This article discusses the value of looking at brand marketing from the standpoint of storytelling. It first looks at psychology and the way that the human brain is wired to respond to stories. The argument is made that emotions more than facts influence decisions, especially purchasing decisions. The story, life style and memories that are built around a certain brand or product are far more effective than a list of facts about the product.
Every brand has a story though they are often buried out of sight of the average viewer. Examining the company mission can give a great starting point for the overall story about the brand. This can be used as the overarching plot or concept behind marketing efforts.
Story based marketing can also be broken down into the elements that make up any story:
In a story the plot is the path of events leading through the story. It starts with the introduction of a circumstance and a problem then builds to a solution and resolution. There may be other aspects to the plot but this is the simplest form. The plot of a brand is the things it does to address its mission statement. It is the connection between the values of the brand and the needs of the customers and how it comes up with solutions that meet match the two together.
In the framework of brand as story the characters are the users of the products, or the customers, and the things the brand creates, or the products. The users should always be the main characters in the story. This helps to build the emotional and personal connection that will convert new customers and keep the old ones. This is also why things like audience research and personas are so important.
Here the theme is presented as the universe the story is built within. It is the tenants and values that shape and define the story and the products of the brand. This theme or universe should be appealing and welcoming, inviting customers to join in the brand story.
Diction in a brand story is both the words and tones that are used throughout the story and the specific words that are created for a brand and the culture they represent. These are a combination of jargon and branded words (such as brand names) that helps create a sense of community within the story.
In traditional stories rhythm is about the pace and flow of the story. When related to brand stories it addresses usability and accessibility for the user.
Spectacle is all of the little pieces that fill in the gaps, pull at the heart strings and create an exciting experience. It can be little more than fluff at times but it completes the experience and gives it a flashy front. In the article the graphic design element of webdesign is given as an example of spectacle.
The article concludes with some examples of exceptional brand storytelling and the evidence of how effective it was. Creating a story is about engaging an audience and making them part of the story, especially in the digital space, and has far more ability to grab attention, keep it and convert users than more more traditional marketing models.