Three reasons why brand storytelling should be a part of your strategic marketing 


Think back to your earliest memory, something that stuck with you. It could be a song, a smell, or even a photograph of an event that is now a memory never to be forgotten. All of these, while different, have a common thread or quality that weaves it all together – a story.   

If you grew up in the ‘80s, you would likely remember the quintessential Cabbage Patch doll. The official story of that toy begins with a young boy named Xavier Roberts, who was led by a Bunnybee through a waterfall and into a magical land where kids and babies are born in a secret cabbage patch.

Everyone loved the dolls because each one was unique, and they were marketed as “babies,” going as far as even including adoption papers.  The strategy played on people’s nurturing instincts, crafting a narrative that connected emotion to the product. And it worked.

Fast forward to 2021, and branded storytelling is a key component that must be factored in when developing a strategic marketing plan. It is a way to humanize an organization, product or service. People connect to people and storytelling is a powerful connector. At Halmyre, we believe that you have to tell it with heart and say it often.

Here are three reasons why brand storytelling should be a part of your strategic marketing:


       1. Evoke emotions

We see this all too often, organizations focusing only on facts, graphs, testimonials as a way to differentiate their business. Those are powerful tools, but they need to be elevated – wrapped around a story that simplifies information and evokes an emotional response. Don’t misunderstand, this is not a “make someone cry” to get a response, this is about creating a narrative that is uniquely yours and integrates your brand’s history and value proposition. What do you want to be remembered for?

Check out The Princess Margaret’s The Cancer Warrior Unleashed magazine. It includes deep research about the promising cancer treatment immunotherapy. It’s a reminder that you can take highly technical information and make it easy to understand.


2. Rally a community

Deep emotional connections are built on trust. That can only happen with carefully crafted and consistent messaging. Your brand should welcome conversations. When your audience knows you, brand loyalty will develop. This will allow you to create a community of supporters who will be there through the best of times and even the challenging moments.

Halmyre’s annual Thanksgiving Attitude of Gratitude campaign is a heartfelt way of showing appreciation. The organization is not asking for anything in return – it just wants to express their gratitude to their business partners, peers and colleagues. Their 5-day Gratitude Challenge is about being thankful for human connections, especially after 18 months of socially-distanced greetings.


      3. Value proposition matters

Don’t just say it, mean it and live it! Knowing who you are and what you stand for will make your business profitable, but it needs to be authentic. A recent study by Halmyre found that only 49% of not-for-profits have a value proposition. That’s mind-boggling. Not knowing your value proposition means you are lacking a narrative and focus – the heart of a business. Find your so-what and then shout it from the rooftops.

 

An interesting organization that knows who they are through and through is MoneySmart Manitoba. They have compelling resources to educate people about investment fraud and they also utilize fun tactics to draw attention to the issue. Check them out on Twitter and follow their “It’s Time to Call Out Fraud” campaign.

 

So, next time you’re building your marketing strategy go beyond graphs and pie charts and dig deeper, to what really matters. 

 

Tell it with heart and say it often.

About Ivy Cuervo

Halmyre Director of Communications Ivy Cuervo is a strategic marketing and communications executive and former broadcast journalist. 

Ivy has worked for some of Canada’s top social enterprises, including The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and Canadian Hearing Services. She delivered brand recognition for companies across North America by developing high-performing teams and creating strategic frameworks that achieve results.

One of Toronto’s respected and seasoned storytellers, Ivy has worked for Canada’s leading broadcasters – the CBC and CTV – filing stories for top rated shows on radio, television, and current affairs.



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