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The power of brand storytelling

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Storytelling is an essential part of a strong marketing campaign, and if you want to build your business, it’s something to consider. Telling the story of your brand will immediately help set you apart from your competition.

Here STV explain how implementing storytelling in your marketing can be powerful for your brand.

What is brand storytelling?

Whatever your brand, one thing is certain: in today’s crowded landscape, consumers aren’t just buying from anyone. They’re buying from brands they feel connected to.

Take John Lewis for example. Over the past few years, John Lewis has undergone a huge transformation in terms of how consumers engage with them and has now become one of the UK’s favourite brands. This is partly due to their advertising being so well-loved and as a result, their sales have increased tremendously.

These growth-driving campaigns use emotional rather than rational messaging; engaging storytelling and a unifying idea of ‘thoughtful giving’. John Lewis creates advertising that consumers are not only happy to watch but also actively seek out, which can only happen if you capture the public imagination. Each Christmas campaign is anticipated and talked about by pretty much everyone. But it isn’t just ‘nice to watch’; it captures the nation and most importantly, it drives business success.

Why does brand storytelling matter?

Stories grab attention. People are inherently more interested in reading or watching something engaging compared to reading a list of stats and figures. Stories and emotions are a huge part of how we make decisions; so, starting with the story will pull someone in more quickly than simply telling them you’ll save them money.

A fantastic example of this is from one of STV’s clients, Blood Cancer UK. They came on air with an incredibly effective emotive campaign with positive messaging that uplifts the nation and looks towards the future. By using a storytelling approach in their creative, it enabled Blood Cancer UK to really stand out and create a strong, meaningful bond with Scottish viewers that encourages them to take action. Check out their ad here.

1. Stories sell better

Storytelling boosts purchases in addition to simple interest. Some consumers ignore the benefits of a superior product in favour of the one their gut directs them toward. For prospective consumers early in your marketing or sales funnel, your story can be what brings them in and gets them to start considering a purchase. Storytelling is a way to engage emotionally, meaning that if there’s a story behind your brand, you’re likely to start ahead of the pack when it comes to selling.

2. Your story sets you apart

Depending on your industry, there could be a lot of businesses saying roughly the same thing about the same products. Setting yourself apart from the competition is a must. One way you can do that is through storytelling. Just like each person has a different life story, every business is unique, even if they appear to share common traits from the outside.

During our ‘Building Resilience and Growth’ STV Growth Academy webinar earlier this year, Sharon Mars, Head of Brand, Marketing & Communications at EY Scotland led a session on the power of long-term story-led marketing. Here is one of our favourite highlights from her session which sums up why storytelling is so effective:

“Storytelling is there to get you noticed. If you focus on this kind of marketing, the purpose is to prime the market. You want to get the message out to as many potential consumers as possible so that they know you exist and also that they remember you exist when they do decide they need your product. The key rule with this is about sharing your brand story. You’re trying to get people to remember you. Mass advertising like TV is a great option for this as it gets your brand out there to the maximum audience and helps to plant that memory anchor.”

Storytelling is the cornerstone of TV’s effectiveness

Consumers want to invest in brands, which they have a personal connection with.

While facts and statistics are important, the storytelling aspect of TV advertising helps your audience to resonate with your brand on a personal level. This means that when consumers go to make a purchase, they will associate your brand with the emotional connection they made with your advert and are more likely to purchase from you. Research by Binet and Field has repeatedly shown that emotive advertising campaigns and those that have fame at the core of their strategy are by far the most effective at creating large business effects like sales and profit. In fact, they are 50% more likely to create these effects.

The Scottish EDGE ad is a great example of putting emotional storytelling into action. The team at Scottish EDGE wanted to increase brand awareness amongst the Scottish business landscape and promote Scottish EDGE’s Round 16 of funding. Their emotive ad celebrates the success of Scottish entrepreneurs to inspire the next generation of Scottish businesses. The response to the ad was fantastic. It resulted in an influx of direct visits to the Scottish EDGE website, unlike any other advertising used previously. What’s more, the team at Scottish EDGE experienced their busiest ever six-month period after closing a competition round and were also able to conduct successful fundraising as a result.

Check out the ad here.

What story can you tell your audience?

Consider your brand. Is there something in your business that you can turn into a story? What emotion from your brand does your audience resonate with most? How can you make human connection part of your brand’s DNA?

STV have worked with hundreds of Scottish businesses through the STV Growth Fund to support them to tell their brand story, engage locally, and ultimately grow their business.
Contact Jules McKim, STV Strategic Development Manager by email:

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