By Fran Prince – account director
A compelling narrative requires a devised long-term strategy and with this comes storytelling. A well-developed purpose and story can be the defining factor for success – as it holds the ability to resonate with the individual or target audience of your brand.
Every brand has its own unique story about why it started and how it begun, but to truly engage with its audiences this must be conveyed at numerous touchpoints and channels and truly connect with its audiences by evoking some kind of emotional response.
Whether it’s through published articles, social media, word-of-mouth or the brand’s product and packaging – no matter the medium a brand’s story should be well represented in its tone of voice and messaging at every opportunity.
Why is storytelling a good tactic?
If you haven’t quite gotten it by now, the power of storytelling lies within how you make an audience feel and connect with your brand.
Making your audiences feel an emotion – happy, sad or otherwise, will help you seem more authentic and build a trust between you and the consumer. Live and honest experiences that help audiences to understand how a product might better or resonate with their own lifestyle and will take your story to the next level.
4 examples of storytelling in PR
While there are thousands of brands that support greater social causes, Dove is consistently a strong example. With several campaigns like its famous ‘Real Beauty’ movement to its #NoLikesNeeded campaign raising awareness of the impact ‘likes’ watching on social media is having on the next generation, Dove continually promotes real beauty by celebrating inner beauty and confidence in all women.
More recently, LinkedIn partnered with Dove to create more inclusive and equitable space for Black hair in the workplace – reinforcing and celebrating that #BlackHairIsProfessional to end race-based hair bias.
Noticeably, and unlike other brands, they did not plug this content with Dove-branded shampoos, sprays and conditioners. By sharing a strong social messages that resonate so deeply, especially with women, they continue to remain front-of-mind and don’t actually need to market their actual products. These empowering campaigns definitely spark an emotional connection for its customers, and put purpose ahead of profit helping its ethical storytelling to sit above any advertising of the product itself.
Disney is a core example of an endurance brand carried from childhood to adulthood and make it their mission to create brand advocacy and loyalty in its audiences. Let’s look at Toy Story for instance – while the third film was released over ten years after the first 90s originals (Toy Story 1 & 2), Toy Story 3 was aimed at a new generation, but also made a comeback distinctly tailored for the adults of today. It also ensured the characters central to the original movies grew-up in tandem with its audiences. As adults, we’ve also come to realise the movie franchise integrates carefully placed adult-humour at every turn to which goes unnoticed in our early ages. Throughout its record-selling movies, its characters and theme parks, the brand sparks a happiness inside all of its audiences. With inspirational messaging about ‘dreaming big’ and ‘never growing-up’, adults often find themselves recollecting how Disney made them feel in their adolescence. Not to mention, for those of us that now have children the reminiscent magic we felt as children watching these magical films only now deepens our connection with the brand in today’s era – this is the beauty of storytelling.
Think about what draws you in to a brand? We all know that products are only half the battle, but people their personal stories sell.
Years ago fitness and fashion influencer and founder of TALA, Grace Beverley, made the switch from fast-fashion to sustainable fashion in her everyday clothing, but she struggled to find suitable sustainable options in activewear. The usual options of re-sale or rental didn’t seem very appealing in the activewear category, and alternatives at the time seemed highly overpriced and unsuitable for everyday people, who needed function and comfortability.
Grace had established herself front and centre of the brand, having accumulated a following (now reaching 1M+) that were seriously invested in fitness and health, she set about to create a quality product that was less harmful to the environment, while not letting its buyers down on performance, fit, quality or style, and more importantly without the hefty price tag of other products on the market.
Since her beginnings she has become a Sunday Times Best Seller for her book ‘Working Hard or Hardly Working’ and has involved high-profile guests on her health podcast inspired by the book, where she discusses hard-hitting true life stories surrounding pregnancy, business challenges, refugee crisis, dating and much more. Putting people’s health and their stories at the heart of her brand has taken TALA to new levels – and the company received a £4.2 million investment last year. Now that’s what we call active storytelling!
4. Poppy Cooks
It’s not just brands that can fame through storytelling but people too and building on a niche subject, fan-base or content offering can be just as important in the storytelling methodology. Influencer and Michelin-Star chef Poppy Cooks became an overnight TikTok star when she posted a compilation of potato-based recipe hits on the social platform – which earnt her over one million followers. Channelling this spud loving audience she produces no fuss potato inspired recipes daily and is well-known for her down-to-earth, comedic personality which tends to also call out internet trolls on various occasions.
By tapping into a fun and friendly carb-loving fandom and tailoring content to an everyday cupboard essential, her feed is filled with inspirational and spudding good content that is highly engaging and garners repeat audiences. She is now topping 4.1 million followers on TikTok and is set to be a judge on the upcoming series of Young MasterChef.
PR agency Nottingham
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