Did you know that every second Google receives 40,000 search queries? Which makes for about 3.5 billion searches per day! Other estimates indicate that; each year 5.3 trillion ads are shown online and an average consumer processes over 100,500 digital words daily.
Given the statistics, to say ‘we’re inundated with information’ would be an understatement. And it gets one thinking – how can any brand get its message across amidst such a ‘deafening’ cacophony of ‘content’, which engulfs us every time we go online?
Yet we see people who commute to their office every day, take that extra ‘two-kilometre’ detour to Starbucks for their favourite Frappuccino, passing many coffee shops and baristas on the way.
We also time and again witness the long line of dedicated fans queuing since the wee hours of the morning outside Apple’s store around the globe, to get hold of the new iPhone to be released that day.
How then are these brands able to build such a loyal, ‘die-hard’ and almost ‘cult-like’ customer base?
And it’s not that there aren’t any coffee shops selling good or even better quality coffee than Starbucks, or other smart phone companies making better and even less expensive mobile phones in the market, than Apple…
The answer, it seems, lies in the ‘story’ these brands (Starbucks & Apple) are telling to their audiences. A narrative that immediately stands out from that of their competitors and rises above the ‘humdrum’ that boasts of product features and benefits. In other words, they have cracked the code of ‘Brand Storytelling’ and have integrated it into their Content Marketing Strategy to successfully win the hearts and minds of their targeted consumers!
Stories have always intrigued humans. We’re hard-wired to create, tell, share and pass on stories as it’s the way we communicate and relate to each other.
A Brand Story or BRAND STORYTELLING is a compelling ‘narrative’ that surrounds your business as a whole. A good ‘brand story’ should be able to convey your purpose or ‘Why’ you’re in the business in the first place, ‘How’ do you do your business and how are you uniquely suited to solve your customers’ problems.
It should be able to ‘emotionally’ connect with the audience, build a strong bond of trust and inspire the consumers to join hands, to ‘live’ the journey and assimilate the ‘values’ portrayed by the brand.
Top brands that stand out from the crowd have been able to master this art of storytelling. As Seth Godin aptly says; “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell!’
Let us take a look at some of the following brands, who have been successfully telling their ‘brand story’ to amass a huge following of loyal customers:
1. TOMS Shoes
The ‘brand story’ of TOMS shoes starts with the idea and the urge to help, developed by the founder Blake Mycoskie when he travelled to Argentina in 2006.
When Blake saw the plight of children in Argentina who had to spend their childhood without shoes, he created Toms Shoes, a company that would match every pair of purchased shoes with a new pair of shoes for a child in need!
This simple yet profound philanthropic initiative of Blake turned out to be an intriguing story that touched the hearts of millions of consumers.
To date, Toms Shoes has provided over 60 million shoes to children with bare feet, around the world. The company has since expanded its initiative to also restore sight to more than 400,000 people and provide 335,000 weeks of safe water in 6 countries.
What started as a noble act to help the children, Toms Shoes has now evolved into a massive global movement, by being one step ahead of its competitors and gathering a huge mass of loyal customers, who are happy to be a part of the story and be a catalyst to the cause!
2. CHIPOTLE – The Scarecrow Infomercial
Chipotle’s story has redefined the ‘fast food’ narrative to that of ‘good food’. It also strongly stands to put up an image of a quick service restaurant, who passionately seeks to cultivate a world with respect and care for animals, the environment and farmers.
In its The Scarecrow infomercial, Chipotle portrays a captivating, animated story of a Scarecrow who’s living in a world marred with ‘animal cruelty’ and processed food, yet dreams of turning his garden into a bountiful farm.
(Click here to view the video)
Once the campaign was launched, it received over 12,000 Facebook posts garnered more than 11.6 million views on YouTube, and 31,000 tweets from 26,000 unique users! The campaign’s impact had escalated at the time (2013) to become the brand with most fans, in four of the top six social media sites, including; Google+, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
The brand story that instantly resonated with the consumers was Chipotle’s vision of an environment and animal friendly brand, which sought to use high-quality raw produce to bring the essence of fine dining to the masses, via quick-serving restaurants.
The scarecrow in the campaign is finally shown to open up a little burrito stand that attracts passers-by.
3. Airbnb – ‘Home Away From Home’
Another brand that has taken the travel industry by storm and completely disrupted travel experiences is Airbnb.
The brand story is alluring, in the sense that with Airbnb, you can travel to more than 34,000 cities, in 190 countries and stay in accommodations offered by individual home owners and experience the places, culture and people in a different light. Much like having a home away from home, yet with all the benefits a hotel can offer you within your preferred budget.
This ‘narrative’ immediately sold like hot cakes with the consumers, and also resonated well in the ‘emotional’ front for travelers who would receive more value in connecting with the hosts offering the accommodation and gather a much richer experience than staying in a hotel.
A humble startup like Airbnb, which was instigated with the idea of sharing ‘extra space’ with travellers, has now grown to become a global company, valued at more than $30 Billion!
We’ll always be drawn to stories and narratives that are moving, genuine and ones that make us feel more ‘human’. If you’re to create a brand that is successful, sustainable and widely cherished, you need to build a great ‘story’ with it!
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email email@example.com
Our Website is www.element7digital.com.au