Once upon a time....
This is perhaps one of the most stimulating sentences we grew up with. It meant something exciting was going to be told to us which was going to transport us to another world. A bed time story took us to the far away world, away from realities. Even if the story didn't last more than 15 minutes, the imagination lingered in our minds for hours and sometimes even days and months. This is the power of storytelling and most people apply it to their everyday lives even after they grow up. From marriage proposals to emotional ads, people bank on it to leave an impression. Hence this article...
In this article, we will give 4 practical ways to apply storytelling to your brand through brand perception and marketing. From a simple logo to your website and social media, you can build a story everywhere. Let us see how.
Brand Logo - An Important Part of the Story
If you want to weave a story around your marketing and branding, the first step is to give a character to your logo. It is essentially what writers do when they start writing a story. They build a character sketch of the main protagonist and in the case of marketing, it is your logo. Will your logo be like a middle-class father or a mighty gladiator? Will it be masculine or feminine? If feminine, will it be beautiful and abstract like Gudrun of D. H. Lawrence's 'Women in Love' or will it be strong like Larsson's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'? Remember, characters themselves are as much the story as the story itself.
See the logo above; it is manly, sporty, simple and yet so high class, just the way an elite golf player would like it.
This logo brings the delights of Venice in a split second with its beautiful imagery.
Sometimes the logo is the story in itself. Here see how this logo characterizes Bronx and zoo together creating a subtle, natural beauty around it.
Sometimes the logo in itself might not tell a story, but some creative left brainers can see a story with some imagination. For instance, you must have seen the BlackBerry logo all this while?
But did you see this eerie cemetery in it?
Website - Your Story's Preface
If logo is your story's character, your website is its preface or a trailer. Your preface or trailer is a way to ensure you get your audience's attention in within less than a minute, so that you can keep them hooked until they have read or seen your story through the end. From an interesting about us page to a full-fledged parallax website, you can leave an everlasting impression on your audience through your website.
For instance, this homepage brings Yorkshire right onto your desktop making you crave to scroll down and claim the natural Yorkshire beauty.
While it could have been easy for Masons to get carried away and make a dark and uninspiring website, that is so common in this industry, they took an alternate route and brought Yorkshire in the picture to do justice to their dry Yorkshire gin.
No matter what you are selling, you can differentiate yourself through a story and this second example proves that yet again. EveryLastDrop takes you through a routine day and tells how water is wasted day after day. It tells you how to save water in a way that makes a mark on even the most unimaginative person.
There are several ways to create a website from hiring a professional web design and development agency through to creating your own blogs and online pages. Depending on your requirement you can choose the best method to tell your story; for instance if you are a content marketer or blogger, you can opt for WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr. Both Tumblr and Blogger are easy to use and a good option for story-telling but WordPress comes with end number of features and plugins making it relatively easy to monetize it. If you already have a WordPress site and want to monetize it, you can do so with ShopIntegrator WordPress plugin which allows you to add ecommerce features like shopping basket, buy buttons and payment methods.
Content Marketing - Your Actual Story
The actual story begins with content marketing, with each blog post or article, you further advance that story. Content marketing is the narrative that takes the story ahead. To cut through the clutter, storytelling is essential. According to an article in Forbes, to understand why storytelling works so well, we have to look at why most forms of advertising fail to connect with readers. The topmost reason cited is the inability to be different.
Let us take a hypothetic case of a children's apparel ecommerce website.
Now on your website, you have oodles of cuteness with pictures of toothy toddlers, pretty girls in pretty costumes and dashing young boys. This builds the character of your story. Think of it as an illustrated children's book. Now you have to take this illustrated book to the next step through content marketing.
For instance, if you have designed a blue long gown that reminds you of the bygone era, dress up a girl in that dress and reiterate the Cinderella story with perhaps props like carriage and fairy godmother in the background. Now retell the story in your own way through pictures and words.
Follow various seasons and holidays with special apparel designed for the occasion, dress up kids in this apparel, take loads of pictures with children having fun, and build some story around it. Who knows, your blog might become the next best bed time story for children!
Social Media - Your Media Agent
Every story needs a media agent or publisher that takes the story to the masses. In today's age, social media is this agent. It helps you take the story to the right people who want to hear it and will appreciate it. Social media marketing is a fantastic tool to take your story to the masses. It helps you build trailers and summaries, a short glimpse of what the story is all about.
There are so many awesome Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages today that tell a story piece by piece, that you just can't help being engrossed and eager to find more.
So these are the four ways you can apply storytelling to your marketing, from the logo of your brand through to social media, it presents a complete picture of storytelling in marketing that you can use for your brand.