Linking storytelling to your brand can be easy. But what are the best practices in how brands integrate strong emotional responses to their initiatives?
Brands know they must find ways to create, produce and deploy strong and impactful brand storytelling.
Audiences are looking for that emotional connection.
People watch movies and binge-watch series because these productions are able to create that kind of connection (and it is the reason why also producing television shows at Toast, alongside branded content, makes so much sense).
Some brands do it very well. Consistently.
Proctor & Gamble
The Content Marketing Institute has published examples of brands that really found their voices and keep producing great brand storytelling.
Proctor & Gamble stood out for us in the article.
It went back to its values, what the brand stands for and built on that. They did not try to pack a product shot into the story, they did not start from a product or service. They started from their purpose.
For P&G, it became a content initiative based on diversity in media investment. It follows similar content that was produced to support black creators in the United States.
Their goal: tell stories that matter.
“All brands – regardless of size – can tell and promote the stories of people who don’t have a platform to further their message.” (quoted from the CMI article)
As for Volvo, a great piece they tells the stories of people whose lives were saved by the 3-point seatbelt the brand invented.
It does not talk about their most recent models. It does not talk about the service you can get with your Volvo car.
It tells a story around what the brand has always stood for: road safety.
There are so many great examples of strong brand storytelling.
Airbnb is one of them.
In their series “Host Stories“, they showcase great stories where Airbnb made a difference in a host’s life.
This approach is directly in line with what we teach and advocate when speaking about brand storytelling: it is not about you, the brand. It is about your stakeholder (customer, partner, etc) and how your brand HELPED solve THEIR problem. Your brand is a guide that has a plan (this is actually textbook from the Storybrand model).
In their case, the stories aren’t told using video, but rather as thoughtful articles that tell the story. And I think this is what makes theses stories work so well. They are easy to share, easy to consume.
Telling these types of stories falls into the “story of success” type from our article 6 types of stories for powerful brand storytelling. Types of stories that, just like what Storybrand recommends, focuses on the reader and how they can identify with the main character of the story rather than focusing on the brand and how good their product or service is.
Manchester City is an English football club that has global awareness.
Sports has always been a great vehicle to tell stories. There is emotion, energy, empowerment, athletes that live to go beyond themselves.
And this is exactly the type of story they put forward when introducing top women’s goalscorer Georgia Stanway.
This is a story about a woman who overcame adversity to become one of the world’s greatest athletes. It’s also a story about a football club that has been committed to supporting female sports since its inception. The type of story fans (and non-fans) can relate to. One can identify with this woman and how she went beyond expectations to play for one of the most prestigious teams in the world.
A story that fits the “Story of people” from our 6 types of stories for powerful brand storytelling article.
Honda & Monster
What do you get when two brands get together to share audiences, intent and values?
You get the type of story Honda & Monster were able to create around the Dakar Rally off-road endurance race.
Once again, a strong example of brand storytelling that goes beyond the brands’ products and services. It is all about both brands’ desire to tell extreme stories.
It is all about what content will interest the audience they want to reach.
And this is where cobranding, and brand collaborations work best. Each benefits from the other’s digital audiences, expanding the reach of the story, while also sharing risk and costs.
A win-win situation.
These are brands that “get” brand storytelling. That knows how it creates an impact and why it is important for brands to go beyond features and benefits.
How is YOUR brand doing this? What does your brand stand for? Who can your brand give a voice to? Let’s talk about it.