If the headlines above are any indication, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about brand storytelling over the past year. In case you didn’t think it applied to your role or company, I hope you’ll follow this series to better understand how you are already involved and how you can harness storytelling to help your company or client.
Since the first time man gathered around the fire, we have been telling stories. Evolutionary psychologists like Steven Pinker argue that humans are particularly receptive to narratives. It’s not just for entertainment. It’s how we’ve been able to build cultures and pass along knowledge from generation to generation. A compelling story connects on an emotional level and stays with us long after contact. Embedded in that story is a message.
Why utilize storytelling?
Storytelling allows us to tap in to the greater cultural need for context. Add the power of connecting with people on an emotional level and you not only add value to your message, but also engage your audience in a more meaningful experience with a better chance of them taking the action you want them to take. There is some science to back this up. To quote Chris Graves, Global CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations, “Brain research tells us why humans react the way they do. Emotion trumps rational in all decision making. Everything must be emotionally bonding. Simply saying ‘these are the facts’ won’t work.”
What is “brand storytelling?”
Brand storytelling is the act of contributing to, and in some instances helping manage, the unfolding story of your company’s brand. I say contribute because there are many authors involved—social media being the most vociferous outlet for contributors. In some cases you may be the editor in charge of the story arch but we are never truly in complete control of it. Brands are no longer the sole property of the trademark owner, and so consequently, neither are their stories.
To see branding and other marketing examples, visit creativestudiodc.ogilvy.com
Next in series: 3 tips to building a better brand story
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