The Art of Brand Storytelling: Part II

In this lesson, we'll discuss:

  • How to tell stories that depict your business or organization's brand values
  • How to tell stories that solve your prospective and existing customers' problems or uncertainties as they pertain to your business, organization, product and/or service, and industry


KEY TERMS:

  • Brand Values - the set of guiding principles that stand alone in value and importance to a business or organization
  • Human Interest - the aspect of a story that interests people because it describes the experiences or emotions of individuals




The recipe for a good story


In order to create that perfect storytelling recipe, the answer should be "yes" to most -- if not all -- of these questions:

  • Does the story depict one or more your business or organization's brand values? Or, does the story solve a problem or uncertainty that people have with your business, organization, product and/or service, or industry? (more on that below)
  • Does the story appeal to people's logos (logic and reasoning), pathos (emotions and beliefs) and/or ethos (credibility and trust).
  • Can the majority of your prospective and/or existing customers relate to the story?
  • Is the story (or the angle from which you're telling it) unique to your business or organization
  • Would you tell the story to one of your friends? (If yes, how would you tell it to them?)




Examples of brand values and brand storytelling


As we discussed in the previous lesson plan, brand values are the set of guiding principles that stand alone in value and importance to a business or organization.

When we started working with Brent's Deli in Los Angeles, we analyzed the brand and determined their values to be: family, community, quality and service.

As we built their content marketing strategy, we used Brent's Deli founder and owner Ron Peskin to tell many of these stories. Here's an example:



This story personifies two of Brent's Deli's brand values: family and quality -- family because Ron is pictured here with his granddaughter, who represents the third generation of their family business; and it also personifies quality by Ron telling a true story that shows his commitment to quality.


Solving problems with brand storytelling


Business storytelling also presents a terrific opportunity to solve people's problems.

There are three types of problems:

  1. Actual problems or uncertainties that people have with your business, organization, product and/or service, and industry (When we say "problems," we don't necessarily mean that your business or industry is problematic. Rather, the word problem in this context refers to questions, lack of assurance, misinformation, misconceptions, lack of information, etc.)
  2. Perceived problems or uncertainties that people have with your business, organization, product and/or service, and industry
  3. General problems or uncertainties that people have, indirectly related to your business, organization, product and/or service, and industry


Let's look at an example that addresses these types of the problems outlined above.

Mint is a software that allows people to easily manage their revenues, expenses and budgets. Thus, Mint represents personal finance management -- that's their brand.

As part of its social media and content marketing, the company uses human-interest storytelling to show how managing personal finances can help or even change people's lives. Take a look:




In this example, Mint tells the first-person story of how Emerson (pictured) used personal finance management to face and conquer challenges in his life.

Here's how this story addresses both types of problems outlined above:

  1. This story eliminates the misconception that personal finance management is difficult.

  2. This story demonstrates how better managing one's personal finances can help people overcome their challenges.


Regardless if their social media followers have problems in their lives, the next time they want to start better managing their finances, which software do you think they're going to at least think about using?