3 Common Brand Storytelling Myths (and 3 Ways to Correct Them)
Storytelling has been around just about as long as there have been humans. Brand storytelling may have become popular over the last few years, but using words to paint pictures of characters, places and events is nothing new – and it certainly isn’t a fad. Neither is harnessing the power of story to build a loyal following for your business.
That’s a good thing, because the company that can tell an epic story will grow faster, last longer, and build an audience of brand advocates.
Since storytelling is such a hot topic, there’s naturally a lot of noise surrounding it. And there are some serious misconceptions out there that have founders and executives wondering if they are telling a story that lasts – or just “doing marketing.”
In this post, you’ll learn three of the biggest storytelling myths plaguing the business world – and what you can do to correct them.
Myth #1: Your Product or Service is Your Brand
No pulling punches here.
The truth is this: even if you only have one product, it’s NOT what makes your brand. There’s no doubt that the things you sell are an integral part of your brand message, but it’s not the whole picture. Your story goes beyond the stuff that you sell to the vision of the world that you’re inviting your customers into.
Everything from the marketing materials you put out to the onboarding and post-purchase care you provide to your customers are a part of your story.
Walmart has hundreds of brands, store chains with different names, and services that you probably don’t know about. But that isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about Walmart.
Instead, you’re more likely to think “low prices” – or maybe if you’re feeling less charitable, “cheap.” This brand was built on being the place for reasonably priced bulk goods.
That’s their story, and the heroes of their story are the customers that “save money and live better.” It’s not about selling individual products; it’s about selling a philosophy of life – helping consumers provide their families with good things at a lower cost.
What’s the message you’re conveying?
Make It Better: Don’t just let your products do the talking. Tell a story about the world you’re your customers want to be a part of. Then, tell everyone, at every stage of your funnel, the story of your business. Otherwise, you run the risk of limiting your brand’s meaningfulness in their minds.
Misconception #2: Brand Storytelling Takes Too Much Money
Telling your story is a holistic strategy, one that takes a concerted effort to use video, design, messaging and branding
Yes, there are costs associated with developing great branding and telling an incredible story. But it doesn’t take celebrity sponsorships and space travel to get people to feel a certain way about your company.
This myth comes from a place fear —which, believe it or not, is a good thing.
One of the many reasons your company is successful is because you know how to manage resources like a champ. You focus on marketing when necessary, but you also know when it’s time to just get on the phone and close some deals.
That said, if you’re thinking about brand storytelling as an endless money pit and not something that can be calculated, that thinking needs to change. You simply have to apply the same discretion to creating a plan and spending on things that are proven to make an impact on your brand image.
Just be careful. You may be wary of overspending, but underspending by using cheap contractors and services can end up costing you more than you think.
Make It Better: If you attack brand storytelling with the same level of intensity and mindset as other elements of your successful business, you’ll end up with your feet on the ground. Set a budget and avoid “cheap”, because cheap content tells a story of its own about your brand – just one that you probably don’t want to tell.
Misconception #3: You Don’t Have to Change
Right now, content marketing – especially video marketing – is the best means of conveying your story. However, it hasn’t always been that way, and with developments like virtual reality and other tech on the rise, it’s likely to evolve further. And that’s ok.
You think Coca-Cola regrets paying to paint their logo on the side of silos and barns?
No way! But it’s also not a huge part of their marketing budget these days.
Just having a blog isn’t going to tell your story as effectively as in the past. You have to increase your efforts and try new things in order to make sure brand awareness is increasing and being told the way you desire.
Ultimately, though, it’s not about the vehicles that tell your story, it’s about the story itself. Can yours stand the test of time?
Make It Better: Do your research, do what’s time-tested and effective, but make sure you’re experimenting and trying out new, unconventional ways to tell your story.
One of those effective vehicles are explainer videos. That’s our product, but our story is being mad-scientist level crazy about telling stories. If you want to speak with us about the best way to tell your story, get in touch.