# **_How storytelling builds your brand?_** Have you ever thought that what is the common thing among a good writer, speaker, or a good movie? The common thing is that they have an interesting story. Their story creates a power that makes the audience happy, sad, motivated, inspired, and force them to think about it. In today’s fast-digital competition world, your storytelling or your brand story will prove to be a premium for you. Your brand story will act as a bridge that will keep your company connected with your customers. It is a human nature that people like to know about other’s stories, their struggles, and to relate with them. Your brand needs to do the same thing. # **What is Storytelling?** You may think that there are many things required for marketing business then why storytelling is so important for brand building. Storytelling is focussed on an objective and this objective will help you in winning the hearts of your customers. In today’s world, a product or service that solves customers’ problems is not sufficient. You need to be different from others, make your own identity, and link your values with your customers, which will help in creating a connect with your customers. The same problem can be solved by other brands as well but everyone will not be able to build a connect with customers. Storytelling will help you in building this connection. This technique helps you in connecting with your customer. They develop trust in you when they are able to relate to your story or when they think that it is their story only. # **Benefits of storytelling** **1. Story Grabs** **attention** When you market your brand, you want to enter the life of people and the consumer expects that the product needs to be minimal marketed to him/her. So, how a business owner will tell the customer about his/her product and brand? Storytelling solves this problem. You create an interesting connecting story that will help customers in taking the decision to buy your product or not. Nevertheless, they may consume a little more money to purchase your product. If you talk about grabbing attention and you ask brands to comment on social issues, then out of 10, 9 will not speak anything and take no stand. **For example:** Amul has created their space and they comment on social issues using their story and humour. Today, also, people wait for Amul’s ads to know about their opinions in case of any social issue. This is the reason why people connect with Amul and will keep on continuing to connect with them. To keep connected with their audience, they keep talking to them on social media. **2. Story sells better because they connect better** If we talk about sales, a customer purchases a product after knowing its advantages and disadvantages. Customers will purchase a product that best fits his/her need. But this is not always true; many times, customers ignore a better product. Why? This happens because customers feel that their internal emotions are telling them to purchase some other product as they get more connected with the story of the other product. Thus, most of the buying decisions are taken based on our emotions. So, if your story is able to emotionally connect with your customers, then your customers will always consider you different and prefer you over other brands. **For Example:** Nike, a sports brand, has always focussed their story towards leadership and capability to do something. When customers want to buy a product related to sports, then their first preference is Nike because they have emotionally connected with their customers. All the stories of Nike are related to some theme like the tag line “Just do it” or a recent campaign organised by them to honour the women sportspersons of our country. **3. Your story sets you apart** Today’s world is full of competition. Customers have many choices; so, why the customer will choose you. You cannot sit with a hope that maybe customer will buy your product, this is no plan. You need to make your brand different, unique, and shine. You can do this by storytelling and get an edge over other brands, especially if your story is genuine. You need to leverage the trait that you have different from other businesses. **For example** In E-commerce, Flipkart, in order to make connect with customers, made small kids playing the role of adults and made the adults feel that how adults behave and what they talk. Customers felt this as their story and developed a connection with Flipkart. This is how Flipkart set apart from other e-commerce companies. **4. Decision Making** Story has a great impact in influencing the purchasing power of customers. When a customer wants to buy the product, he/she reads reviews and these reviews are genuine stories with emotions and not any facts and figures. As a business owner, you should get the answer to the following questions from your story: - Why should a customer prefer you over other brands? - Why should a customer purchase your product? - Why should a customer make your product the part of his/her life? **5. Stories make you memorable –Unforgettable amongst the clutter** If you are using stories as a medium to connect with customers, then remember stories remain in the minds of customers. They don’t remember your achievements, facts, figures, or data; but they will remember your story. This is human nature. When there were no computers and mobile phones, people use to talk by engaging stories and pass on information. When kids are small, we teach them with the help of stories only because it will help them to remember. Likewise, your brand will be remembered and will be visible differently from other brands, if you are using stories. If you are giving any pitch to your customer, client, or investor, then use a storytelling technique. This will give them a break from monotonous speeches and your pitch will be memorable and will create an impact on their minds. **6. Stories can help build your personal brand** People want to know how a company came into existence, who is its hero, who is its villain, what is its mainstream journey, how you are emotionally affected by this, and how people relate with this. **For example:** Mr. X completed his studies with great difficulties. After that, he engaged himself in serving to non profit organisation, and finally, he moved to his mission. His mission was to show the right path and help all those people who neither have knowledge nor resources but have a dream to become an entrepreneur. With his story, he started Business, and now, people are impressed with his story, want to connect with him and listen to him. This genuine story has made him a strong personal brand. Today, he has 12 million followers on YouTube and 3 million followers on Facebook. **7. Increases employee efficiency and engagement** All the above benefits of storytelling are external, i.e. they are related to your external stakeholders like your customers, investors, and clients. Storytelling also provides benefits for your internal stakeholders, i.e. your employees. It helps in motivating your employees and improving their performance. When you talk to your employees about your story, vision, and struggles, then it creates an emotional connection with your employees. Tell your employees how you founded this company, with what values you have started the company, what are the secrets behind the company, what difficult decisions you had to take, etc. Employees will relate to your story and believe in you and try to perform better. They will focus on innovation also. If employees know that they will be part of the growth story of the company and their work will contribute to the success of the company, then they will take personal interest to work. It is because you are giving them the opportunity to create and make their own story. **For example:** Like on Facebook, every employee understands the company and want to work in the company. It is because everyone relates to the Facebook story and they know that their contribution is creating something big. # **Implementation of Storytelling** You can design your story based on a principle called Dragon Fly Effect, which has the following four components: - **Focus –** You should have a clear goal before making your story. - **Grab attention** – Your story should be able to attract the attention of people. - **Engage-** Your story should be engaging to create a personal connection. - **Take Action-** Your story should empower customers to buy your product, or to connect with you or to talk to you about your product. These 4 components will clearly tell how storytelling is designed. Let us take an example to understand how Dragon Fly Effect helps in storytelling. **For example:** You must have heard about Tata Tea and heard about their brand “Jaago rey.” Let us see how the above 4 components of “Dragon Fly Effect” can be applied to Tata Tea. **Goal-** Tata tea had a goal that they should look different from its customers. They should have their own voice and customers can recall their brand. All famous brands like Brooke Bond, Taj mahal, Red label all were in their category. **Attention –** They tried telling their story through citizen action medium. Every campaign was related to opening eyes of public, action-oriented whether it was related to election, bureaucracy, or women’s rights. They wanted to bring a positive mindset in society. Through this powerful storytelling, they have surprised their customers. **Engage –**The issues picked by Tata Tea were the issues that Indian people want to solve. When Tata Tea picked up these issues, the general public or customers could relate with them. Thus, customers developed a connection with the brand and they started sharing their stories on a social media platform and YouTube channel. **Action –** As a result of the Tata Tea stories, the brand recall established. Consumers showed their love for Tata and Tata got good results from it. There are no rights and wrongs in storytelling. You have to see what in your journey or in your product can help you to connect with your customers, believe in you and your product. The entire perspective of customer changes if the storytelling is done in the right way. They see a bigger picture in which they can believe. Brand with a strong story will remain in the market. Today, every successful business has some story behind it, whether the story is of its founder, his vision, journey, or the company itself. There needs to be a goal in your life. The main focus of every business is on sales and building customers, but they forget that it is actually pushing them. For creating loyalty in a customer and converting him in a brand custodian, you need to understand the meaning of storytelling.