3 Examples that Prove the Power of Brand Storytelling

Power of Brand Storytelling

By Ekaterina Walter {grow} Community Member

Take a step back and imagine the past week in your life. Chances are, it’s been filled with stories. When humans come together, we may share a few facts and data points, but more often than not, stories are at the center of how we communicate, relate to one another, share and process information.

While storytelling is core to human behavior, are stories impactful when used in a business context? Absolutely! But only if they’re used strategically.

In a sea of sales-y ads, overly slick commercials and dull product posts, a well-crafted story can be a game-changer for companies.  In my new book (with Jessica Gioglio), The Laws of Brand Storytelling, we write about the impact storytelling-done-right has on your business and how to shape your brand strategy to achieve that impact.

In this post, I’ll share just three key proof points that showcase the potential power of brand storytelling.

Stories Are More Memorable Than Facts & Figures

Research from the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts and figures alone.

Capital One saw this firsthand when the company decided to activate its popular, “What’s In Your Wallet?” campaign on Instagram. Already a top performing campaign for Capital One, the company increased its ad recall by 16 percent by partnering with Instagram influencers to visualize their #walletstories.

In the campaign, the influencers created visuals of the personal keepsakes in their wallets and paired them with the personal, humorous and even quirky stories behind them. The effort allowed Capital One to not only reach a younger customer base, but the use of storytelling made the campaign more memorable than its other ads.

power of brand storytelling

Our Neural Activity Increases 5X When Listening to a Story

It’s often said that stories spark our emotions, but did you know that when you listen to a story that interests you, it actually lights up your brain activity? Storytelling lights up the sensory cortex in the brain, which can make you feel, taste or even smell the story. Research also shows that storytelling activates a process in the brain called neural coupling, which results in the listener to empathize with the story and relate it to their own thoughts and experiences.

Incredibly powerful insights, right? However, if you truly want to light up your customer’s brain activity, you need to invest in emotionally-charged storytelling. A brilliant yet heart-wrenching example comes from Toronto stationery store, Take Note. The company created a video to tell the story journey of one couple’s relationships through the notes they left for one another. Simple, poignant and highly relatable, it’s hard not get choked up and think about your own life and relationships while watching the video.

Stories Increase Our Likelihood to Purchase Products

Research from Headstream showcases that stories also have the power to sell us – in the moment or in the future. The company found that if people love a brand story, 55 percent are more likely to buy the product in future, while 15 percent will buy the product immediately.

Refinery29, a lifestyle news outlet targeting women, uncovered the power of storytelling to increase its subscriber base. The company tested a sequential storytelling ad campaign to one customer segment, while another was targeted with traditional ‘subscribe’ ads. In the storytelling ads, Refinery29 first told its story, then provided product information, and last invited people to subscribe.

Over a 12-day period, the sequential storytelling ads blew the traditional ads out of the water. Refinery29 reported an 87 percent increase in people visiting the landing page from the storytelling ads and a 56 percent increase in subscription rates. According to Melissa Goidel, chief revenue officer at Refinery29, “Quality and engagement are critical when developing a customer base with real lifetime value. By telling the Refinery29 story during the acquisition process, and building awareness and consideration before driving to conversion, we were able to increase our return on investment and ultimately acquire a more informed and qualified subscriber.

power of brand storytelling

The Power of Brand Storytelling

If sharing stories is core to how we as humans communicate, why wouldn’t companies embrace brand storytelling?

A key component of delivering positive customer experiences starts with communicating in a way that appeals to customers, employees, partners, and more. A well-told story is not only more memorable, but it has the power to differentiate your company.

Embracing storytelling challenges companies to reveal more about themselves. From sharing the “why” behind your purpose and values, to inspiring with customer stories or shining a spotlight on the incredible people who work for you, stories can humanize your company in a way that generates brand affinity and purchase.

Are you ready to tell your brand’s story?

ekaterina walterEkaterina Walter is the Co-founder and CMO of Branderati, a firm building influencer advocate networks. She is the author of Think Like Zuck and lists chocolate, books, fashion, and travel among her interests.She is the co-author of The Laws of Brand Storytelling

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