Strategy | 2 min read

Andrea Arrieta

Storytelling can make or break a brand

We can all agree that everyone enjoys a good story; whether it’s telling it or listening to one…proof of it is the irrational online-streaming binge watching most of us have inexplicably given into at one time or another.

 

During the last 5 years or so, “storytelling” has become a buzz word in the brand-building industry. An understandable trend given the fast-paced/ constantly-changing/ difficult-to-get-a-hold-of market reality we live in. Stories help things make sense, they give a full-circle argumentation to our choices, and have the quality to make what is being offered (a.k.a. products/services) feel more authentic; either because a) they are put in a context we can relate to, b) the story is built around a rising tension we connect with, c) because we feel attracted to the way (form) it is being delivered, or d) all of the above.

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As in any genre, to build a good brand story you need good material to build it on; otherwise it just won’t hold up.
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As in any genre, to build a good brand story you need good material to build it on; otherwise it just won’t hold up. A good example of a brand that last year built its storytelling over shaky ground and immediately suffered the consequences: the infamous Fyre Festival. It just goes to show that brand storytelling is (for now) the best and harshest test for any brand; it separates – relatively quickly – the ones with true content, from the empty shells. It can even take you out of the market, because as consumers, we are developing a keen sense for quickly detecting and rejecting trivial brand stories. Brand storytelling is ultimately the sword of Damocles in modern day branding.

 

So in the end, I personally feel happy and relieved for this trend; it’s making brands look inward, try to understand their “why”, think hard to define their story arch, and sometimes during the process even question and reformulate their business outlook to make it connect better or stronger with their customer’s needs and lives. Which should be a good thing, no?

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