We want everyone to create better content, so today we’re sharing our best tips to help tell a brand story that is impactful.
The Science of Brand Storytelling
Why is storytelling so powerful? Because it triggers a biological response. A brand story grabs attention, elicits an emotion, and engages people—and that goes for storytelling across all mediums. When you’re invested in a good story, your brain physically responds to it.
A good story can trigger your brain to release cortisol (the stress chemical) or oxytocin (the feel-good chemical). This explains why you feel anxious while watching a horror film or happy when the lovers finally get together at the end of a book.
And different mediums and storytelling tools affect us in different ways. For example, video triggers emotional contagion, a phenomenon where Our emotions mirror what we see on screen (again, think of the horror film response). Similarly, when we hear someone speaking, such as a narrator in an animated video, it triggers neural coupling, an experience where our brain activity mirrors what a speaker is saying.
But it isn’t just about seeing images or hearing a human voice; it’s the core story that matters. When you can tell a compelling brand story, people are naturally captivated. Whether it’s the story of how you built your business or the story of how your product improves people’s lives, finding a unique brand story is one of the most effective ways to entice, engage, and encourage people to build a relationship with your brand.
The Keys to a Great Brand Story
Understand what makes a brand story (specifically your brand story) impactful. Ultimately, it comes down to five specific elements. When you tell stories that fall into these categories, you set your brand up for success.
- It’s meaningful. Millions of brands vying for attention, hopping on whatever bandwagon their competitors are on. Thus, too many brands are focused on what theywant to create (or what other brands are creating)—and not on what people actually care about. If you want to tell a good story, it has to be interesting and relevant to the people you’re trying to reach.
- It’s personal.You can tell all sorts of stories. They can be entertaining, educational, or inspirational. But people need to feel personally connected to them. This is important not just to pique interest but to draw them into the story. How does your brand improve their life? Why should they take the time to invest in this story? Remember: If there is no place for someone in your story, there’s no reason for them to pay attention to it.
- It’s emotional. A strong brand story is all about stimulating emotion and empathy. It’s not just about what you do but how you affect people. Sure, your software may automate emails, but it’s ultimately making people’s lives easier and stress-free. That’s the emotional hook of the story. If you can trigger that emotion in the first paragraph of a blog or the first few seconds of a video, you will have them hooked.
- It’s simple.One of the most common mistakes in brand storytelling is trying to say too much. It’s far better to tell a very simple story and maximize emotional attachment than bombard people with different stories. You could tell a story about large-scale problems facing the healthcare industry, but showing how these issues affect a real patient gives the story a singular focus and makes it easier to connect to. In short, focus on one person or one problem at a time so you don’t confuse or distract your reader.
- It’s authentic. When you share your brand story, people should know it’s your That means being open, honest, and transparent. It means letting your personality shine through. It also means being consistent. When you’re creating a ton of content, it’s important to cultivate consistency so that people can not only identify but trust your content.
Storytelling Goes Hand-in Hand with Your Branding
No matter your product or service, whether you’re a tiny startup or an established brand founded a century ago, there’s a reason you exist—and, most likely, a higher purpose. If you’re a home security company, you protect property to give people peace of mind. If you’re a granola bar company, you provide healthy treats to nourish people’s bodies.
Using content to share or fulfill this larger mission is a great way to both promote your brand and show people what you really care about. Think about ways to tell stories about your Brand Heart (purpose, vision, mission, values) or the causes you care about.