Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Advertising is about one thing: Storytelling.
Today, it's incredibly difficult to find a market that isn't overly saturated by the same old kind of marketing.
Automated email. Banner ad. Targeted Facebook ad. Sponsored tweet.
Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
It's all quick sales, instant gratification, and bleh. In one word: transactional.
Time was that brands used to connect with consumers. Ya know, like human beings. It seems that the days of putting a little emotion into advertising died with Don Draper.
That man could sell a Polaroid to a polar bear.
Anyway, moving back to the heart of this piece, we need to discuss storytelling. In today's market, brands need to connect with audiences to win their loyalty (not their business). Any MBA can sell a product. It takes a true Silverstein to tell a story and win their loyalty.
So let's talk about falling up that downward staircase.
Brand storytelling is the wave of the future. It's the art from that pairs the boring factual information of your product or service with the sexy, dramatic emotion of your brand. It's the part of the pitch where you put the spreadsheet down, loosen your tie, and let the people hear what's in your heart.
Why do you exist? Why do you matter? What's your story? That's the brand story, my friend.
The story of your brand is a necessity in today's market, if you want to survive.
If you read the previous blog, you learned some quick social media tips and tricks. The key takeaway you...umm...took-away was that the concept of jumping on the trendy bandwagon is a bad idea.
Why? Because it makes you very forgettable.
If you're going to drive in the brand story lane, you have to be different. But, different than everyone else's different.
Most brands have quality products and services. Lack of quality isn't why they fail. No story is why they fail. Most people want to use your product -- but one thousand other people sell it.
What's so special about yours?
Here's what else: Facts are boring. They shouldn't be. But they are. American's are wired to listen to factual information and respond in a really good way. So, throw those in the trash.
Just like the night before Christmas, take your product and wrap it up into a beautiful little present. When she's all taped up, slap a bow on that thing. I mean really present that thing.
Work to evoke an emotion, make your pitch memorable. There's several ways to accomplish this.
Build a narrative. Add a namesake.
Link yourself to a cause.
Whatever you do, tell a dang story.
There are so many benefits to this practice. Not only do you avoid building a transactional, one-off business, you build customer loyalty. You build a brand.
Let's do the cliche thing. Consider the most successful brands that exist. Who is on that list?
Consider their branding. Nike is a media production company that sells athletic wear. Apple is a firm that supplies courage and bravery, they also sell new age tech.
Without the story, it's a pair of sneakers and some headphones without a wire.
Let's spit shine this thing and send it home. You're probably wondering how all of this can work and what you can do to still make money. That's fair.
Here's the most important thing you can know: in today's world, brand positioning is everything. Millennial and Generation Z, as consumers, demand that the organizations they buy from are socially responsible and civically engaged.
They don't want to donate money to companies who pay their employees minimum wage, don't recycle, hate animals, and regularly piss in the ocean.
How do you stand out in that vast sea of sameness? Give consumers an incentive to support you. Let them know that you're not a profit-center. Let them know that you're a community-based change-maker.
A true shot caller.
Storytelling was the method of our ancestors for relaying knowledge. It was the method of the ad men of old for peddling product. It was the role of your elementary school librarian.
Now it's the job of the small business owner, the marketer, the dreamer.
That's my story. What's yours?