In previous articles, we have already touched upon issues concerning what the brand is and how to develop it. This time we want to share more relevant insights into the brand-building subject. That is the brand storytelling.
By now, you probably realize that contributing exclusively to the quality and quantity of the product doesn’t guarantee success. When launching a new product or service, understanding your customers is the first step for any business. Knowing what they need and what their preferences are can save you from wasting your precious time and money in vain. Today’s consumers do not just buy products and their outstanding features – they buy feelings that the brand may evoke. Customers view brands as like-minded communities that share the same values and principles as they do.
What these changes mean for you as business owners is that efficient marketing can not include only the promotion of products and selling them to greater masses. It should focus on building an enjoyable environment within the branding process that consumers can plunge into and experience it outright. The most decent way to create such an environment is to take the audience on a fascinating journey of your brand’s life. Starting from the idea of its creation to its establishment and finally, to the customers themselves. That’s exactly what brand storytelling is. However, this notion is not that easy to grasp – keep reading this article to learn more.
What is brand storytelling?
Barely giving your audience a reason why they should buy your product instead of others is not exactly what you should focus on. Certainly, having a decent quality product goes without saying but it is much more beneficial to know how to communicate it in a way that differentiates you from the crowd. All brands have the story behind their products, but what is exactly a brand story?
In essence, it is a cohesive storyline that unfolds the brand’s history, challenges, and successes. It’s not just a brand’s polished CV that might be displayed on the About page – it is a real-life plot that reveals the company’s vision, values, and mission. Defining your ultimate goal before building a brand story is a must, as knowing your company’s objectives precisely means a greater chance of a pithily delivered narrative.
Your business story is your means of communicating and engaging with the audience. It ruins a stereotype that a brand is a piece of intricate and unattainable machinery that runs only for production and distribution. Storytelling branding showcases companies as real entities who have their voices and unique character.
The brand with powerful storytelling generates an immense emotional resonance within the audience. Transparent storytelling creates strong connections and provokes empathy. Empathy is what allows the audience to place themselves within the narrative and experience a real sense of belonging, by that becoming more loyal to the brand.
What is the power of storytelling?
Emotional engagement is not the only argument on why storytelling matters. Brand storytelling is no longer a nice thing to have – it is a must. Within a contemporary society that always longs for something unique it is crucial to be memorable. Studies show that if we share a story, people are more likely to remember the message, be influenced, and feel personally attached to it. Great brand stories can set up strong awareness, drive customer acquisition, accelerate sales, and increase retention and loyalty in a crowded marketplace.
But let’s delve deeper.
Thoughtful brand storytelling strategy can create an environment where the customers can feel at ease supporting the same ideas your business uphold. When crafting your story messaging, think about what values and views you want to pass on. What feeling do you want the customers to experience every time they engage with your content? What does your brand mean to them, beyond the product you’re selling? If you hit on all these elements, you’re on the right path for forming a group of your brand advocates. Therefore, they do not just continue to buy from you – they are more likely to support your brand story with trustworthy recommendations and reviews. Ultimately, it will influence the overall business performance positively.
To remove mere presumptions, let’s take a look at one of the great examples of brand storytelling – Tesla. The company’s brand mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Every year Tesla releases an Environmental Impact Report in the form of the story on how their automobiles managed to reduce carbon emissions worldwide. Tesla is not just a service that sells cars. It is a community of those who realize the importance of the environmentally friendly approach as Tesla does. Being members of such a tight-knit community gives customers a sense of belonging and motivation to influence the environment together. Stating the purpose is good, but sharing it is much better.
As a result, Tesla has climbed incredibly in the last ten years. They’ve managed to raise annual revenue from approximately $15 million to over $21 billion. The company has established a loyal customer base worldwide and engaged its customers into a joint mission.
But how to tell a story in a digital world? How to apply all valuable storytelling features to the online platforms? Here comes visual storytelling. Being a narrative told primarily through the use of visual media, it is not deprived of the capacity to evoke deep feelings and be highly interactive.
Ester Digital is a creative web design and development agency with strong expertise in the visual facets of the designing process. We provide our clients with creative design direction services, applying strategic thinking to every design concept and bridging the barriers between design and marketing. Here, at Ester, we understand the power of Illustrations and are convinced that being a part of the branding, they can do a lot more than merely constitute an appealing picture.
We know how to apply simple yet effective techniques to establish the visual identity and differentiate it from competitors. As a branding agency, we help businesses to define their exclusive brand features and turn them into an expressive part of their brand stories making the most of visual storytelling.
