How to use storytelling to develop stronger brand awareness

Brand awareness is an important piece when working to establish a strong business presence. Through brand awareness companies not only boost visibility, they use it to differentiate themselves from competitors selling similar products or services. Storytelling is an important part of this process.

Consider the explosive popularity of social networks over the past decade. One of the reasons why they are so popular is because people crave these emotional connections and stories others share.

Image credit: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay

Make a connection

One of the most important aspects of developing brand awareness is to connect with the customer. Through storytelling techniques an organization can effectively distinguish itself from competitors, but also offer reasons to the consumer as to why its product or service will provide the solution, want or need he or she seeks.

This is perhaps especially true in commodity-type products. Consider frozen peas or brown paper lunch bags. In most instances, products manufactured by different companies are very close in quality and attributes. So how to differentiate? Through smart marketing techniques.

Storytelling can play a large part in accomplishing this differentiation because it often solicits an emotional connection that consumers can identify with. Most everyone loves a feel good or inspirational story, not to mention it provides people with direct insight to a company and/or its founders.

Show a brand’s ‘human’ side

Telling the story of a company's humble beginnings and sharing information about the business' founder can go a long way in reaching out to consumers by providing a humanistic side of the company. The originality of how a company was born, its core values and other unique attributes or circumstances can help create brand awareness that is memorable.

The best brand stories are irresistible, compelling and provocative in a way that your target audience is going to hear, seamlessly and effortlessly," says Mary van de Wiel, CEO and global brand therapist of A New Brand Landscape & Co. and, in a 2009 article by "Telling that kind of brand story will position you and your company as a leader in the marketplace.

Van de Wiel lists several reasons why storytelling is effective and positions the company as a visionary in the field.

Storytelling in 2017

A recent piece in Forbes pointed out marketing trends we’ll see in 2017. Storytelling was listed among the evolution we’ll see next year.

It’s no secret anymore that content marketing has become a major driver for today’s social brands. But content won’t do any good if that content is bland and inauthentic,” says Mark Burgess, President, Blue Focus Marketing (courtesy Forbes). “In the coming year, more brands will learn that with the power of storytelling, lightning can indeed strike twice.

Burgess goes on to cite examples and brings up the point happy employees equate to happy customers. Creating an environment where those who make up the heart of an organization and share their own experiences and brand passion is the “first strike”. The second is the positive ways customers and stakeholders react to these heartfelt or spontaneous stories.

If a business cannot effectively distinguish its product or service, it will lack an appeal to make its brand stand out from the competition selling similar items. Marketers must demonstrate their products or services are superior to that of the competition.

Through the use of storytelling and sharing a passion for the business, all members of an organization can effectively make this happen and bring a positive energy to the company in the process.


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