Emotional Branding Through Storytelling
Emotional Branding Through Storytelling
Branding is about far more than picking a catchy tagline and logo. It’s about creating a deep impression on your audience members, one that they’ll take with them as they move about their daily lives and that ensures they’ll think of you exactly when they really need what you have to offer. And that kind of experience can’t come unless you connect with your audience emotionally.
The best way to do that?
As human beings, we’re primed to tell and listen to stories. We have, after all, been doing it since we’ve had the language to create them, first orally, then written down, then over radio and TV, and now online, too. Stories tell us about who we are. They give us someone with whom to identify, and they lend perspective to our own experiences. As such, people remember stories much better than they do bulleted lists and facts.
As Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes once said: “When you have a memorable story about who you are and what your mission is, your success no longer depends on how experienced you are or how many degrees you have or who you know. A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. People don’t just wear our shoes, they tell our story.”
So, how can you be like TOMS and tell a compelling, emotional story about your brand?
If humans are primed to listen to stories, they’re all the more primed to consume them visually. After all, a photo will instantly evoke a feeling that the consumer may not even notice, but that will influence their impressions from the get go. This is all the more so if the photography you choose syncs well with your carefully chosen color scheme. Photography is also a great place to dig down into more specific stories about your brand. Photo essays documenting work on a particular project will give your visitors a unique look into your brand. Alternatively, adding photos to your blog content will help illustrate the excellent points you’re making, and highlight your expert grasp of the material at hand.
What’s more, it should also be noted the internet itself is a highly visual place, and moving ever more in that direction. Just take a look at Pinterest, Facebook, and even Google search results, not to mention the many new websites that feature large, striking photos and backdrops rather than hard to read and over-categorized menus. Highly visual websites are also in tune with the way consumers are browsing these days, often on tablets and smartphone screens upon which easy tapping and swiping is essential.
2. Color Stories
Colors are ripe with emotion. Black, for instance, communicates authority and power, while red can elicit feelings of excitement and energy. Blue, on the other hand, really can make you blue…or productive, according to some studies. The point is, the colors you choose for your site will have a direct impact on the impression you make on your current and potential customers. Take the time to determine the kind of emotional experience you want them to have so that you can tell your unique color story.
3. Tone of Your Content and Copy
There are few things more essential to communicating emotion and telling your story than your brand voice. This is determined by the tone of your content and copy, as well as by the specific metaphors and anecdotes you choose to tell. Tone, in turn, is set by the specific words you choose and the style and length of your sentences.
If you’re having trouble setting your tone, ask yourself, are we a more formal and traditional company, or do we want something a little more casual? What adjective do we most want applied to us: helpful, leisure-focused, or quirky? Answering these questions will help guide everything you write, from the type of stories you choose to the way you tell them.
Whatever direction you go in, just make sure to keep it consistent throughout not only your website but all of your marketing and advertising materials as well, even if you’ve got a few people working on your writing team. The goal here is to ensure your customers can say, “Oh, that’s the team at [name of your company]!” when they encounter even just a single phrase in their daily life.
Okay, so I know we said that both writing and photography are excellent branding tools, but video can be even more powerful, as it combines both into one platform, and mixes in music as well. Hey, there’s a reason why it’s so easy to get sucked into a TV show and then realize 4 hours later you just spent the whole evening on the couch. With a good soundtrack and a few heartfelt images, video is an almost unbeatable way to draw out emotions quickly. What’s more, many of your visitors will be much more likely to engage with your About Us story or your expert blog content when all they have to do is hit play.
Emotion has the power to foster a lasting relationship with your visitors. If you can elicit an emotional response from a visitor, they’ll remember the experience long after everything else has faded. So choose your voice carefully, tell a good story, and leave your visitors with feelings they won’t soon forget.