How to Find Your Brand's Story.
Ecommerce Strategy, Revenue Growth
79% of marketers will be prioritising brand marketing over the next 12 months (The Drum & Amazon Ads)
For many heritage brands who began their journey offline in stores, their brand story is often engrained in their DNA as a means to drive footfall. They would have adopted more traditional forms of advertising which predate the surge of digital and performance marketing, meaning that brand marketing has always played its part in generating demand, acquiring customers and driving brand recall and reputation.
However for ecommerce brands who were born online, sometimes this brand story has been overlooked in favour of fast acting sales messaging served within conversion led campaign types on digital platforms. And brands have seen success with this strategy in the past. However, with an increasingly saturated market and audiences' dwindling attention span across more and more digital platforms, we have seen strategies like these start to fail.
We know that Story telling is the key to your brand's growth. But how do you go about Storytelling when your brand currently has no story?
Finding your brand's story.
Finding your brand's story is centred around your why.
Why does your brand exist?
What struggle does your brand answer for your target audience?
What journey do you want to take your audience on?
These are great questions to think about when you begin to look at introducing storytelling into your strategy. And hopefully these are questions that you already have the answers to.
Stirring Emotion Through Story.
Whether a campaign makes you laugh, cry, ask questions or stir a motivation in you, emotion is proven to increase ad recall. That's why Christmas ad campaigns are so memorable. They are always routed in story and emotion.
When finding your brand's story, think about the emotion you want your audience to feel and use that to fuel your decision making when it comes to finalising creative briefs and outputs and creating associated messaging.
For Luxury brands, the idea of an aspirational lifestyle might be at the helm of your marketing. It's about creating a desire around your products and the feeling of a 'want' rather than a 'need'. And it's not tacky to use this to your advantage. By framing these aspirations in clever ways, you can create really authentic and effective campaign themes and ads that will work across a variety of channels.
After a substantial rebrand, Hugo Boss released it's first tailored BOSS campaign titled "Bosses aren't born, they're made".
Using recognisable public figures across a range of industries, they appeal to a wider audience. The story reflects what it takes to be successful without any explicit mention of their products. A catchy strapline and the addition of well known music helps cement this ad into the brains of consumers. Any of which look up to the featured figures, will be likely to begin considering to purchase from Hugo Boss.
As mentioned before, Heritage brands or brand which are routed in tradition can draw on these historical elements in order to build their brand's story.
A recent campaign from Levis is a wonderful example of how drawing on their history and heritage can create heartwarming, humurous and rememberable ads.
Purpose Driven Brands.
If your brand is driven by purpose, lean into it. Are your products sustainable, fair trade, up-cycled, antique or is your business B-Corp or Carbon Neutral? Or was your brand born out of a purpose bigger than your products or service?
Audiences are more and more aware of the impact of brands on the greater-good; whether that me socially or environmentally and this could be the tipping point in converting customers.
Take a look at Patagonia's "What's Next" Campaign.
You'll notice that at no point were products showcased and there was absolutely no mention of the brand until the final frame. Patagonia want to showcase their purpose, which is helping to save the planet and they have put this at the forefront of their campaign ahead of any new lines of products. This campaign is extremely impactful and even potentially shocking at some points but for audiences who are aligned with this value, it's incredibly effective.
Get started with Your Story.
To conclude, in order to get started with planning your Storytelling. You need to have the following:
A clear picture of your audience
Your brand's why
The emotion your want to centre your campaign around
Decide on your objectives/metrics/KPIs
Write your creative brief and create new campaign assets (video will always be favoured over stills)
Plan your channel mix and how you will integrate this campaign into your wider strategy
Check your attribution tools to ensure you can report on effectiveness of brand building
Be patient. Brand building will take time as not everyone in your audience will be ready to buy immediately.