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What is Brand Storytelling?

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 04 Jun, 2015
Essential Essential topic

Examples of how storytelling can support content fuelled campaigns

Every two days modern humans create as much information as did all our ancestors combined. It is estimated that by 2020 we will have produced an additional 20 Zettabytes of information, which is 4,000 times more bytes than it would take to store all the words ever spoken by human beings. That is a whole lot of noise to get your message heard through.

How can companies communicate effectively with their audience in today’s crowded digital space?

A key component of the answer lies in brand storytelling, which harnesses human psychology and our emotional nature to connect with us far more effectively and memorably than other techniques.

Storytelling: the ultimate form of marketing

Stories drive people and connect people to one another. In this vein, stories can drive people to buy products and connect consumers to their brands.

Drawing on his expert knowledge of brand understanding, branding specialist Jonathan Gabay has created an extremely insightful guide to brand storytelling for Expert members which gives a structure and examples for creating brand stories.

The guide will help you get to grips with the key elements of creating powerful brand stories to increase the effectiveness of your content marketing, PR, advertising and sales.

Who is this guide for?

If you are a communications professional working in PR, marketing, advertising, branding or content creation this guide will be invaluable.

Jonathan uses cutting edge research to prove astounding facts, which are highly relevant to the modern marketer. Such as that a goldfish has a longer attention span than the average person, and that correcting people who have wrongly understood facts can often make their beliefs become more steadfast.

In addition he gives highly actionable advice on many aspects of content creation, from brand storytelling best practice to the ideal lengths of various marketing mediums.

By pointing to successful examples of brand storytelling and picking apart their strengths and weaknesses the guide will allow you to develop a deep understanding of both the current state of brand storytelling, as well as what works and common mistakes.

Be more dog

One such example that was particularly effective what 02’s campaign ‘be more dog’. Which we discussed in our post giving examples of integrated campaigns

brand story

The overall message of the campaign is that life in the digital 21st century is amazing, there are countless things around that should amaze and inspire us, but we have become too jaded by experience to appreciate the multitude of opportunities afforded us by technology. In short, we’ve become too cat (disinterested and aloof) while we should be embracing our inner dog (energised, interested and excited by the possibilities of every day life).

Human psychology

Brand stories stimulate part of the reader’s brain known as ‘the reward pathway’. This is a highway of neurons activated by dopamine that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centres. That is precisely what makes brand storytelling so effective. The guide will help to show you how to create brand stories, which tap into this so that they are as effective as possible.

Don’t be too product centric

Jonathan points out that too many brands are still stuck in ‘The Kodak Moment’. Which is when a brand story is overly product or technical centric. Originally Kodak built a world-renown brand based around their cameras and films. Once the world changed, their story wasn’t malleable enough to be (pardon the pun…) developed.

It is thus important to be flexible and to develop a brand story that appeals to emotions and is malleable, so it is able to change with the times.

Blast from the past

Brand stories can last lifetimes, which is something that is often overlooked in the hectic and fast passed world of marketing. Volkswagen’s extremely successful ‘Think Small’ and subsequent ‘lemon’ ads originally ran in 1959, and established a brand story which continues to be referenced as an example of marketing at its finest.

brand story

To paraphrase Shakespeare’s famous quote; ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the brands merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one brand in its time plays many parts’.

Visual is king

Volkswagen’s iconic ad serves to underline another point about brand storytelling which is taken up in more detail in the guide. That photographs, illustrations and graphs all serve to tell powerful stories in their own rights. They are thus a key component on brand storytelling

About the author

gabayJonathan Gabay is one of Europe’s premier creative branding authorities. He is author of 15 books including university textbooks on copywriting.

His latest title is Brand Psychology.gabay

Jonathan is a regular keynote speaker for major brands around the world.

News organisations including: CNN, BBC, Sky and many more trust Jonathan to explain the stories behind the biggest brand news headlines.

If you are an expert member you will be able to access this guide straight away, and start using it to tell fantastic brand stories, which engage your customers. If you are interested in the guide but are not yet an expert member, learn more about the benefits here.


Auhtor's avatar

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

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Brand Storytelling

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