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by Aglaé Dancette
April 20, 2019

Why Brands Are Using Storytelling ?

Dior show

It has been a few years since our ways of communicate have evolved. Brands now need to be careful by using adequate contents and the right tone. Storytelling is today considered as a really interesting tool to seduce its clients and make them have a positive opinions about a brand or a product. This tool has now been adopted by many brands, it is above all a very good way to give access to some important historical informations and that’s certainly the main reason of why people love it.

For brands the challenge is really to differentiate themselves from the other.”

 

Before storytelling

Until 2000, brands used to copy each other’s communication. The tone used was very formal and stereotyped. In this context, it was difficult for companies to differentiate themselves from each other and to express their specificities. In parallel, we started to talk more and more about ideas like emotional intelligence or empathy. Companies that takes the position of experts couldn’t succeed in touching their target. They were only few explaining with transparency their struggles, their successes or their innovations with customers. In most cases, there was still a distance put between the brand and the clients.

 

The language was cold, sanitized while in the meantime companies provided products and services that were more and more immaterial : computing, consulting, health industry, technological services etc. Companies had to find a way to explain simply what they did to conquer the customers.

Chanel show
Tagheuer add campaign

Telling the story the right way

With all these new stakes, storytelling raised at the end of the 2000’s. Companies finally understood the power of stories, narrations, tellings; They got how important it was then to seduce clients while conveying their values the right way. The challenge really is to differentiate the brands from each other and to get closer to the users and customers.

From that point on, storytelling helped building a brand identity, creating some emotions and encouraging the values of sharing and listening. The way to communicate wasn’t abstract anymore, it became evocative and embodied. The one who tells the story has to catch the attention of the target, and has to motivate the changes thanks to memories, moments of truth, shock effects and argumentation to convince the customers. The telling must be organized and must encourage people to think.

 

How to explain the success of storytelling ?

Thanks to storytelling, companies’ communication isn’t monotonous anymore. It involves the clients. The form does now matter as much as the content which needs to be creative and reflexive. Poetry, metaphors, anecdotes, different tones and registers of speech, all the means are good to touch the interlocutor and to federate a community around the brand. Historically, big brands have always tried to tell their stories in that sense. Storytelling is really relevant to seduce the clients of the luxury industry because they are looking for some special experiences with the brands they like. The personal stories of Coco Chanel or yves Saint-Laurent for instance have become a big part of the brand associate to it, and so a powerful business leverage of communication. On another hand, brands like Hermès, Louis Vuitton or even Rolex base their storytelling on the quality of their savoir-faire.