What is visual storytelling?
By definition, visual storytelling is the use of various visual media applicable to communicating the brand’s story. Thanks to the technological progress in the digital sphere, today’s visual storytelling is reinforced with graphics, images, audios, and videos. Exercising these facets in the narration process can significantly intensify the emotional impact the story produces and help business owners to build a strong visual identity.
As human beings, we’re drawn to visuals and hard-wired for responding to the stories. According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, while approximately 65% of the population are visual learners. Consumers view tons of content per day, so it’s important to stay distinguishable and memorable. Research performed by John Medina shows that people recall 65% of the visual content they view after three days in comparison to only 10% of written content. That’s the power of visual storytelling.
Great narratives stimulate all of our senses and promote thinking. If complemented with visuals, the storytelling even extends its influence:
- it simplifies complex messages and makes abstract concepts concrete, thus the audience is more likely to grasp the idea;
- visuals are more effective than text at inspiring customers to take action, as they are more depictive and engaging;
- it can present a sophisticated issue in a condensed manner;
- visual stories have more chances for better distribution on social media because it’s easier to watch something than to read heavy text messages.
Tips for visual storytelling
The art of visual storytelling lies in representing the information in a way that is compelling and emotionally-driven rather than solely decorating content with images. It’s reasonable to remember that while building a brand story.
Here is a list of other practical clues while engaging with the visual storytelling:
- Show, don’t tell Don’t tell the customers something if you can make them see it. Visuals are strong enough to produce an impact and are memorable rather than texts. What is more, visual storytelling has the power to depict the process mentioned in a more comprehendible way, ensuring that the message is delivered properly.
- Make a favorable first impression The human brain is programmed to make impressions immediately. And the packed online platform has taught us to make quick first impressions that help us to sort out the information present on the scope of the Internet without wasting much time. Therefore, when crafting a visual story, consider the first image the audience sees as the core of your further performance. Invest in it heavily, as it influences the decision of whether to continue viewing you or skip.
- Use only relevant materials Focus on the message you are trying to transmit and use only those images that complement the story perfectly. Don’t be exposed to the desire to grab all fancy pictures and put them all together. Otherwise, you are taking the risk to get a freaky amalgam instead of a striking combination.
- Make it move Without any movement, the visual can get boring, as there are no new impulses for the brain to catch. Animate your story – make it alive. It doesn’t necessarily mean to employ video or animation instead of steady images. Varying angle or distance is already enough to put the visuals into movement. Thus the visual story can not only capture viewers’ attention but retain it for a long time till the story ends.
- Compose visuals properly Don’t make the audience get lost in the mixture of primary and secondary elements. If the story has some points of greater weight, the best way to highlight them is to use the rule of composition. It says that the size of any object in your frame should be proportional to its importance to the story. In other words, emphasize images that are pertinent in your case. Keep the principal message always out in front.
- Build complete and coherent story Audiences are more likely to follow a story until the end if it has a clear exposition, climax, and resolution. Consistent and elaborated storytelling produces better effects rather than a simple sequence of facts or images. What is more, by implying this scheme, you can hide the message in the climax and put a call to action within the resolution, ensuring that the audience will get it efficiently.
- Relate to people In fact, people relate deeply to human stories rather than to the ones about animate objects. That’s why it’s better not to tell the story of a business or a product but the people behind it. Customers connect better with familiar aspects. Therefore don’t make up various heroes, but let your audience be the characters. When showing relatable people, you cultivate a sense of belonging in the customers, generating trust and loyalty to your brand.
- Teach the customers Since the earliest days, stories have been a tool for teaching people. Visual stories are the same. Don’t be blank – carry the message, show the knowledge, provide your audience with an experience that they can use beyond your story. Make the narrative worth hearing.
On a final note
Brand storytelling is the right way to achieve a balanced position between adhering to an audience-centric approach and promoting commercial objectives. Decent storytelling can bring power to delight, inspire, and motivate, thus developing more meaningful relationships with the customers and growing into a brand that is highly appreciative.
In this article, we focused on the importance of visual storytelling, and made a list of useful tips that can help to build a compelling visual narrative. You will never get a second chance to impress your audience so you should take it seriously and make a considerable effort to create a brand story that will work for you.
Having explored the subject from every angle, we accomplish the series of brand studies by this article. If you still have any questions about brand building and brand storytelling, feel free to contact us. We will provide you with all the information sufficient and even more for eliminating all possible inconsistencies.