Telling Your Story

Why Storytelling Should Be a Priority for Marketers

Why Storytelling Should Be a Priority for Marketers

Storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience.

Storytelling is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections. From the earliest recorded history, storytelling was a method used by cavemen to communicate, educate, share, and connect. As an example, think about Suburu’s ads which communicate “love” through a series of ads that establishes the car brand as a symbol of caring for those you love. Whether it’s a father caring for his son or daughter, or a parent caring for their beloved pet, the series of ads are more about what the brand represents to the family than the horsepower that the car delivers. By communicating the brand through stories, Suburu is able to elevate the meaning of the brand and better crystalize how it fits into customers’ lives.

2. Storytelling is a powerful method for learning. As marketers, we should always be seeking to learn more about the world we live in, the brands that we represent, and the consumers that we serve. One of the things that is unique about stories is that they transmit knowledge and meaning. We learn from observations, first-hand experiences, and by sharing those experiences through stories. Storytelling can be a powerful tool that enables marketers to understand what is going on in the marketplace and what that means for the customer, consumer, society, brand, and company.

3. In addition to being an important strategic tool, storytelling can be an important tactical tool that lets marketers engage consumers in a fragmented media world. Because there is such media fragmentation, consumers are not just looking for different experiences but different delivery. Why should a consumer give you their time? Storytelling isn’t just a creative approach to marketing. It gives your consumers a totally different entry to your brand.
As Kelley Blue Book’s Most Trusted Brand for seven years running[1], Subaru of America is committed to building vehicles our customers can rely on while being a part of a greater good. From our Share the Love events that support numerous charitable organizations to funding we provide for nonprofit organizations in our communities across the country to our zero-landfill production plant, we are proud to say that Subaru is more than a car company.
Founded after WWII with the intent of selling picture frames, the couple who founded Mattel also made doll houses out of scrap wood. These houses became more popular and profitable than the picture frames, which led the pair to focus on toys, creating one of the biggest brands in the world.
Our brand originated as a decal and we have sold over 2 million of these to our loyal customers. Today, Salt Life is more than just a logo; it represents a passion for the ocean, the salt air, and most importantly, a way of life. Founded by four watermen from Jacksonville Beach, FL, Salt Life has captured the attention of many ocean enthusiasts across the world and became one of today’s leading lifestyle brands.
Trader Joe’s is a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores. We are committed to providing our customers outstanding value in the form of the best quality products at the best everyday prices. Through our rewarding products and knowledgeable, friendly Crew Members, we have been transforming grocery shopping into a welcoming journey full of discovery and fun since 1967. At Trader Joe's, you won’t find a lot of branded items. Instead, you’ll discover a store full of unique and interesting products, along with everyday basics, in the Trader Joe's label.

A great storytelling brand is the Yankees.

It has been the core of their brand for 100-plus years. They not only tell the hero’s journey, but they use failure to turn it into Yankee lore. Steinbrenner was a master storyteller; he could not only capture the Yankee story but he could stoke it. Even when things didn’t go well, they embraced individual struggles and looked for opportunities at redemption; as an example, consider Darryl Strawberry. Now, they have the YES Network where shows like Yankeeography share great stories about players from past and present, and others like Stars and PinStripes share stories from celebrity Yankees fans. Importantly, it isn’t just a story that the brand owns—it is a shared narrative between New Yorkers, fans, and the Yankees. This use of failure, redemption, and success helps make the organization a little more human and a little more relatable, and these stories are helping the fans get closer to the brand. In a sense, the Yankees story extends beyond their own media platforms into ones they don’t even own. All-time Yankee great Derek Jeter started the Players’ Tribune a couple years ago to give athletes a chance to share their own stories; several of his former teammates have used the platform to do just that. It isn’t about a carefully structured message but rather about sharing experiences through stories so that we are more deeply communicated.

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