Companies That Successfully Used Brand-Driven Storytelling

20-Jun-2019 12:20 PM Digital Marketing

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell.” - Seth Godin

When we meet someone in real life, to know them better, we ask them questions. We try to understand their story and to tell our own (at least to an extent). Here, the ultimate goal is to connect and to find someone of the same nature, similar likes/dislikes, and beliefs. Someone who can relate to these stories and empathize with us.

This rule is the same for businesses too. Storytelling has become an integral part of building the brand. It shapes the outlook of the business and helps consumers develop a connection with your business.

No matter how you tell them the story, the only trick is to be authentic and true. If you do it the right way, it helps you construct a successful brand. People buy your products simply because they love and believe the stories you share with them.

In today’s age of brand experience, emotional engagement is important, and storytelling is the heart of such movements. Let’s look at three brands that are building their business empires with their authentic storytelling.

1. Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees is an American skin care products company that markets internationally, making around $250MM in revenue.

Surprisingly, when you go to the ‘About Us’ page on their website, you won’t see the word skin care anywhere on the page. The page starts with a statement, ‘TRUE TO NATURE’, which is followed by “At Burt’s Bees, we champion the benefits and importance of nature in our lives and work to protect its beauty and diversity.”

The page contains four points mainly: they use 100% natural products and ingredients, they don’t do any animal testing, they do responsible sourcing, and they use recyclable packaging. The ‘About Us’ page closes with their philanthropic efforts.

Without even mentioning a single word about their products, they are giving the customers enough reasons to buy products from them; as good corporate citizens bound to protect the environment.

2. Yerdle

Yerdle is an app-based service that builds and operates on resale programs. It finds value in recycled goods and operates a resale program for brands like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher. Yerdle is considered as the pioneer of the circular economy.

Yerdle, which was started in 2012, decided to leverage the benefits of storytelling to further build their brand and deepen engagement. With that intention, they announced an award program. The categories in Yerdle Award Program had different categories such as Best Supporting Member, Best Giver, Most Spirited, Best Shopper, Loyalist, Best Friend Socialista, Daybreaker, and Newbie.

This story-driven campaign saw users sharing the spirit of the brand in such a way that it triggers engagement, generate an emotional response, and build community interaction.

3. AirBnB

AirBnB is an online marketplace that allows homeowners to offer their house, or part of it, for rent. Travelers can use this site to book a stay in these homes. This is how Airbnb started. The story of Airbnb becoming a million-dollar company without owning or managing a single property, in such a short time, is inspiring and wonderful.

The game-changer was the decision to build their empire on the power of storytelling. Without the customer, there is no product at all. For Airbnb, the customers – both hosts and guests – themselves constitute the brand. So, the company provided a space for these hosts and guests to share their experiences. Instead of telling the story of the company, they provided a platform for the customers to tell their stories.

It is a fact that people might feel a little anxious and uncomfortable when staying in a stranger’s home. But when Airbnb used videos, articles, and images to tell the customers’ stories, it helped potential guests understand their hosts (and their houses) better and put their mind at ease.

Stories provided the answers. Stories were and are the key. 

These brand stories not only tapped into people’s emotions but also helped them connect with these brands and their services. Storytelling is not just a new marketing technique. In fact, science has proved that descriptive storytelling has a great impact on the human brain.

But, to create a story that resonates with the customer, it is crucial not only to include them in the story but also to highly engage them. Ultimately, it is all about creating a connection with your brand that eventually leads to long-term brand loyalty.