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Why tell bad brand stories?… beyond the Insta-Buzzword

June 21, 2024
Brand Strategy
Why tell bad brand stories?… beyond the Insta-Buzzword

Alright, let's cut through the fluff. Everyone’s raving about storytelling, reading the average marketing blog or your Instagram feed you would think it was the Holy Grail. When done right, its brand magic—connecting with audiences, building loyalty, driving sales. But here's the issue: too many brands turn it into an empty insta-buzzword that fails to meet their branding goals. So, let’s talk about how avoid telling bad stories.

Common Pitfalls

  1. Lack of Authenticity: If your story is not aligned with a well-developed, meaningful brand narrative and implementation strategy, nobody’s buying it (especially your desired audience).
  2. Inconsistency: Mixed, disconnected messages are like bad sequels—confusing and disappointing.
  3. Style Over Substance: Flashy but forgettable stories go nowhere.
  4. Shallow Narratives: Stories that fail to go beyond the surface to evoke real emotions and offer meaningful experiences never cut it.

Building on a Strong Foundation is critical

To tell a good story, build it around your brand’s core narrative and its purpose in your audiences’ lives. Care about why they care. Get help, if needed, to authentically position and master that narrative, and then your stories will be genuine, consistent, and hit the mark every time.

Emotional Resonance: The Heart of Storytelling

Good storytelling is magic when it isn’t just about talking – but about connecting. Here’s how:

  1. Relatability: If people see themselves in your story, they pay attention.
  2. Engagement: To keep that attention, give your audience reasons to remember you.
  3. Trust: Authentic stories build trust, and trust is everything for your brand. Don’t mess that trust up by not having a brand strategy for every touchpoint you have with your audience.

Storytelling Success Stories

Nike: "Just Do It"

Nike’s “Just Do It” is a gold standard.Real athletes, real struggles, real triumphs. It’s not just a slogan—it’s arallying cry. And it works. They’re not just selling shoes; they’re selling dreams.

Dove: "Real Beauty"

Dove threw out the Photoshop and embraced real women. The “RealBeauty” campaign wasn’t just refreshing—it was revolutionary. It built trust and community and sold a lot of soap too.

Airbnb: "Belong Anywhere"

Airbnb’s “Belong Anywhere” nailed it by sharing real travel stories.It’s personal, it’s authentic, and it sets them apart from cookie-cutterhotels. Result? …have you travelled lately?

Unlocking the potent power of Storytelling

  1. Know YOUR core narrative and YOUR audience: Understand and position what your brand really stands for, who that’s important to and why they should     care.
  2. Be Consistent: Keep your story straight and customised each time, and across all platforms.
  3. Prioritise Substance: Give people something real, valuable and connected to why your brand matters.
  4. Align with Strategy: Have a strategic, goal-focused plan, make sure your stories support that plan.
  5. Embrace Authenticity: Keep it genuine and aligned with who you are as a brand.

Good Brand Storytelling isn’t a magic trick; it’s a skill. Successful brands avoid the common traps and focus on being real, consistent, and strategic. Brands that nail storytelling don’t just hang in there—they soar.Tell good stories and watch your audience—and your ROI—grow.


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