Skip to main content

In today’s industry, storytelling has become the new vogue. Brands of all shapes and sizes are introducing a narrative to their content. You need to think of this narrative as a marketing journey. It’s no longer enough to point to unrelatable metrics. Customers won’t translate a series of charts and figures into a reason to trust you. Instead, you need to be able to convince them of your likability and place in the community.

Google don’t really have to market anymore, they are simply working on ways to keep their fans happy. If you haven’t seen this Google story, you can watch it here.

The story is this: a man in Delhi tells his granddaughter about his childhood friend, Yusuf. He hasn’t seen Yusuf since the Partition of India in 1947, when India and Pakistan became separate countries and the two friends were forced to separate. The man’s granddaughter arranges for the two to meet again.

This story is about as emotional as it gets. Stories like this provide a chance to experience a variety of emotions without the risk of those emotions themselves. Emotions like wonder, fear, courage, or love can be tested out in the minds of those as they listen to a story.

If you really listen to your customers, like Google has, you can leverage their stories to drive your creativity. By analyzing their stories of how your products and services fit into their lives, you can gain valuable insight into their needs and desires, which can be hugely beneficial to other aspects of your business. Like product design and development and ongoing marketing strategy. The reunion has done that well don’t you think?

The story is simple and direct. It’s beautiful, and honest, and true. The photography is spectacular. The music adds to the very good acting.

Dove sells soap, that stuff we use every day and that arguably has absolutely no story behind it whatsoever. Seriously. Soap?

But Dove don’t care about what other people think. A couple of years ago, the company decided to include men in it’s frankly quite awesome storytelling approach to marketing. For years now Dove has focused on real people and their stories, specifically women who are ‘real’, as in not supermodels. This focus has meant that women have identified with, liked and followed the company all over the Web. They feel cared for by Dove, and recognised as being worthy of feeling beautiful. This has all been done by telling stories about beauty, whether it’s the beauty of a mother and daughter relationship or the beauty of a face and body that is generally viewed as being ‘average’.

All of this has been freed up by a focus on real people. This campaign went even further, and told a real, compelling story about a father simply wishing to see his child. It works because we have a story here, a video that tells us about something that stirs up emotions (remember what we said about emotions earlier). And it links those emotions to the healing, reuniting power of soap.

To understand this, understand that Dove sells soap that it feels takes care of the people who use it. It is simple soap that helps you look after your skin. Link that idea to a dad coming home from service to see his child, and you have a compelling story.

If you’re a brand and you engineer happiness with your product, show how you do this. Tap into the emotions you create, and then use that insight in your content. Dove has done it well, and they’ve kept it very simple at the same time.

Simple storytelling has enabled Google and Dove to create brands that are synonymous with their vision. The brand narrative of each compels the consumer to accept its necessity in the market. Study the underlying principles of these brand leaders. By implementing them in your own company, you can begin to redefine its purpose. When you understand your story, you’ll be able to build from it a stronger, more appealing brand.

So, have you crafted your Brand story yet?