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HLO INSIGHTS

What is brand storytelling?

You keep hearing a corporate story is indispensable to your brand. For only stories evoke emotions and move people. The message:  ‘Brand storytelling works.’ So if you're building a brand, you need a brand story. But why is that the case? And what is brand storytelling?

What happens when brands tell a great story? Why brand storytelling works:

A brand is alive. It can breathe, create connections, and inspire interaction. A solid brand has a personality, a brand identity, and values. Briefly put, a brand is like a human being. And that's why people identify with it.

Your brand story bridges the gap between your brand and your audience. Why? You can reach people by using narrative elements (usually, a story includes characters, rising action, and a conclusion at the end, among other things). A look at history shows that an authentic, original, and inspiring story virtually never fails to catch on. For stories help us understand each other.

You don't have to create a great story from scratch, as brand stories should not be made up. The challenge is to unearth yours. If you go about it the right way, the result is a story that puts your brand on the map. If you know how to use visuals (including video storytelling and animated branding) and words (for example, through content production), you'll create an experience — and, therefore, a relationship between you and your audience. This is how you'll turn customers into fans. And they are invaluable to your brand!

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Put your brand on the map with an inspiring brand story!

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Want to inspire people? Make your abstract company story accessible and create fans!

If you properly apply the brand storytelling method, you're basically engaging in a form of community building,  as brand storytelling is an effective means for turning customers into loyal fans. But only if your story is inspiring and you consistently convey it in your communications. You should also use the connecting factor — the emotional connection — in the right way.

An inspiring story is one that people can:

Identify

Remember

Retell

How to tell a good story that helps you connect with your customers?

1

Start with your ‘why’

British management expert Simon Sinek summarizes the essence of storytelling in the title of his book, Start with Why. The underlying idea is that those who share why they do what they do inspire employees and, therefore, customers. Your ‘why’ is your higher brand purpose. It's why you exist, so it provides guidance on everything your organization does.

2

Be honest & authentic

Who are you? What's the added value of your product or service? How do you enrich the lives of your audience? Make sure your brand story is authentic and truly reflects who you are. Ultimately, it forms the foundation for your brand strategy, marketing strategy, and marketing campaigns.

3

Share a personal story

Good brand stories invite people to step into an unknown world — a brand's universe. If you want your target audience to feel comfortable, you should know exactly what makes you unique. It's paramount that you clearly define your differentiator and communicate it in a creative way!

4

Be consistent!

When it comes to communicating your story, consistency is key. But brand storytelling is also implemented in practice. Your brand story is only meaningful if you align it with your actions. So while you need to share a brand story that conveys what you do and what you stand for (through the story, the main character, and the message), you should also make sure to live up to any expectations you've set.

Want to get brand storytelling off the ground and ensure it’s effective?

At HLO Branding, we've developed a 360-degree approach which we use to unearth, shape, and communicate your authentic, distinctive brand story. During brand strategy sessions, we define your brand personality, values, and pillars and map out your vision, mission, and goals. All this comes together in your brand blueprint, the foundation for your inspiring brand story and positioning.

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Would you like some practical tips? You'll find everything you need to know in our download!

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