Remember when you were little and people read storybooks to you? When I grew up my father used to tell my siblings and I stories before we went to bed. To us, this was better than any storybook. We didn’t get a story every night because he was often gone traveling for business. But on those nights when he would tell us a story, we listened intently. He was a great storyteller. He brought the characters to life and always made them go on some kind an adventure.
I remember some nights he would leave us hanging until the next time. Other times his stories would be a sequel to our favorite movies. The movie sequel nights were my favorite. The characters were already established so we just had to wait to see what would happen next. Anticipating for the next adventure. I recall wishing that many of his stories were real movies because they were that good. Other nights he would ask us about the kind of story we wanted to hear. We would chime in at times throughout his stories to give him more ideas sometimes, too. Now that I am older, I realize that he was probably tired from working all day and just needed a little inspiration. Nothing wrong with that!
I mostly remember the excitement and fun we had listening to him. Sometimes the stories would go on longer than expected, which made us feel special that we got to stay up later than normal. The longer the stories, the more time we had with him. A father is someone who you look up to. He could have told us a ridiculous story but honestly, we probably wouldn’t have cared much. We simply wanted to spend time with him.
All of this got me thinking. What if brands told stories that were so captivating that their audience couldn’t wait to hear more? What if brands developed such an incredible reputation and following, that they became a brand customers and other companies looked up to them. What if brands actually brought to life who they were and were not just something written on paper? What if brands were not seen as something that was untouchable anymore, they were real. Customers could feel connected to them. They were suddenly not just listening but they felt a relationship and a bond.
Can you think of brands that are like that?
One brand that comes to mind is Starbucks. I use them often in my posts but I believe they have an understanding of what their customers want and need. Starbucks has a unique kind of customer service and I believe they bring people together with their coffee. They are more than just coffee beans. Starbucks is about the experience and ways people connect through the brand.
Starbucks has become an experience for me. It is a place where I go to meet up with friends. It is also a place where my father and I go. I didn’t always like coffee even though my father has been an avid coffee drinker for years. I didn’t understand why everyone liked it. Until I started going to Starbucks. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming. The staff is friendly and always willing to make sure you are satisfied with your beverage. You can stay as long as you like. It is a social experience. Honestly, I just enjoy walking into a Starbucks because of the culture they created.
However, Starbucks didn’t always have a story or a culture. They began as just a small and local coffee shop in Seattle. Starbucks used to be a company that simply sold coffee beans. You couldn’t walk into Starbucks and order a cup of coffee like you can today. The founders of Starbucks have always been passionate about coffee and roasting. They wanted to do something different that would change how people drank coffee. CEO Howard Schultz had visited Europe where there are coffee shops on every corner. Schultz realized the community and romance with coffee and he wanted to bring that to Starbucks. His idea made Starbucks what it is today.
Most recently Starbucks created a global campaign called “Meet Me at Starbucks.” The campaign focused on real life stories that would bring people together for various reasons at Starbucks. Whether they were meeting for an interview, spending time with friends, or just sharing a moment with a loved one, the campaign emphasized face-to-face experiences. So often we connect with friends and family via social media. I think Starbucks wanted to bring people together in person. The campaign is a perfect example that conveys Starbuck’s story, showing authenticity and focusing on their customers. Their customers are what make Starbucks who they are.
Storytelling is something that many brands use today and helped them become successful. Do you think of your brand as a character? Every story has characters and your brand should be the same way. It is important to give your brand a personality. When you do this, it will bring to life your brand. It will make your brand more relatable if you give it human characteristics.
Stories are powerful because they evoke our emotions. Stories also enable a connection. If done correctly, stories bring awareness to a brand. A great story will be memorable. This makes it easier for your audience to recall your story later. Your story should be both engaging and relevant. Whether you have a story for a campaign or your brand in general, it will help boost your credibility and loyalty.
According to Connie Dieken, in order to influence your audience you need to have three things:
- Connect with your audience so that they have your attention.
- Convey using clear visuals and stories. Use clear and concise language.
- Convince your audience to action. Empower and inspire.
If you want to become a powerful brand and leader, you must communicate who you are in a way that captivates your audience. Telling your brand’s story is one way you can influence your audience. Everyone has a story and one that is worth sharing. Just think about how my siblings and I were so enthralled listening to my father tell us bedtime stories. Bring your brand to life with storytelling.
What story does your brand have to tell?