The Art of Brand Storytelling

September 04, 2018 / DON'T TAKE YOURSELF SO SERIOUSLY

The Art of Brand Storytelling

September 04, 2018

Dave Alder President Media and Entertainment, Bulldog Drummond

Dave plays a key role in uncovering consumer insights and working to bring a very clear customer point of view to every project. He is a brand veteran with 21 years of experience at the senior executive level within the Virgin Group of companies and held the position of Chief Marketing Officer of Virgin's entertainment division for his last seven years with them. 

As humans, we’re wired to connect with stories that fill our minds with pictures and our hearts with emotions. When we think back to early childhood, many of us can warmly remember the stories our parents told us. The images of characters, scenes and moments are etched into our brains. Words and phrases still resonate. Plots, twists and turns remind us of happy days. Many will stay with us all our lives.

A great brand story should do the same, building emotional connection and leading to wonderful, memorable experiences. To a brand it’s everything. It inspires, it relates, it resonates, it builds trust and it forges a relationship.

Building A Brand Story – 3 Tips

Know The Audience
It’s vital that a brand knows who they want to connect with. We’re not just talking about demographics. To create a great brand story there has to be a deep understanding of the customer as a person rather than just as a target. What are their loves, their hates, their media preferences, their routines and the other important aspects of their lives? If a brand’s customer personas are a little light when crafting a story, stop and take the time to add meat to the bones.

Translate The Positioning
It’s important that stories aren’t simply drawn from the pages of a positioning PowerPoint or brand book. They must always be constructed around what a customer wants to hear, not what a brand wants to tell. In other words, they need to be translated.

There are a lot of considerations. What’s going to command interest? How can the story relate to passions and interests? What will be perceived as being valuable? What are the emotional triggers? And more.

One thing to consider during the translation phase is tone. All marketing jargon needs to be avoided. Brands need to find terms and phrases that will grab attention, yet still represent their own personalities. Whether it’s by connecting through informal tech lingo or local language, it’s always a case of connecting in the way that works best for the customer.

At this stage it’s also important to think in visual terms. What does the picture that will form in the customer’s mind look like? How will they react to it? What will it mean to them?

Once you think you know, find a way to test it.

Share Effectively
After the story has been crafted, it’s time to think through how it will be communicated. A brand story needs to work across all channels. The customer journey should be reviewed to identify the most suitable opportunities through which to share it. A content audit could also help so that the story can be adapted for different situations through a variety of mediums and tools, from video to infographics and a lot in-between.

A drip-feeding strategy can work well to identify the level of customer resonance and reaction before total implementation. Hashtags can be very effective tools to communicate the story. They’re also a good way to share the story’s chapters over time. In a world that loves binging on emotional media, this tactic can work well.

Read more from Dave.

Dave Alder President Media and Entertainment, Bulldog Drummond

Dave plays a key role in uncovering consumer insights and working to bring a very clear customer point of view to every project. He is a brand veteran with 21 years of experience at the senior executive level within the Virgin Group of companies and held the position of Chief Marketing Officer of Virgin's entertainment division for his last seven years with them. 

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