September 2, 2014

What We Get Wrong About Brand Storytelling

Brand StorytellingBrand storytelling is all about engaging consumers with stories that reflect on your identity and values. So, what happens when these stories don’t quite hit the mark? It can mean turning away consumers who are confused by the lack of clarity.

Here’s what’s usually to blame.

Picking the wrong character 

Every story needs a lead character. The person who’s going to carry the action and, in this case, make viewers care about what you’re telling them. Your main character should draw some kind of emotion from consumers, whether it’s a reflection of who they are, or someone who seems trustworthy and likable, it makes all the difference in the world.

In order to make sure you’ve got the right character to convey what you’re trying to get across, always ask yourself how this character will come across to consumers, and if you’d find them effective if you were the viewer.

Lack of structure

All stories follow a similar structure. There’s a beginning, where consumers are introduced to characters and plot, a middle, which features the problem and potential solutions. Finally, the end. Where some sort of resolution takes place. By the end of the story, a message should have been given, which consumers can receive and mull over. Whether your video is funny, or goes for the heartstrings, there needs to be some order in the way it develops, otherwise you risk losing viewers, or the message.

It takes a little time to develop a plot and how it’s going to deliver what you have to say without hitting viewers over the head with it, unless that’s what you’re going for. Your best bet is to bring your team together to go through ideas, with an understanding of what you have to say and figuring out how to say it in a way that’s entertaining.

Does your story align with your core message? 

Every brand has an image they’re looking to project. Does your story fall in line with that, or paint you in a way that’s going to counteract the way you’ve framed yourself in the past?

It’s easy to tell stories that go for shock value, and it can sometimes lead to more views and shares, but what about actually showing who you are? The key is to not just entertain, but make sure people come away from your story knowing more about who you are, and hopefully connecting with what they’ve seen and heard. The worst thing you can do is to sacrifice making those connections for meaningless clicks.

Remember, no matter what story your telling, at the end of the day, it’s all about getting across who you are and what makes your brand special and worth trusting.

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