Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to bring your brand to life. By giving your products and services an identity through the sharing of stories, you can take your target audience on a journey they’ll want to experience. No wonder it is considered to be a major component of a content marketing approach!

Remember that a brand is a matter of perception, and how a person feels about yours will determine whether or not they buy your product. Emotional branding is the art of telling authentic, creative and inspirational stories that embody human challenges and experiences that resonate with your customers – resulting in increased sales and retention.

What makes for good storytelling?

If you think about it, storytelling is the oldest form of passing on knowledge. Stories celebrate our heritage and stand witness to the lives we’ve had. In fact, so much of what we know today is influenced by stories and how we interpret them.

When creating your unique brand story, there are three questions you need to ask yourself: What is your voice? What do you stand for? Why does it matter to your audience?

In attempting to answer these questions, remember you are telling a story, not inventing one. The whole reason your brand even exists is filled with stories! And good content doesn’t have to be all story – sometimes it can be purely informational. That’s because good storytelling is not only creative, it’s also subtle and often not directly about you, your brand or your services. It’s about the emotions, experiences and needs the relationship to your brand evokes. So, a good way to create your storytelling content is by coupling personal and existing stories to your brand narrative.

Next, keep your storytelling consistent and always adapt it as human needs evolve. It may seem that some actions and initiatives have a one-off element to it, but whether it’s for events, content or campaigns, it should always fit within your broader, audience-focused narrative.

At the end of the day, creating a captivating brand story is just like writing a good old-fashioned fairy tale where you need three acts for completion: Set the scene; chronicle the conflict; offer a resolution…but with business stories however, a fourth element comes into play: A call to action – which is often indirect.

“Effective content marketing is about mastering the art of storytelling. Facts tell, but stories sell!” – Bryan Eisenberg, online marketing & customer experience pioneer.

Deciding on which stories to tell

Take the following into account when identifying the stories that will best serve your branding needs:

      • Stories must be personal. What inspired you to create your company? How was your brand born? What is your personal mission? And most importantly, what needs in your audience were you hoping to satisfy at the time?
      • Your customer is the main character. While it is important to tell your own story, client narratives have the largest long-term impact on brands. Your customer should be your main character, with your company playing the supporting role that offers tools to help them create successful resolutions.
      • Testimonials can be your most powerful weapon in building customer loyalty. IF they are told in the right way. A testimonial comprising just a few sentences is forgettable, but a story that gets to the heart of your customer’s personal life and challenges, paired with the lengths your company went through to meet their needs in a positive outcome, will stick with readers long after they move on from your marketing materials.


Knowing which story to tell in which medium

Any medium can be used to tell a story. This includes blogs, film, print, social channels and multimedia. However, each medium will elicit a different response from your target audience, so your stories must be tailored appropriately. The key to success is knowing which story to tell in which medium. Short, punchy messages work best on radio, television and the internet, while online conversations, conferences and seminars allows for a more personal connection.

To be a good storyteller, you must listen to your audience so you can truly appreciate and understand their desires, concerns, beliefs and attitudes. This must continue as your story unfolds so you can gauge their reaction and subsequently let it help determine how your brand evolves. As your objectives and goals shift, plan new initiatives to propel your story forward and inspire renewed calls of action.

For more information or assistance with storytelling techniques and media to boost your brand, contact BWD Advertising (BWD), on +27 11 321 0193 or email

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