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Brand Storytelling Stories that Build Customer Loyalty

 
January 1, 2016

Those Who Tell The Stories Rule The World. Plato, Greek Philosopher and Mathematician

All around the world brands are making storytelling the core foundation of their marketing campaigns to be successful in their go-to market strategies and to connect with the audience. By inducing an emotional connection with the audience, storytelling leaves them feeling nostalgic, happy, sad, or warm.The essence of the stories that brands tell to their customers, outlines the identity and the value that brands want to relate themselves with.

Todays digital consumers have a fast paced always on lifestyle where the attention span of an average person is a mere eight seconds, less than that of the infamously ill-focused gold fish. No wonder it is becoming a tremendous challenge for marketers to cast that magical spell on their audience for higher brand recall and engagement.

Contently, a New York city based media firm, conducted a survey of 3000 respondents asking them whom they would trust more as a leader, the author and story teller JK Rowling or the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth. A high majority of people chose JK Rowling as the more trustworthy person of the two because they felt more connected to the best-selling author of the Harry Potter series and hence, found her more believable. Brands that tell meaningful stories are perceived as humane and make an instant emotional connection with the audience, creating a relationship where they start to trust the brand.

Here’sa look at three powerful marketing campaigns from 2015 which captivated the audience by telling wonderful stories.

 

John Lewis #ManOnTheMoon

John Lewis Christmas 2015 video ad tells a heartwarming story of a little girl Lily, who notices an old man living on the moon all alone through her telescope. The determined child then makes all sorts of efforts to reach out to the old man on the moon and finally manages to bring a smile on his face on Christmas eve, when he reads her message and receives a telescope from her as a gift. The campaign, with the tagline Show someone theyre loved this Christmas, is aimed at creating awareness and encouraging people to care for the elderly, who may otherwise be alone during the holidays. The campaign resonated well with the viewersand became popular on social media as the #ManOnTheMoon. It garnered 23,000 online mentions in just two hours of the release, while the video had 23 million views on YouTube in a month.

 

Womens Aid Look At Me

Storytelling for marketing campaigns isnt only limited to using video as a medium. On Womens Day, Womens Aid launched a digital billboard campaignin London addressing the issue of domestic violence. The digital billboards made use of facial recognition technology to track when passersby were paying attention to the picture of the bruised woman on the billboard. As more people started noticing the image, the bruises on the womans face started to heal faster spreading the social message that the issue can be tackled by not turning a blind eye to the sensitive matter. The campaign was applauded for creatively highlighting the social cause and bagged several advertising awards at the Cannes Lions.

 

Chevrolet Woodchipper

Chevrolet launched a series of ads in 2015 centered on the Real People, Not Actors campaign where they interact with people in focus groups.The 'Woodchipper' video is an example from the campaign. . It manages to create moments of thrill, tension and anxiety that enable viewers to empathize with the members of the focus group in the commercial where their phones are destroyed in a woodchipping machine as part of the experiment. The fear of not being connected and not having your smartphone can be pretty overwhelming in todays digital world. By taking the audience through a tensed emotional journey of being disconnected in today’s world, thisChevrolet commercial brilliantly highlights the new WiFi connection feature of the Chevy Cruze car that helps drivers to stay connected all the time, even while driving. This ad was featured among the Most Engaging Auto Ads in 2015.And, the phones destroyed were not actually the focus group participants phones after all.

 

To engage with the target audience and hold their attention brands can do a lot more than just talk about themselves and their products. Marketing via storytelling enables brands to take their customers on a journey at the end of which they would form an emotional bond with the brand.These are just a few examples of how the power of storytelling is being used to build deeper engagement and brand loyalty. Stories allow you to demonstrate your company goals, values and culture in a context people can easily relate to, and that leads to deep, lifelong customer relationships.

Aditi Roy Ghatak is Digital Marketing Content Strategist with the TCS Digital Software & Solutions Group. She has extensive experience in technology research which includes upcoming trends in the digital, social and information technology field and analyzing their applications across businesses. She also has prior experience in market intelligence activities which included studying industry trends to identify potential business opportunities and has been responsible for segment and account based marketing. She has published articles on enterprise cloud applications across industries and digital as well as social media trends. She covers current topics and digital trends in the e-Commerce and customer analytics space on the Because Digital blog.