Would it really be a blog about storytelling if we didn’t start with a story? Let’s take a quick look at one of Samsung’s most iconic advertisements.
The ad begins with the introduction of Amit, a Samsung television serviceman who has received a call from a customer who needs their TV repaired. We watch as Amit sets off in his service van, travelling a long distance to get to the customer’s location in time. We see him drive across unstable bridges, tiny streams, steep ghats, and rocky roads. Finally, upon his arrival at the customer's house, he is taken aback to see a young, blind girl open the door. Unfazed, she carefully shows him the way to the living room where the television set is kept. From the decor around the house, the audience learns that Amit is in a hostel for visually impaired children.
Even though he’s puzzled, he quietly fixes the television and switches it on. The girl is overjoyed that the TV is fixed in time and impatiently calls all the members of the hostel to watch the show that's about to start. Amit watches as several blind children climb down the stairs carefully and sit together to watch a singing reality TV show. As the first contestant starts performing, the girl proudly informs Amit that the contestant on screen is one of their fellow hostel members.
Seeing them sway to the song and the bright smiles on their faces, Amit smiles too, knowing that his every effort has been rewarded by this experience.
And that’s the power of storytelling.
In this way, Samsung India Service shows the lengths their service people go to deliver quality service to their customers. Making such a connection with your audience is the most important goal of storytelling, and that’s what will attract people to your brand, whether it is online or not. If you’re wondering why brands need good storytelling, the answer is simple.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it
For instance, Airbnb is a company that is involved in rentals, lodging and home stays, the same concept as hostels and dorms but with a small twist; the customers can connect directly to the hosts of the house. People are not very interested in how Airbnb makes this happen but they are interested in the people they could be staying with.
So Airbnb dedicates a page on their website that tells you more about your host. This page tells you a story about your host, the country they come from and the different experiences you can have in that house. This makes people feel more connected to the people who run these properties, in turn making them more comfortable and willing to rent the house.
If you want to leverage storytelling for your brand just the way Airbnb and other popular companies do, you can learn more about planting and crafting these stories by subscribing to our PowerPass. Take the first step to #RaiseYourPower with in-depth courses on brand strategy and content writing. In the meantime, here are a few essential tips to keep in mind before delving into the depths of storytelling.
How to master the art of storytelling
Know your audience
The first thing you need to figure out is who wants to hear your story. Remember that scene in ‘Friends’ when Ross was desperately trying to narrate a story about dinosaurs to the gang and they were barely listening to him? Well, seems like Ross needs to figure out his target audience better. The key is finding out your audience’s interests and tastes and then choosing a topic that resonates with them. While you’re writing the story, think about how you want your audience to react and feel.
Add characters, conflict and resolution
There are certain formulas that create a great story. Relatable characters + enticing conflict + an unexpected resolution = one killer story. Firstly, you need certain characters in your story that people can empathise with and who can probably be an example of your buyer persona. Secondly, you can create a genuine conflict that can symbolise certain needs or problems that occur in the first stages of the buyer journey. Thirdly, you need to portray how your product or service solves that particular problem or need through the resolution.
Create an emotional response and develop a community
Humans are emotional in nature and tend to resonate with stories that tap into familiar situations in their lives. Create genuine brand stories that highlight struggles, failures, successes or celebrations. Make it authentic and tap into the emotions that one feels during those moments. In this way, your audience can empathise with your story.
If you’re able to get a large number of people to relate to the situation, you will be able to create a community for your brand, which can result in loyalty over time. Online storytelling with data and the power of social media are making it easier to create communities and generate brand loyalty.
Inspire your audience to take some action
The ending of your story should inspire your audience to take some form of action. Ask yourself a few simple questions about what you want the user's next step to be at the end of the story. Do you want them to buy your product, subscribe to your newsletter, follow your social media accounts, or even donate some money? Whatever it is, align your story so it leaves your audience with a strong call to action.
Consumers believe that the brands they purchase should be a reflection of their own identity, and people are more likely to purchase products and services that align with their own values and attitudes. Unconsciously the brand’s stories stay with them and their desire to be associated with the brand increases. This is why it is important to keep reinforcing your brand's core message through storytelling. If done the right way, brand storytelling can create such a strong connection with your audience that it not only influences them to purchase your product but also become a loyal customer.
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