How to effectively tell your brand story

How to effectively tell your brand story

Door Carlijn Palthe
Everyone loves a great story, whether it’s a good book, a beautiful movie or a funny anecdote told by one of your friends. Smart brands know this and use stories to create impact and connect with their target audience. Have you ever wondered what makes storytelling so effective and what does it take to make a story stick?

*Derived from an article previously written for Marketing Tribune.
 
There is a scientific explanation behind our love for stories. In short, when we hear a list of facts, a certain part of the brain is activated – scientists call this the ‘Broca area’. This is the part of the brain where we decode words into meaning. While that’s a very impressive functionality of the human brain, that’s also where it stops. Nothing else happens. Just think of a boring presentation with many figures. No matter how enthusiastically this is presented, the story in our head doesn’t resonate with the data. When the presenter tells the same facts within the context of a story, something else happens in the brain. A good story can lead your brain to release ‘cortisol’ (the stress hormones) or ‘oxytocin’ (the feel-good hormones). These are the hormones explaining why you feel anxious while watching a horror movie, or happy when the lovers finally come together at the end of a book.
 
The above doesn’t mean that every story does something to us. So how do you ensure that your story triggers something within your audience? Read ahead to discover five key elements for effective storytelling.
 
Target audience
You have something to say, but why should your target audience listen? It’s simple: know what is going on in their circles and what they find important. During her talk on The Next Web 2019, Melanie Deziel (former Branded Content Editor at The New York Times) repeatedly asked: “Why does your audience care?”. This may seem obvious, but it is often forgotten. Ask yourself this question constantly while working on your next story.
 
Personal
You can tell stories in many different ways, but, ultimately, we are most touched by personal stories. Linking a face to your message is an effective way of ensuring a campaign lingers and touches people. Just think of the gripping “Ik ben inmiddels overleden” campaign by the ALS foundation, in which real ALS patients were featured to raise awareness for the illness.
 
Emotion
A strong brand story is all about stimulating emotion and empathy. It’s not just about what you do, but also about how you influence people. If you can activate the right emotion within the first paragraph of a blog article or within the first few seconds of a video, you have the recipient’s attention. A smart way to do this? Start with a conflict, which causes stress that people instinctively want to resolve. Then end your story with a solution to this stress or a “happy ending”. A good example of a successful, emotional campaign is the “Dream Crazier” video from Nike.
 
Authentic
Authenticity is extremely important with storytelling. Make sure the story suits your brand and remains true to your brand values. Above all, do not make false promises or paint a pretty picture which does not reflect reality (who still remembers the disastrous Rabobank campaign?). A good, authentic brand story is what sets you apart from your competitors. It’s exactly the thing you need to make a difference.
 
Simplicity
Less is more. One of the most common mistakes when telling stories is trying to say too much. It is much better to tell a simple story and to maximize the emotional aspect within this story, than to flood people with different messages.
 
Everyone can push a video with an advertising budget, but reach is not worth much if it doesn’t evolve into something more. Make an impact, connect with your audience and see how an effective campaign comes to life. Need some help with this? Just get in touch!

Lees ook

151 451 296 643 292 616 556 705 727 752 792 784 877 892 901 982 1000 1017 1039 1058 1080 1117 1127 1184 1217 1267 1292 1342 1410 1417 1470 1479 1530 1559 1596 1601 1612 1626 1645 1689 1701 1712 1718 1728 1751 1759 1766 1800 1809 1832 1866 1890 1907 1925 1939 1947 1966 1972 2005 2019 2033 2050 2070 2065 2086 2102 2112 2120 2127 2165 2189 2202 2215 2229 2250 2274 2296 2303 2334 2340 2349 2387 2414 2419 2513 2487 2477 2452 2442 2439 2419