Your brand is more than just its products and services — show your true colors by developing a compelling narrative.

As VICE strategist Spencer Baim once said, “If you don’t have anything interesting to say as a brand, you’re just a product.” These days, with hundreds of competitors just a Google search away, it’s not enough to simply advertise what you’re selling online — instead, you need to showcase why you’re selling it. Successful companies are dedicated to creating one-of-a-kind content that reflects their brand’s unique story.

Brand Storytelling: The Marketing Tool, The Myth, The Legend

In an increasingly digital commercial landscape, it’s becoming more and more difficult to connect with consumers on a personal level. Rather than looking at machine marketing as a way forward, digital marketers need to find a way to work emotionality back into the equation.

All of us were raised on stories — from family histories to Harry Potter, we relate to protagonists, not products. So rather than creating content that simply lists the facts, marketers should strive to construct a narrative that will truly engage consumers. If a 30-second Super Bowl commercial can take viewers on a journey that brings them to tears, there are no limits to the emotional punch you can pack into short-form social posts and articles. Strive to create a content calendar that will keep your audience personally invested in your brand.

If you’re struggling to determine where to start, ask yourself these simple questions: who are you, as a brand? And how does your product aspire to serve your consumer base? If you can’t answer those questions, chances are your audience won’t be able to, either. Define your persona, speak your truth, and the rest will follow.

No Tall Tales: Why Brand Storytelling is Crucial for Your Company

Brand storytelling is hardly a new concept — clever companies have long capitalized on this strategy to raise brand awareness and maintain client loyalty. Here are three major reasons why:

1) It Maintains Your Company’s Authenticity

In a 2013 study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, researchers found that customers identify authenticity as one of the top qualities that attract them to a brand — in fact, for millennial shoppers, authenticity is second only to loyalty discounts in impacting consumers’ choice of which companies to support.

In a sea of generic advertisements, a brand with personality is a breath of fresh air for digital-savvy consumers. If you lead with who you are, not just what you sell, consumers will be more likely to believe you have their best interests at heart — not just your bottom line.

2) It Distinguishes Your Business as a Thought Leader

If you can’t tell consumers your own story, they probably won’t trust you to tell your industry’s, either. Establishing yourself as a thought leader doesn’t just mean publishing breaking news — it means analyzing and communicating that news to your audience, giving them a sense of what the news truly means and how they should feel about it. The more you can round out your brand’s persona, the larger it will loom when people think of your niche.

3) It Creates a Clear Value Proposition

Why should consumers invest in your brand over others? Competitive prices are a good start, but the fact is, consumers are willing to spend more money on meaningful brands. Your mission might not be to save the rainforest, but if you can state a value proposition that clearly aims to benefit something greater than your company, consumers are much more likely to vote with their dollars for your worthy cause.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer brand publishing services and strategies to transform your company blog into a sophisticated trade publication that drives visibility and influence in your market. Learn more about brand publishing here.

Author Hilary Krutt

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Hilary joined L&T after several years in the publishing industry at Simon & Schuster. As a member of the editorial board for the Off the Shelf book blog, her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post, among other major publications. At L&T, Hilary manages content quality and production, collaborating directly with writers, content managers, and clients to ensure every piece we write hits the mark every time. In her free time, Hilary is an avid reader and live music enthusiast. She hails from Boston but currently calls Brooklyn home.

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