How Brand Storytelling is the Key to Successful Branding
The art of storytelling goes back millennia. Google the “Chauvet Cave,” and you’ll find the tales of a 36,000-year-old volcanic eruption drawn across the walls. Human beings are drawn to stories because it’s how we learn, how we teach, how we make sense of the world, and how we pass along important insights for generations. It makes sense that in today’s modern world, incorporating storytelling into our branding and marketing strategies is the most powerful way to connect with customers.
Building a StoryBrand
If you’ve got your fingers on the pulse of anything branding, sales, or marketing related, you’ve likely heard of (or maybe even read) the book Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, published in 2017. It’s no secret that this book is having a ~moment~ in the world of professional creatives across industries, and for good reason.
Miller’s StoryBrand philosophy pulls heavily from the narrative structure known as “the hero’s journey,” popularized by writer Joseph Campbell in the mid-20th century. And while the hero’s journey template is more of a conceptual study of narrative patterns in mythology and literature, Miller takes these foundational concepts and applies them deftly to the contemporary business world. Many businesses today use the StoryBrand structure as a sales guide, taking a customer from the first touchpoint to closing the deal.
Whole essays could be written (and have been) just breaking down insights from Donald Miller’s groundbreaking book, but, we’ll stick with some of the basics to keep it simple.
The Hero - Your Customer
The Storybrand model centers the customer as the hero. Like any good protagonist, there’s something the hero wants. Maybe it’s something more material - a new car, a healthy dog treat for their canine BFF, ultralight camping gear, or the perfect wedding venue. More likely though, it’s not just a service or product the hero wants. It’s a feeling of being a part of something that connects them to others and validates their identity.
They want a new car from a company that makes cars with their lifestyle in mind. They want healthy dog food from a business that demonstrably cares about dogs. They want ultralight camping gear from a brand that shares the same sense of fun and adventure they have. They want a wedding venue that’s not just beautiful, but that aligns with their vision of one of the happiest days of their life.
The Guide - Your Brand
Once you narrow down the hero's desire, the problem becomes how do they actually get what they want? That’s when they meet their Guide - your brand!
The Guide does exactly what the name suggests. Your brand and marketing campaigns tell them a story about themselves and their desires, guiding them along a pathway that ultimately leads to the call to action that will define their success or failure. Of course, the hero wants success! So they stick with your brand, accomplish their mission, and ideally become lifelong customers with strong emotional connections to your brand.
So how does this all relate to branding?
Arguably, no better professional creative endeavor utilizes storytelling to greater effect than branding. Branding, at its heart, is about people. Good, strong brands connect with people on a level that goes deeper than just their surface products or services. Branding builds connections and tells stories, and people love stories, especially when they see themselves reflected in those stories.
At Quill Creative Studio, we take the framework of the StoryBrand concept and integrate it with the tried-and-true branding process we use to uncover a brand’s essence. When we work on a new branding project or a company rebrand, we dive deep into the key features that make your business special and differentiate you from your competitors. We then use those essential values as the foundation for your brand identity.
From there, we use brand storytelling techniques to tell your story - specifically, your brand’s story and the ongoing story of your business’s heroes (your customers). Quality brand strategy and identity will weave your brand’s story into everything you do, from marketing to internal communications, even getting as granular as the art on your walls and the colors in your logo.
Each piece of the story your brand tells leaves breadcrumbs for your potential customer to follow, ultimately leading them down the path to success, with your business centered as the facilitator of that success.
Brand strategists are storytelling experts.
Anyone who’s ever been tasked with writing a compelling story knows it’s not as easy as it seems. Even the best writers get writer’s block and can take years to complete their masterworks.
That’s why working with a creative branding studio like Quill is an essential part of crafting a brand with staying power that works for your company for years to come and creates a loyal following of customers. The creative brand strategists at Quill will not only help you boil down your brand identity into a concise impactful story that people will remember, they’ll also create a plan to execute it across every touchpoint of your business.
And with ongoing brand management, Quill’s brand strategists can continue to build on that story by highlighting your successes, facilitating team bonding and meaningful company culture, and strengthening customer relationships.
Let Quill Creative Studio tell your story.
At Quill, we’re pretty good at telling brand stories that resonate with people, revealing what’s meaningful in what you do, and nailing down what’s at the heart of your business’s philosophy.
If you’re ready to discover what your brand’s story is, let’s chat!