Your organization has a voice. The most strategic way to express that voice is through the powerful narrative of your brand story. It doesn't matter if you are big or small, start-up, non-profit or Fortune 500, all can benefit from brand storytelling. To really engage audiences and rise above the noise and clutter, organizations are realizing they need to create a culture of ongoing rich editorial content, and the best way to do that is through brand storytelling.
A wide spectrum of creativity needs to be involved that combines integrated skills and expertise. To be effective you need a combination of design, photography, video, communications, marketing, advertising and public relations to work together. Strategic storytelling should play a part of your larger narrative foundation, and you'll need to think of stories as the building blocks to reach your awareness goals and to motivate others.
The primary goal in brand storytelling is to have your mission come alive. You do this by tapping into an emotional core that adds a human face to connect it to the people you wish to reach. Telling that bigger story relentlessly and unwaveringly should be the foundation for all your content, as well as making sure it is integrated into your paid, earned and owned channels. Everyone charged with creating content for your brand should be looking at it through the same story lens and asking, "is this content steeped in your larger mission?" The paradox about effective brand storytelling is that the story isn't about you; it's about what you do for others.
Steve Jobs was a master brand storyteller. For him, the Apple products were not static products that simply performed a function. Jobs designed products to help people do things they wanted to do and told a story of innovation. Brand storytelling is creativity at its best because it's not about what's on the surface, as it digs deeper to find the unexpected angles of how your mission comes alive and what is unique to your brand story.
Organizations like Apple, Cargill, Nike, and Mayo Clinic, are some of the visionaries who are creating exceptional brand storytelling content. Equally, and one would argue even more, important to take note of are the non-profit organizations that help their mission come alive through the powerful storytelling focus. Charity Water, Stand Up To Cancer and Make-A-Wish all are effective brand storytellers. These organizations have cleared away the corporate speak and brand jargon to rise above with stories of collaboration, innovation, impact, light and hope. I'm convinced the world would be a much better place if the resources of the for-profit world would help the non-profits tell and share their stories. In our current landscape of fake news, online unrest, lack of civility and our unwillingness to listen to one another, authentic storytelling is even more critical. In order to change the negative narrative in our world and impact change, it will take all of us working together to ensure that authentic stories are told and most importantly shared.