Brand Storytelling Through Content
Never underestimate the power of a good story. Any experienced marketer would tell you that a good product alone is not enough to drive your brand forward and bring you success. Marketing and storytelling go hand in hand, for if strong visuals are what attract you to a brand, its story is what will connect with you.
Storytelling may seem easy on the surface, but building a good story takes more planning than you might think. We are told that even if your story entertains, it means nothing if it does not inform and educate. With that said, what components are necessary to make a good story?
Bolt analyses the techniques of three brands that we are all familiar with, to see just how to make your brand story one that can stand the test of time.
1. NIKE – “Just Do It”
They are the ones we think of when we want to purchase a new pair or running shoes. When we wear their sports products, we feel like champs. Not only do they have one of the best taglines of the 20th century, they’re one of the best brands around when it comes to storytelling.
Using Their Story To Tell Yours
Since the very beginning, Nike has been all about inspiring people to push their limits and improving their fitness. Instead, their main goal has always been to help their customers better themselves.
This is evident from their first attempt at content marketing – a three-page pamphlet, ‘Jogger’s Manual’, which gave information on how jogging could be integrated into a fitness programme.
People don’t love Nike because their products are a status symbol, or solely because their products are long-lasting. They love Nike because Nike is so good at not just moving people with their brand story, but telling their own story through the stories of others. There is always a powerful narrative behind every ad and post that Nike creates, which makes the message more authentic, sincere and relatable.
Now with the Internet, Nike is able to tell even more stories via social media. Their main platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, are updated quite regularly with brand updates and stories not limited to just famous athletes, but sometimes stories of their followers too.
2. KITKAT – “Have A Break, Have A KitKat”
Ask anyone who has had a bar of KitKat what the brand’s tagline is and even if they can’t get the entire “Have a Break, Have a KitKat” right, they should be able to at least associate KitKats with taking a break.
This iconic tagline has been around since 1958, and unlike some brands that have undergone rebranding over the years, KitKat’s belief in the importance of taking breaks has remained the same since 1937.
If there are two things that KitKat fully understands and excels at, it’s their brand story and effectively conveying it to all their customers in an entertaining way, re-emphasising their position as a ‘social snack’. It’s probably because of their strong understanding and consistency of the chocolate wafer brand that has made them Time Magazine’s “Most Influential Candy Bar of All Time”.
Different Audience, Different Context, Same Story
As of 2010, KitKats were sold to a whopping 72 countries all over the world, countries with people of unique tastes, interests and different ways of living. Which makes it even more incredible how good KitKat is at identifying and catering to the special preferences of their wide customer base.
Three different adaptations of KitKat’s stories have worked particularly well:
What better way to promote taking breaks than during juken jigoku (translated into ‘entrance exam hell’)? In January 2016, KitKat launched KIT MAIL Hologram, where students would receive a package containing a KitKat and a pre-cut clear plastic pattern. The plastic pattern could be used to project an encouraging hologram video by boy band DISH// from smartphones.
KitKat’s love for Japan, and vice versa, is what makes it Japan’s number one best-selling chocolate bar today.
No country is crazier than India when it comes to cricket. In 2015, with the (International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup just around the corner, KitKat India decided to launch the campaign #SlowIsBetter to get people to take breaks amidst this hectic sports season.
A TVC ad aired during breaks between matches, and was also posted on social media for a greater reach. Contests were held on KitKat India’s social media channels to get more people aware of the campaign.
Hoping to make things more fun during this competitive period, KitKat India engaged KitKat South Africa on Twitter in a humourous banter when the cricket teams of both countries were to go head-to-head. KitKat’s India saw a high engagement rate during this time, and a large number of retweets and likes from cricket fans.
Most recently, to show their great enthusiasm for the upcoming Federal election, KitKat Australia decided to create their own mock political party, The Breakers Party. The campaign was created to give Australians, who were “over worked, under holidayed and in need for a break from politics”, the chance to take more breaks.
