The Importance of Storytelling & Brand Positioning

Storytelling! We’re all familiar with the concept. We’ve been told stories our entire lives and we tell them ourselves to make conversations more lively. So, the concept of creating a story about your brand to make it more lively makes sense, no? The thing is, storytelling is no longer a nice commodity to tack on to your campaign last minute. Storytelling is an essential part of positioning your brand in the right way to create a space in the consumer’s mind specifically for your product. You’re saying, yes, of course, that makes sense, but do you know why it makes sense? Or how storytelling manages to do that? Let’s look a little further at the importance of storytelling in your brand positioning strategy.

There are countless reasons why storytelling is a necessary part of creating a brand identity. But in the interest of not dragging this out, we’re going to talk about what we believe are the three most important reasons to craft this storytelling cocktail. 

1. Differentiate Your Brand From Others On The Market

When positioning your brand, you need to ask the baseline, but important questions: Who are we? What makes us unique? What do we offer that others don’t? Brainstorming and finding that niche that you occupy, that sets you apart, that is unique to you, will help create the blueprint of your individual brand. Once we have the blueprint, now we can start to build it up and flesh it out. How do we do that? Storytelling! 

One way to start out your brand positioning and storytelling adventure is to figure out your brand voice. If your brand was a person, how would you describe them? Are they funny? Goofy? Caring? Quirky? Passionate? Create a list and then try and find at least three common themes between the words you have chosen. We use these themes to further develop the personality behind our brand voice by developing stories that the personality/identity would participate in, which is the best way to capture audience attention.

2. Humanize Your Brand

Alright, stats and facts no longer cut it. There are countless products on the market that do the same thing. We all want to save the world right? Well, that is a far fetched promise that, for a while, many brands were promising they would do. That is just not possible. No more of this. Using your company’s own story and values in your marketing campaign can attract an audience and prove your brand’s efforts are making an impact on either a small or large scale.

Humanizing a brand by talking about your relatable struggles, successes and histories can set you apart from others in a few ways: 

  • Creating relatable content can help articulate the audience’s journey for them, illustrating the benefits and uses of the product in a fun, easy to follow way. 
  • Formulating a story where your audience can cast themselves into the role of the protagonist can facilitate in bringing the product to life.
  • Bringing about an emotional connection with your audience will help create that unique space in the mind of your audience specifically for your brand.

Take Charmin Toilet Paper for example. When you think of this product you automatically think of the family of bears that frolic in the woods and look happy as can be. When one of them uses the restroom? It’s Charmin to the rescue! Something as simple as a family of bears can create a situation where numerous viewers can cast themselves into this scenario and relate to this product without thinking twice.

There are ways to create memorable content by pulling on the audience’s heartstrings to further humanize without promising the world. Take the SPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan for example. The music, the animals, the message she delivers – all these components work together to humanize the SPCA brand and make it relatable to anyone who has ever owned and loved a pet. And you can guarantee that there is at least one person in the room on the verge of tears.

3. Capture Your Audience’s Attention

Everyone knows law firms exist. But do we remember specific firms’ commercials or marketing campaigns? As a whole, they usually consist of a person, more often than not a male in a business suit, standing in front of a green screen saying how much they want to help you in an almost scripted robotic way. But would you be able to remember exactly which law firm belonged to which monotone ad? Probably not. 

To capture the attention of the audience, you have to think outside of the box. This is where those unique themes come into play that we discussed earlier. Have you ever seen a commercial that seems like it is a clip out of a movie and then at the end, a random product pops up? Believe it or not, that is actually an advertising/marketing strategy! The commercials that end in “To Be Continued…” or have viewers go on their website to vote for how they want the next part to go – all part of a marketing strategy! This storytelling takes boring old ads and creates fun stories for consumers to follow. And ya know what, the more ridiculous, the better! If you haven’t lived under a rock the past few years, you probably remember the Mountain Dew commercial that featured Puppy Monkey Baby… For days, if not weeks, people were talking, “Hey did you see the crazy Mountain Dew commercial with that monkey baby puppy thing?” Yes, they think it is crazy, but they REMEMBERED it was Mountain Dew! Job well done for that campaign.

Keep in mind, the Mountain Dew marketing campaign is an extreme example but sometimes it takes extreme examples to get people to understand that no idea is too out there. Sometimes it is easier to think of these outrageous ideas and then find ways to tone scale back and shape them into what makes the most sense for the position of your brand.

There are so many possibilities when it comes to creating memorable content. All of these examples used are different ways in which a company has successfully used their voice to create a position in the market specifically for their brand. Storytelling as a form of marketing gives you a chance to show your audience who your company is at its core. Get creative with it, have fun, explore all the possibilities and remember, no idea is too big!