The importance of brand storytelling has increased over the years and this is not surprising at all. A good story makes your brand more personal, helps you connect with your audience and increases brand loyalty.
What is brand storytelling?
Since humans first walked the earth, storytelling has shaped our existence. Even before the first word was written down, people would use cave drawings to tell their stories.
Stories are engaging and capture the attention of the listener. And this is exactly why it's such a powerful branding tool.
Brand storytelling is a way of using storytelling to evoke an emotion with your brand.
Think of major brands like Lego, Coca-Cola, and Google. They are not just 'that other brand'. They really know how to engage with their audience through great brand storytelling.
Let's take a look at some of powerful brands that have mastered the art of brand storytelling:
1. Johnnie Walker: driven by the journey
One of the best-known taglines in the liquor industry is probably 'Keep Walking' by Johnnie Walker. The story dates back to 1819 when John, the founder, was still a young boy working on a farm.
"The year was 1819 and John Walker’s father had just died. A tough start for a humble farm lad, you might think, but there was always something special about John. A glint in his eye, a fire in his belly, a spring in his step perhaps".
John had to sell the farm and started to work at a local grocery shop. His passion for whisky was so strong that he decided to blend his own and sell it at the shop. John focussed on producing the best quality whisky, which made him very popular at the time. He continued to produce and sell whisky until he passed away in 1857.
His son Alexander continued his father’s legacy and introduced the square bottle to reduce breakages. Later, Alexander passed the brand to his sons, Alexander II and George, who renamed to whisky to the popular Johnnie Walker Red Label and Johnnie Walker Black Label.
To this day, Johnnie Walker is one of the biggest whisky brands in the world, starting from a small business settled at a local grocery store. The tagline 'Keep Walking' shows you that the journey is just as important as the result.
2. Patagonia: building a community
Patagonia is a brand that has a very passionate following because they focus on offering the best quality. In addition, the brand has contributed to the environment by developing eco-friendly materials and by giving 1% of its sales back to non-profit organisations.
In accordance with their brand philosophy, every piece of Patagonia's marketing points towards their commitment to quality and care for the environment.
For their visual branding, Patagonia generally uses pictures sent by their own customers doing sports outdoors. These images reach out to a very specific audience. After all, not everyone associates mountain climbing with a good time. But for their target audience, these are the images that inspire and send them off into planning their next adventure.
3. Toms: one-for-one
While travelling in Argentina, founder Blake Mycoskie witnessed children growing up without shoes. Because he wanted to these kids, he created Toms Shoes (today know as Toms).
"With every product you purchase, Toms will help a person in need" - Blake Mycoskie (founder Toms)
In a nutshell, Toms' core strategy is that when you buy a pair of Toms, they match it with a free pair of shoes for someone who is in need.
Nowadays, they have taken it a lot further. Toms helps provide shoes, sight, water, safe birth and bullying prevention services to people in need.
4. Lego: brand storytelling through movies
Is there a better marketing storytelling example than Lego? They took storytelling in a very literal way and even created The Lego Movie.
The movie is about an ordinary Lego figure called Emmet. He is just another normal guy but is key to saving the Lego universe from the evil tyrant Lord Business. As a person watching the movie, you feel an instant connection with the main character.
But Lego does not stop there, they have a bigger purpose. They try to challenge the minds of young and old to create things beyond their imagination. They don't only sell blocks, they sell possibilities.
GoPro began as an idea to support athletes and making it easy to document themselves. Now they have become a standard for people capturing themselves in their interests.
GoPro helps people capture and share their lives most meaningful experiences with others, to celebrate them together. They have created a community of people that create their own stories and share it with others.