Once upon a time, storytelling. Five formulas to engage your audience with your brand.

Many people ask me how they can tell their brand story. It is not that different than the stories, we, humans have told since ancient times we have been telling stories, mythologies and legends. 

Why is storytelling important for a brand?

Memorable

Stories are more memorable than facts. Remember in History lessons, how you could remember the story but always struggle to remember the years. Our brains have a facility to remember emotional things more that disheartened facts. 

Coherence

Storytelling helps you to create a narrative with concordance to your brand. When you tell your brand benefits and what you stand for is essential that correlate with tour brand essence. 

Consistency

Storytelling helps you to keep a consistent story that sticks in the mind of your audience. It doesn’t need to be repeated over and over, but more like reiterate in different ways. 

How does storytelling work? 

Storytelling is not about showing the whole picture at once. It works a little bit more like Quentin Tarantino films. Here is an example, from the techniques further down you write the entire story (the message you want to transmit), that then you split into chunks. One can be a blog post, “10 problems you want to solve today”. Another part of that story can be a podcast with an interview. You could take another bit and create a downloadable quiz, and the other could be a Vlog. Those stories can also be represented in smaller stories on an Instagram post, a Tweet or a newsletter. Your customer will be bumping into your pieces and eventually will understand how you can make their life better.

– Ok, Narcis what about those formulas?

Five formulas to help your storytelling

There are a lot of formulas, but these are the ones I like to use most.

Before-After-Bridge

This formula is straightforward to use. It’s about setting the stage, describing the world with the problem (Before). Then you imagine the world with that problem solved (After). Then you explain how you get there, how you solved that problem with your product or service (Bridge).

Three-Act storytelling structure

Similar to the above, but the difference is that first, you set the scene, introducing the characters and the problem. Then build up the tension, or create confrontation. Finally, you resolve the issue.

Star – Chain – Hook

Start with a positive opening (Star). Then convince with facts, benefits or reasons (Chain). In the end, you give a compelling call-to-action (Hook). 

Kishōtenketsu

Used in classical Chinese, Korean, and Japanese narratives, Kishōtenketsu it’s another way to explain stories for your brand. 

起 – Ki means wake, which refers to the introduction of the characters, the potential users of your product. 承 – Shō means consent literally, but what we do here is develop those characters and the story. 転 – Ten means revolvewe’ll create a complication, a twist. 結 – Ketsu means blind, the conclusion of the story.

Hero’s Journey

It is the most famous formula and a story that you have seen many times in Hollywood films. 

Our Hero (your customers) lives in an ordinary world. And she or he gets a call for adventure. The adventure starts to the unknown and meets the Helper (this in Starwars is Yoda, in your brand story it’s you), and after a few experiences, they have a transformative revelation. And transformed our Hero goes back to the world that is not ordinary any more.

Now it’s your turn to play!

Storytelling is something to have fun. You can choose one or another formula depending on the complexity of your piece. For a Good Ads, you might use Start-Chain-Hook, but for a series of emails after a subscription, you play the Hero’s journey. Let me know how you get on!

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