5 Aspects Of Storytelling Brands Often Miss

5 aspects of storytelling brands often miss

A few months back, Nike in collaboration with Kyrie Irving, one of the point guards currently playing in the NBA, put out a video. Nike used the storytelling of a great individual to evoke that much-needed emotion in the target audience consisting of people following the NBA.

There was No hard-sell, no in-your-face advertising; just a story of how a father dedicating his life to his son could play basketball at the highest level.

Here’s the description of the video:

Kyrie Irving’s mother died when he was nine years old, leaving his father, Drederick, to raise Kyrie and his sister alone. Her passing spurred Kyrie’s father to assume the full responsibilities of parenthood and sacrifice his dream of one day playing in the NBA – and then to pass that dream and opportunity along to Kyrie.

As communicators looking to convince audiences to emotionally connect with PR/Marketing or Advertising messages, storytelling is the way to go. Check out these points to evoke the desired response when it comes to good storytelling.

1. Personalized Messaging

What is it that your audience really cares about? Well, the answer is pretty simple: Personalized content that has real value for the customer is the key to selling.

The rule of thumb in writing is that you can’t deliver relevant and personalized messages to your customers without knowing their needs, issues, and interests. That’s why you need to collect data on their behaviour, purchasing patterns, interests, demographics, and location to be able to create truly engaging posts.

Once you devote time and resources on your subjects and target, you’ll churn out quality customer stories, not customer quotes or testimonials. Emotional marketing places a special emphasis on that response and prioritizes personalization to target customers, therefore, it has a much bigger chance to convince people to try your brand.

2. Think about your customers first

Thinking about your customer first affords you the opportunity to adopt a customer-centred approach to communication. As brand representatives, we are advised not to talk about how great our company’s products are! Rather, talk about the benefits that they have for customers instead.

Don’t oversimplify the benefits, too, because only specific information about the problems that your product/service can help to solve is good enough to connect with customers on an emotional level.

3. Quality customer service

The antagonist or villain is often the most overlooked part of an organization’s story. But as communicators, we need to be wary about how our messages impact people’s moods, recall and chances of doing business with our companies again.

A typical example is seeing or reading of a service provider’s good deeds when at that material moment you are having challenges with their service. No amount of emotionally-captivating content can make you appreciate the message.

And that is a natural feeling.

That said, there is a lot to learn from feedback we get as communicators. It’s a wakeup call for brands, and communicators that once we can resolve what keeps customers awake at night, half the communication task is achieved.

4. The revelation

Unforeseen twists in the narrative helps make story telling compelling. According to readers, they enjoy the surprise, even if the revelation is sad, because they like to feel like they’re being let in on a secret.

Likewise, your organization’s story should share something unexpected with customers and prospects. That special something is what makes people feel excitement, nostalgia, happiness, romance, love, and other emotions.

5. The transformation

The thing that is different about the way you do business is your secret sauce. Tell it to everyone about how you’ve evolved, solve daily challenges and connect with both emotional and practical needs. To figure this out, ask these basic questions:

  • What is your value proposition?
  • What can customers get only from you?

Tell the story from your point of view, and no one can copy it.


Shift Communications’ Vice President, Christopher Penn once said, “No child will ever ask you to read them a press release at bedtime.” In essence, stories you tell has to be engaging. If a child doesn’t want to watch, listen to, or read your story, neither will your customer.

5 Aspects Of Storytelling Brands Often Miss BFT

Storytelling post by Paa Kwesi Forson

The writer is Head of Public Relations at Global Media Alliance and blogs at

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