Everyone loves a good story, which is why it is so easy to tap into humanity’s love of stories to attract and retain new customers.
Think about all the stories you heard as a child, just the thought of them can fill you with joy and excitement.
That’s how powerful stories are, and that’s why you should be using storytelling in your marketing.
In this article, we’re going to explore how you can use storytelling to boost your brand, increase sales and attract new customers.
Stories don’t only have a magical effect on kids. It can also cast a spell on an adult. You only need to know how to tell the story rightly.
Why is Storytelling Important?
Every day, people are bombarded with dozens of ads and marketing materials. Utilizing storytelling in your marketing campaigns can make you stand out from the noise and grab the customer’s attention.
Research conducted by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn of Significant Objects showed that just by adding a short descriptive story behind an object increased the object’s value by over 20X.
Data from their study showed that not only did they sell more goods, but they sold them at a higher value, just by adding short stories behind the objects in the description.
The average price of an object was $1.5. However, they could sell the items for over $8,000 in total on eBay, just by incorporating stories. With an original price of 25 cents, a single fake banana ended up being auctioned at $76.
A good story is one that your target audience can relate with, and they can look at someone in the story and go, “I can so relate to that“.
It doesn’t have to be something they have experienced before. It could be something they hope to share.
Everyone has hopes and desires that they believe will one day come true. If your story can connect with an experience they have had or one they hope to have, then you have won yourself an audience!
Now that you know how important storytelling is let us look at some types of stories you incorporate into your brand identity to attract more customers.
Types of Brand Story Models
1. The Hero’s Journey
The Hero’s Journey is the classic cinematic story. This type of storytelling is used by brands who want to be looked up to by their audience.
If you have a brand and want to be seen as the saviour, liberator, defender of the people, or anything in-between, this is the perfect story model for your brand.
Some typical examples of people who use this model are political figures, experts/gurus, coaches, athletes, company founders and many.
Anatomy of The Hero’s Journey
The hero’s journey typically follows someone (or a group of people) living everyday life like everyone else and then suddenly something tragic happens that changes everything.
They go through a rough patch and have to overcome countless adversities until they finally become successful.
This story model has been used over and over by the movie industry.
When you watch a movie, and the protagonist suffers a setback in life, it could be due to losing a loved one or something tragic. Then the person begins a journey to enact revenge on the person or people who caused the tragedy.
The protagonist suffers several setbacks and difficulties along the way, but they keep going until finally, they succeed.
That’s the plot of every superhero movie you have ever watched.
Brands Using The Hero’s Journey
There are countless examples of companies and individuals who have used to hero’s journey to effectively sell their brands.
KFC is one of such companies. If you have heard of the KFC story, you can’t help but notice the similarities.
Another such brand is Coca-Cola. Have you ever heard the famous story of how the founder of Coca-Cola only sold 25 bottles of coke in his first year? But he never gave up, and a few years later, he became successful.
Well, that story is not true, coke was not even sold in bottles when it first started but in glasses. It wasn’t until a few years later that the company began bottling its drinks due to its success.
The fact that the story has survived for so long, and is believed to be accurate by billions of people worldwide speaks to the power of storytelling.
The most famous hero’s journey story is that of Thomas Edison. We may never know how many times he tried to create the lightbulb, was it 99 times? 999? Or 9,999? But we all know how he suffered against great odds to make the light bulb and finally succeeded.
2. The Evangelist
The evangelist is an exciting character to play because the evangelist doesn’t talk about himself/herself. The evangelist’s goal is to catch the audience’s attention in other to direct that attention to something else or someone else.
The evangelist story model is used by people or companies that seek to promote a cause or an idea or are advocating a different way of life for its customers.
Anatomy of The Evangelist
An evangelist’s story starts as someone with a problem or a challenge which goes in search of a solution. And after finding the solution, wants to spread the word to others with a similar situation.
Examples of Evangelistic Brands
Evangelists can be used in every industry and by anyone or company. However, the evangelist is found mostly in NGOs trying to promote a cause.
In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in for-profit companies trying to promote a cause or a new way of life through their products. These companies utilize the evangelist story model.
Companies like Beyond Meat, a plant-based meat manufacturer, is trying to move the world away from animal meat, use this model.
The Affiliate marketing industry is built entirely on the evangelist story model. Every affiliate marketer is an evangelist of a product or service.
3. The Explorer (The Trailblazer)
The Explorer is an exciting story model in that it appeals to the adventurers in us.
Humans have a natural affinity for adventure; it is in human nature to try new things and explore the world around them.
The Explorer is based on the concept of someone who has gone on a quest to find the solution to a problem or explore a new idea and develops something amazing and wants to share it with the world.
Explorers in today’s world are known as innovators and researchers. They are the people who go looking for new things and new ways of doing things to move humanity forward.
Anatomy of The Explorer
The Explorer starts by being unsatisfied with the current state of affairs around him/her. It could be dissatisfaction in a product or service or the limit of the technology or tools currently in existence. This sense of dissatisfaction takes them on a journey to uncover new things or develop new products to move humanity forward.
Examples of Explorers
One of the most famous modern-day examples of an explorer brand is Tesla’s Elon Musk.
The diet industry is also filled with explorers who claim to have discovered a new “revolutionary” diet that’ll change your life.
The medical field also has several explorer brands.
Explorers can emerge in any field or industry. Once a brand is trying to promote something new in an industry, it can utilize the explorer story model.
Now that you know how powerful storytelling can be and some storytelling models you can apply in your brand strategy.
Using storyboards, you can craft a good narrative for your brand which should resonate with your target audience.
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