Storytelling in the advertisement is as old as the advertisement itself. A captivating brand story is exactly what seals the deal when customers are choosing from a few alternatives. So a well-built storytelling strategy is something that already works and will carry on for years.
What’s different from the old times, the means of storytelling have totally changed and are still changing and getting more complex. Which is great in terms of new opportunities for businesses to express themselves.
On the other hand, curbing all the channels and ensuring smooth and uninterrupted storytelling has become a great challenge for marketers.
The brands that I’m analyzing in this article tell great stories. They can be good examples of how to craft your storytelling strategy and spread it through the relevant marketing channels.
What Is Brand Storytelling for an eCommerce Business?
Starting with the basics, brand storytelling is the narrative about your business and the products it sells. In other words, your story is your brand identity – the picture of how your customers see and perceive your company and your products.
The story you’ll tell will have an impact on the mission behind your brand, your product offering, promotional campaigns, and much more. Everything you tell your audience about your brand is a part of your story.
A good brand story should be told via communication channels your audience present at: social media, retargeting campaigns, advertising, SEO, public relations, events, and messaging.
Also, it should keep the balance between an audience-centric approach and the commercial objectives, like raising brand awareness or increasing revenue.
When crafting your storytelling strategy, don’t forget to consider the following aspects:
- The goal of your story and the message you want to convey
- Well-defined audience
- List of emotions, feelings, and thoughts you want to trigger in your audience mind.
- Best channels to reach the audience
- High-quality visuals, a clean design solution
- What is call-to-action
- Social proof: reviews and comments
Since you’ve got an idea of what brand storytelling is, let’s look at the examples, how strong and successful brands adopt this way of marketing to their advance.
#1. Casper focuses on how you feel using their products
Many companies seek to become lifestyle brands. And they can if they introduce themselves properly.
One of these companies is Casper. This company sells mattresses, bedding, and everything you might need for sleep.
When telling their story Casper marketers combine social proof (they have a lot of good reviews from happy customers) with visuals of people who are at home, relaxed, lying in their beds and being happy. So the main Casper’s focus is on what customers experience when using its products. And this is a classic example of the idea that in storytelling the brand isn’t the hero, the customer is.
Everyone knows how good it feels to spend time like this and Carper is carrying the flag for that great feeling.
Looking at their communication via different channels you won’t find an empty plain bed, because Casper’s story is not about the product only. It focuses on customers good emotions, feeling of coziness and comfort that Casper can provide them with.
It seems that this kind of approach pays off. The data also confirms, that “78% of Millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable”.
So the key takeaway is “sell an experience that your product can provide customers with, not a standalone product .”
#2. Glossier – skin first, makeup second
Glossier seems to be a conceptional brand. They introduce themselves as a people-powered beauty ecosystem and has a totally different approach to their audience.
Glossier mission is to change the traditional beauty paradigm, emphasize the natural beauty of human-being.
Photos with natural, not polished faces – that’s the way Glossier emphasizes the pure beauty and different approach from other cosmetics companies.
Also, this brand post videos on Instagram where men are talking about their cosmetics. Such posts also help to strengthen the standard-breaking position in the cosmetics market.
This brand uses mostly a website and social media for their communication.
I didn’t manage to find a signup form on their page and that kind of surprised me. Especially when the email channel has the highest ROI ($40 for $1 spent) of all channels so far. Building an email list and starting to send emails to website guests could be an unrevealed opportunity for this and any brand in eCommerce field.
#3. Columbia wants to build memories together
A well-known outdoor clothing brand Columbia challenges you for adventure and wants to be a part of it.
The website, social media, the blog, the online advertising of the brand tell us the same – get outside and make some memories.
They use not only photos of people dressed Columbia outerwear, but also breathtaking images of wild nature. The blog is full of stories of hiking, sailing, mountain biking, conquering the mountain heights, etc.
The story that Columbia tells us is about personal freedom, discoveries, the beauty of nature that you should experience yourself.
Columbia has 340K followers on Instagram. Plus, over 54K images under their brand hashtag #columbiasportswear. What does it mean for the brand?
It shows that storytelling which enables your customers to connect with you also enables them to make your story their own. The more you support this, the more customers will do the work for you.
#4. Away invites you to get away and explore
When I look at AWAY social media, I get a good craving for life. I want to book my flight tickets for weekend getaway immediately. I want to be that elegant lady in the Montmartre café.
That’s the reason why I think AWAY is doing great with their storytelling.
The brand uses most of digital marketing means. They use social media, retargeting, email marketing at full scale. All of these channels reach us and tell us about getting more out of every trip. The brand conveys the love of traveling and discovering, the high quality of life. And the AWAY luggage is a part of it.
People are different, but they all have feelings, similar values, life issues, etc.
They feel better when meeting alike-thinking people, hear familiar stories and can identify themselves with someone on the screen.
Be empathic. Tell them your story. Help your customers to address their issues, to arrange their biggest adventures, or to dare to live a better life by using your products and becoming a part of your story.
A good brand story with a strong focus on your customer will bring you better brand awareness, increase in organic traffic as well as higher overall conversion.
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