Once upon a time there was a lovely story of a brand… and inbound marketing made its apparition in communication. Since then, no company or brand makes a campaign without it. No company can do without this narrative technique, which captures attention by producing contents that go beyond the product and include it in a story capable of inciting emotion and interest.
The weight and evocative power of words
Does Aesop mean something to you? Along with the more familiar Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, he invented storytelling. The tale or the fable are narrative techniques with rhetorical figures to help shape or form a story by transmitting the essential information to the audience. In a hyper-connected society, submerged by images and information, the most certain way to draw attention is by creating a story or narrative that we can relate to.
Jacques Séguéla was the first to use this storytelling technique for publicity spots. To spread the word, there should be an interesting tale, and to make it effective, it must be related to the brand. Take the case of Nespresso with George Clooney’s adventures around his cup of coffee, Schweppes and its muse, who uttered the now famous line “What did you Expect” with glamour, and even Oasis that produced the little fruity characters.
These tales speak directly to the audience and amuse them in evoking subjects that seem familiar. Now, that is the art of storytelling. The public has had enough of aggressive advertisements or comparatives that end with an abrupt slogan. The public prefers to be swept away with the telling of a story. A brand’s content should be reflected in its own universe and transmitted by storytelling which should showcase its values, know-how and accomplishments.
Storytelling can be adapted to all fields of activity
Anyone can try it. Storytelling is not just reserved to major companies. The jewelry creator, Gas, has captured attention with the commentaries for its presentation film on YouTube and converted them into sales. The video shows the atmosphere of the workshops in Marseille, the skill of the artisans and the backdrop includes the Mediterranean. But not at any moment does the film directly boast the merits of the jewelry being created or ask the spectator to buy them. In a more technical domain, the electric and pneumatic tool factory, Dessouter, has created a video to show its history and celebrate its 100th anniversary. Clients and collaborators were delighted to see the video which provokes a closer link and instills a sense of belonging to the company.
Beyond the storytelling, it is the way in which it is told that is the most important. The main idea is to find an editorial approach that binds the product to the brand. This can be accomplished by using humour, linking the product closely with the audience, or making it attractive; in all cases the audience must be convinced to believe in it.
However, storytelling as a marketing technique does have its limits. There must be a coherence between the company or brand and its accomplishments. Essentially, the company must stay true to itself and have a clear understanding of its target audience. It should not be sidelined or lose sight of the goal by pursuing a mission that it has nothing to do with or that is no longer of importance. What else?