KitKat released a series of videos on their YouTube channel featuring the head of The Breakers Party, Dale Jeffries, asking Australians to join his political party. As the face of the campaign, Jeffries, who has his own Twitter page (#JoinTheBreakersParty), keeps his followers up to date with not only the latest happenings of the marketing campaign, but of Australia’s political happenings (#Elections2016).
Making the Most of Moment Marketing
Have you heard of the story of how KitKat made a groundbreaking trip into space, created millions of impressions, and made good relations all in just 24 hours?
KitKat saw its first chance to use Moment Marketing when Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner had to postpone his jump from the stratosphere due to bad weather. The jump was organised by Red Bull, and would have made a new skydiving record.
KitKat proceeded to send Felix some words of encouragement on Facebook: “It could be a long wait, Felix… have a break, have a KitKat.” The post was an instant hit, and KitKat immediately seized the opportunity to take this even further. By further, they meant into space.
By attaching a KitKat bar and a Go-Pro camera to a weather balloon, KitKat sent their little chocolate bar soaring above the clouds. The video, ‘KitKat #BreakFromGravity’, was a huge success on Facebook and Twitter, receiving 6.5 million and 10 million impressions respectively.
The topic may seem sensitive to some. Nonetheless, we have to admit that this was quite a brilliant, well-timed move by KitKat. On the eve of Good Friday in 2009, the company sent a hoax email with an attached photo of a bitten KitKat wafer revealing the face of Jesus Christ to a Dutch news site. This was released during a period where many strange ‘sightings’ of Christ in food had been uploaded to the Internet.
This ridiculous PR stunt brought a smile to many who came across it, some of whom played along and wittily commented,“Give Jesus a Break”. The image was also circulated on 150,000 different websites in just four days, providing tons of free advertising for KitKat.
3. LEGO – “Play On”
For those looking into how effective storytelling can help strengthen your content marketing, take a page out of Lego’s book. With a history of content marketing stretching way back to 1987, there’s much to get into.
Lego’s name is a contraction of the Danish words ‘leg godt’, which can be translated to ‘play well’ – the company’s tagline. As a toy company, it goes without saying that Lego is all about bringing about good, happy experiences for people of all ages with their toys.
Not An Ordinary Corporate Video
Unlike most companies, LEGO thought against having a corporate video. No, they were going to go bigger; they wanted a corporate spectacle.
After releasing ‘The Lego Story’ for their 80th birthday – a 17-minute long animation of the brand’s history, LEGO thought it was time to take their brand story to the big screen. In 2014, they released ‘The Lego Movie’, which has been credited by various marketing sites to be one of the best brand storytelling techniques ever seen.
The movie accurately reflected LEGO’s beliefs of being imaginative, daring, different and fun. Marcus from The Sales Lion had a different take on the movie, instead describing it as “the most effective 90 minute commercial for a toy” he had seen. LEGO was mindful to include many of their existing LEGO products in the film, reigniting the love in existing fans and introducing their LEGO characters to the newer, younger audience.
Giving Back To Causes They Believe In
Who said that Lego was only for children? In 2015, it was announced that little Lego was ready to take the next step in his life – college.
Lego saw that they had the chance to create content not just for their brand’s benefit, but for Science! Realising that they profit from play, Lego thought it best to give back and to support research in the field of play in education, development and learning.
To make this happen, Lego partnered up with Cambridge University’s Faculty of Education to create a unique Lego professorship.
Now that you’ve learned some tricks to bring your story to its potential, it’s time for the padawan to step up and become the master. Of course, no two stories are the same, so add your own personal flair or trick to make your story work.
Tell Your Story With Bolt
Here at Bolt, we believe that a strong story is crucial for brands to succeed and to capture their audience’s trust. At the same time, we understand that crafting your brand’s story takes an immense amount of time and thought if you want to get it right.
Bolt provides you with the best content creators to deliver content that rises above the noise. Find out more about how we can help you with your content marketing efforts here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.