts to classics like “The Giving Tree” and “Where The Wild Things Are” seem to have been imprinted on our brains, remaining with us years into our adult lives.
The answer is actually quite simple. These stories stirred emotions within us while we read them. Our emotions then created an attachment between us and these books.
As the creators and gatekeepers for such a large percentage of our clients’ messages, we should incorporate these lessons from childhood into our work as public relations experts. Great storytelling is also the key to capturing our target consumer’s emotions.
We should weave storytelling into the tactics we are already using in our client programs. The integration should never be forced, it should come naturally and each story should have time to evolve on its own. Storytelling is mostly a long term brand investment. It should also play a role in brand growth. Remember the more your brand generates user emotion, the longer it sticks to people.
Some ideas for effective brand storytelling:
- The simplest way to use storytelling is in your brand generated news, or what we typically call a press release. The standard boiler statement should summarize the company in a colorful and nostalgic way, rather than just spouting off the who, what, when, where and why in a perfunctory fashion. Did the original founder of this 100 million dollar corporation X bootstrap for 5 years, living out of a 300 sq. ft. NYC apartment? These are emotive details of the brand’s history and in certain cases they may work out to become an important part of boiler statements. Always keep it professional, but with a creative flair that adds an air of intrigue for the reader.
- Within the body of the press release itself, take a different angle. Unless this is a trade release intended to announce a product and provide technical specifications to financial and other related industry interests, mix it up a bit. For example, imagine you wanted to craft a press release which will be used to enter your product into wedding season gift guides. Weave the brand story into the press release to enhance intrigue around your product. Here’s an example of how you can do that. The product is Monocle tiaras (all fictitious references): “Monocle tiaras were the first tiaras to be worn by flower girls during the weddings of the wealthiest families in colonial Boston and Philadelphia. These young girls were gifted these delicate and hand crafted tiaras by the bride as gifts. This year, present to your readers a way for them to not only capture the love of their bridal party but also a piece of history….”
- The fact that modern brands now have their own digital channels across which they can consistently transmit messages, presents a number of new opportunities for brand storytelling. The ideas are endless and we will just present a few.
- Create video footage to talk about transformations in any of your client’s companies. Did the client just grow and move into a larger and higher-end location? Create time lapse video footage of the evolution and use it as social media and blog content. Don’t forget you can also send it around to publications which cover their industry news to try to stretch it’s impact a bit further and also garner publicity for them.
- The use of influencers, both professional and amateur. You can hire professional influencers with millions of followers to naturally incorporate your client’s product into their lifestyles and tell stories using the brand across all their social channels as well as their news blog. Sometimes even more powerful is the use of everyday people to create brand stories. These would be more commonly called testimonials but they have become more sophisticated than just some written words. Many brands (this has been especially popular with the mommy brands) hire everyday ladies to participate in video testimonials which follow them throughout their day and show how they incorporate these brands into their lives. It tends to come across as more authentic because these are not professional bloggers who make a living at this sort of thing.
- Last but not least, depending upon your brand, you can tell compelling stories with experts. If you’re marketing skin cream, get a high profile dermatologist to attach himself to your brand, work with him to generate before and after stories of clients who used the cream to transform their appearance and at the same time their self-esteem.
More ideas for creating compelling brand stories? Share them with us in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always love to hear feedback or take the discussion to the next level.