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What moves customers to promote a certain brand? What makes them decide to buy or sample a particular product?
Consumers go for products that offer the best possible solutions to their problems. They promote brands that understand their pain points. They follow companies that operate on the principle of caring for their customers.
When you start caring for your patrons and would-be consumers, you connect with them on a more personal level. When you show them how much effort was put into researching and developing a particular solution for their pain points, then you inspire them to root for you. The best way to convert them into advocates is sharing your brand’s struggles and journey to success (and failure).
Here are some powerful brand stories you can learn from to improve yours, in no particular order:
This company is well-known for its ultra-comfortable shoes. It has made the campaign “One for One” very popular.
“One for One” is the company’s business concept, which means that for every pair of shoes that is bought, another pair is donated to a child living in poverty. This same advertising campaign is used for their eyewear products. A percentage of the profits goes to funding projects that help people with eyesight problems in developing countries.
Their subsidiary company, TOMS Roasting Co., promotes the campaign by donating 140 liters of safe water (approximately a week’s supply) to those who need it in regions where the company sources its coffee beans.
Bag purchases help fund the education of midwives in impoverished regions and are used to procure basic birthing equipment to help pregnant women safely deliver their newborns.
The profits from backpack purchases, on the other hand, are used to train school staff so that they can handle and reduce incidents of bullying.
The search engine giant amassed followers and patrons by listening to its customers. Through its partnership with various digital products and software enterprises, the company has made the lives of millions easier.
It has also leveraged the power of media by creating emotional and powerful videos, such as the one below. Here, the creators effectively triggered the emotions of wonder, courage, fear and love. The story is a reminder of how bridging distant connections has become easier. The story is simple and brief, yet direct. It is beautifully pieced together and reveals honesty and reality in a short film. Combine this with great visuals and good music, and you have a powerful brand story come to life.
This is an American multinational technology company headquartered in San Jose, CA. It focuses on the development, design, manufacture and sale of networking equipment.
Cisco’s story is all about collaboration, efficiency and productivity. The company has a regularly updated blog and a YouTube account where they archive documentaries on how digital technology is changing the world.
This video encapsulates their brand message:
According to CRM Search, the company promotes a message of "publish your way in" and practices what it preaches as a prolific creator of content, including blog posts, social media posts, white papers, webinars and more.
If you visit the website, you'll find hundreds of documented success stories.
In this video, they compellingly explain how they came up with an all-in-one marketing and sales solution that has grown into a veritable movement:
This company successfully created an advertising masterpiece and a brand story--all at once--with The Lego Movie, which will continue to delight audiences for years to come.
This brand had the ingenious idea of developing a story with its product as the star character, a move which could make this film the longest running and most effective visual advertising campaign for a toy.
The story was well-received by both children and adults. The company used the film to send some deep and uplifting messages, such as:
This crowdfunding platform has changed how people from all walks of life, wherever they may be, share stories and request support for their projects.
What makes it a leader in its field is that it has enabled awe-inspiring causes and mind-blowing inventions to receive the funding they need.
Kickstarter is unique in that its story is made up of the stories of thousands of people who have signed up to share relatable experiences. This website has not only restored faith in the generosity of others, it has also become a very useful portal for those seeking support for organizational causes and projects that have the potential to change the world.
This is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York. It manufactures and markets computer hardware and software.
IBM has been crafting great stories for decades and has expanded story distribution on social media and other online platforms. Its stories revolve around the company's history, employees and products.
The brand has been very effective at humanizing the company with real-life stories. Its brand stories have not only paved the way to better customer relationships, they have also long been regarded as some of the most effective in addressing customers' doubts and hesitations.
This New York-based American conglomerate is known as a leading designer and manufacturer of home appliances, financial services, medical devices, pharmaceutical products, among many others.
They have gained quite a large number of followers and advocates, both B2B and B2C, for effectively sharing their company culture.
A blog post on how GE manages visual storytelling sums up how the company prospered in its online and social media marketing efforts.
GoPro is best known for the development, manufacture and marketing of high-end HD action cameras. On its website, it promotes itself as the maker of the world’s most versatile camera.
Like Harley Davidson, GoPro sells a lifestyle and not a product. GoPro has become the go-to tool for capturing death-defying stunts, especially for adrenaline junkies. The success of GoPro is attributed to the fact that is has managed to go from a creator of highly-functional cameras to a lifestyle brand for action-hungry enthusiasts.
Their company tagline “Be a Hero” encourages consumers to be the hero of their own story by capturing scenes that could never be recorded with ordinary HD cameras. This catchy slogan inspires consumers to capture seemingly impossible stunts from every angle possible.
This non-profit organization is responsible for providing clean and safe drinking water to impoverished nations. Since its birth in 2006, it has successfully helped fund 13,641 water projects in 22 different countries with over 4.6 million beneficiaries.
Charity Water operates like Kickstarter, with only one goal in mind: making safe drinking water available to areas that need it the most. What makes this company stand out is its ability to listen to what these ailing countries need. For example, it has created a platform where individuals and groups can set up campaigns to generate funds for the various projects the company is supporting worldwide.
When utilized to advance a cause, well-told stories and a company brand campaign have the power to create memorable experiences and even mitigate the impact of any negative events associated with the brand.
Stories make it easier for people to understand why you're the best at what you do. The above companies have managed to address hesitations, doubts and fears through stories. When the audience empathizes with the characters in a story, they become attached to the brand and start believing in what it can do.