Brand stories or business stories as they are also known are high on the agenda for most marketers. Stories help us communicate in a non combative way and engage our audience rather than force feed our messages at them. But what does great brand storytelling look like? We’ve short listed 3 brand stories that we think give a really good example of what they should be.
We’ll start with Google. If Google were to advertise their products in a features and benefits style message they would say something like ‘we have the world’s fastest search engine and can find you information about any subject in seconds; we have Gmail so you can send emails and keep in touch; we have You Tube so you can upload and share video; we have Picasa so you can share photos, we have Google+ so that you can hang out with friends online…’ and so on and so on. Ultimately the message is all about them; it’s assuming that we are interested and that we already know what we need their products for.
Google took a step back and looked at how their customers used the Google suite of products. In doing that they got lots of insights and were able to develop those into actual stories to help engage their audiences. So rather than say ‘we do this, we do this, we do this…’, Google created a video of a customer story and here it is:
Brand stories can come from all sorts of places. As mentioned, your customers are a good place to look because they will be talking about how they experience your product or service and that’s something authentic which will capture other people’s interest. Another place to look is inside your organisation. You will have staff that will be really proud of the work that they do and they can tell stories about your business with passion and emotion. It’s important to capture these brand storytelling examples because they will rub off on the rest of the team and can harness enthusiasm and the drive of your staff to do more.
A great example of a business story coming from the people working inside of an organisation is told through this GE Focus Forward short film. It tells how over twenty three years a group of medical experts has developed a way to help blind people to see again. Their passion and vision to force these technical innovations through in order to give blind people back their sight is truly compelling:
Staff who are passionate about what they do in your organisation are an amazing conduit through which to share stories that evidence how you do what you do. Working with Santander corporate banking we discovered a story of how a banker delivered a cow and you can read his story here: The Banker and the Baby Cow
Another great place to look for your brand stories is in the work you do to support causes. Many big organisations now have a significant cause related marketing (CRM) programme working on projects that can help change society or the planet, and smaller organisations also have causes that they too support. This could be anything from cleaning away graffiti in their local area to rebuilding youth centres. Every cause has a story to tell so don’t be afraid to use yours as a business story.
Our final example of a great brand story comes from Samsung Life Insurance. They are based in Seoul in South Korea where there is a really high road bridge that had become known as a platform for people contemplating and committing suicide. Every year scores of people would jump off this bridge and end their lives in the rushing waters below. Samsung Life Insurance decided to do something to change this, and this is the story that changed the face of that bridge.
This project has helped save hundreds of lives and will continue to do so with similar projects planned all around the world. Not only that but Samsung Life Insurance has a cause that they can be proud of and a reason to be talked about by many of us that had previously never even heard of their brand.
If you have other examples of great brand stories that you would like to share then we’d be delighted to hear from you