Storytelling in the World of Business
Business is often thought of as being driven by evidence and rationale. However, it’s important to remember that business executives are still human—still subject to the storytelling’s powerful, transformative properties. Storytelling is an equally compelling form of communication in business as it is in other societal contexts, and every brand has a story to tell.
The art of storytelling helps your brand stand out in an ultra-competitive world
Brand storytelling is a skill that marketing professionals have been refining for decades. The only thing that’s changed is the medium. In the past, a brand’s story, purpose, and key messages were shared via word of mouth, newspapers, and TV advertising. Today, brands have a plethora of owned, earned, shared, and paid media to choose from and a global audience of 7.5 billion.
In 2016, Forbes Agency Council named “humanized storytelling” as one of the most important factors for a TED Talk. According to Brandon Stapper, who was interviewed in the article, “The more compelling approach is to focus on an individual. The audience can either relate to that person, or they cannot, but they should be compelled to some kind of buy-in, emotionally or on a humanistic level. We, humans, are suckers for human stories.”
Although a meaningful story is imperative for a brand, we need to address the 800-pound gorilla in the room: COVID-19. Like most areas of business, the coronavirus has impacted brand storytelling. In the current climate, consumers are highly sensitive so your brand story must be adjusted to resonate with how your audience is feeling and reflect what’s going on in your vicinity and your industry.
Think About the Story You Want to Tell
Although this is an overwhelming time, give thought to the story you want to tell. Your story should be relevant to your product or service and reflect your brand’s positioning and value proposition. It should also connect to the community you are a part of. Here are some questions to consider first:
- What do you want customers to tell one another both online and offline?
- What value are you contributing for individuals, a community, or a specific group of people?
- How does your new story relate to your brand’s history?
- How will you tell this story? (e.g., blog posts, social media, email campaigns, traditional media placement, etc.)
Brand stories remain an effective brand strategy tool to help marketers establish a competitive advantage. Here are some helpful hints on how to adjust your brand story after COVID-19:
- Analyze your data to determine your audience’s needs and wants during this time, then adapt your brand story to conform
- Emphasize the emotional connection of your brand to your audience. Conveying empathy, kindness, solidarity, adaptability, and a positive outlook will be well received.
- Humanize your brand—now, more than ever, audiences want to know the people behind the product
- Seek out the positives and opportunities. Some of the best brand stories were born during World Wars, recessions, and other trying times in history—triumph over adversity is always a winner!
This is a difficult time for brand and marketing leaders—responsibilities can be overwhelming. At FullSurge, our brand consultants are experienced in finding and developing brand stories that engage audiences—contact us to find out how we can help grow your brand with authentic storytelling.