Brand storytelling: communications magic that drives results

Bentley Brayant graphic designers web design trends

Bentley Brayant Creative Communication News   •   August 2, 2017

brand storytelling

Stories create an experience, whether they are imaginary, like “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” or real, like Gandhi’s autobiography “The Story of My Experiments With Truth”.

It’s true of brand storytelling, too.

A now-legendary example of brand storytelling is the Dove “Real Beauty” promotional campaign, originally launched in 2003. It features “real” women, as opposed to models, to inspire us to think about every woman as beautiful, no matter her age, race, size or occupation. One ad, Sketches, features women describing their faces and the faces of others to an unseen sketch artist, revealing the gap between negative self-perception and the more positive perceptions of others. There’s also the Choose Beautiful campaign, which is part research and part promotion. Women in five cities across the globe choose whether to enter the door marked “Beautiful” or the door marked “Average”.

There’s no doubt that these campaigns tell stories, but what makes that so effective? Narratives are a central part of how we learn about and understand the world. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, seeing a character-driven story makes us more empathetic. We neurologically connect with stories, and their messages then connect with us.

Storytelling as a branding strategy

Brand storytelling gets to the heart of branding: getting an audience to associate themselves with the values and experience of your brand. Women, Dove’s target market, can relate to “real women” struggling with their looks and beauty.

This was all part of Dove’s brand positioning. “Dove knows that women are constantly scrutinized about how they look