Industry Buzzwords Column #2: Selling With Sentiment

Storytelling isn’t a new concept, by any means – it’s something which has ultimately ensured our survival as a species (think: passing on knowledge, warning of an action’s implications, and inspiring and motivating individuals). But ‘brand storytelling’ is a far more modern idea, and a phrase that’s getting even more exposure in the bustling retail environment. But what makes it so important?

On its most basic level, brand storytelling is used to breathe life into a concept, product or service – or even a brand. But go further up the food chain, and the ripples are far more impressive: a succinct and authentic brand identity; a loyal relationship between customer and brand; a creative and subtle way to bag a sale (or, at the very least, a chance to target the right audience and shape how they think). Storytellers invite customers on a journey which often aims to identify a problem or need, offer a solution, and give some resolution, breaking complex information and messages into bite-sized chunks.

Today, brands are increasingly tapping into our attention spans with stories that communicate their key messages – and sentiment is more powerful than ever.

The fabled three: brand storytelling at its finest

1. DOVE: SHAPING HOW THEIR AUDIENCE THINKS

While not the most recent campaign to cross our path, Dove’s recent ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ crusade showed women that they were ‘more beautiful than you think’. Women described themselves to an artist, then a stranger did the same – the stranger’s description gave a more ‘attractive’ result.

2. LEGO: COMMUNICATING BRAND VALUES

Only LEGO could create a feature-length film that plugged their product – without plugging it. Their storytelling skills build a story focused on the everyman who’s a bit special – so much so, that he can save the LEGO universe from being fixed forever (and all with a bit of hope, skill and imagination). Even the trailer has 25m views on YouTube.

3. LLOYDS: SOLVING A PROBLEM

Lloyds adverts are built on stories – and have been since they launched their new campaign last year. The newest addition is this ad, which sells their current accounts by setting up a problem (person wants to make their money grow) and solution (Lloyds current accounts).

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