Just search for “storytelling” on the web to get, as an explanation “the art of communicating by telling stories”. Yet that’s not the case: this definition is reductive, simplistic, it doesn’t delve deeply into the true meaning (and real importance) of storytelling, especially corporate storytelling.
So let’s go in order, first of all trying to understand what storytelling really consists of (if you want, you can read more in our article on digital storytelling), and then analyze some practical examples to better understand its essence and effectiveness.
What is corporate storytelling
Storytelling, therefore, is not the art of communicating stories. So what is it? To find out you need to start from 3 main definitions, namely those of history, narration and story:
- history: from the English history, it consists of a description made in chronological order, with little content and almost no empathy;
- story: from the english story, it is a description rich in content that includes different symbolic, linguistic, iconic and physical representations;
- narration: from the English narrative, it is the fusion between story and history, therefore it turns out to be a very interesting chronological description, which aims to strike the hearts of readers. Usually, in fact, it consists of a family history, full of feelings and emotions.
Not by chance, there are numerous brands that use storytelling to bring their reality closer to people and make it part of their marketing strategy to create an emotional connection between the company and the target audience, thus trying to make up for all the various aspects of traditional communication.
Considering that corporate storytelling is effective precisely because of its extraordinary ability to arouse emotion in readers, it is an excellent means of communication to make a company captivating, pleasant and reliable.
The fundamental elements of corporate storytelling
Having understood the real meaning of corporate storytelling, it is important to know that to get straight to the point and be able to excite and arouse interest in your target audience, you need to take into consideration some fundamental aspectsentali that must never be lacking in an effective narrative:
- a protagonist, that is the determined hero who goes in search of something, usually a solution to his problems, which can trigger the customer’s empathy;
- an action, which manifests itself with the undertaking that the protagonist will have to carry out to reach the final goal and which can be identified with the promise that the product makes to the customer;
- a context, i.e. the “virtual” stage where the narrated events take place;
- a treasure to conquer, that is the real reason that drives the protagonist to perform certain deeds and to struggle in an exhausting way to reach the final goal;
- a magical object, which in this case can be equivalent to the product/service offered, which turns out to be the fundamental tool with which the protagonist can achieve his goal.
To ensure that the reader is passionate about the events of the protagonist, the antagonists certainly cannot be missing:
- some enemy, who stands as an obstacle for the protagonist in achieving his goal;
- a couple of support figures, who share the same values as the protagonist and on whom the hero can always count in times of need;
- a challenge, internal or external, that the protagonist must face to overcome obstacles;
a reference point,
- a source of inspiration for the hero capable of giving him advice and instructions on how to get out of trouble;
- the happy ending, which obviously cannot be missing in any narrative.
Leveraging all these elements and bringing into play all the imagination and the best creativity that can be had, the result will be nothing short of surprising.
7 examples of successful storytelling
Let’s now come to the practical examples, i.e 7 company storytelling that have had great success thanks to the involvement of users and feedback that is not only immediate, but also long-lasting:
Nike has always used storytelling to entertain its audience, so much so that it has transformed corporate storytelling into its main strength. There are several stories told over the years with the aim of inspiring people by encouraging them to overcome their limits to achieve important goals, sporting and otherwise.
The brand has had the ability to make the product evolve from a simple object to a (magical) tool capable of changing one’s daily reality and making those who use it a member of a community of people who share the same values. Sport, for Nike, is a metaphor for life and for this reason its captivating and exciting stories manage to easily connect with the public.
Since its origins, Apple has also been able to make the most of the potential of corporate storytelling to present its products. In fact, those who buy an Apple product do so not so much for its functional characteristics as to live a unique life experience.
All Apple stories, in fact, demonstrate how technology can improve life and simplify even the smallest daily activities; as a result, each advertisement is capable of arousing emotion and strong interest from viewers.
It was probably the first brand ever to use storytelling to excite and tell its story in a different way: it is Coca Cola, whose commercials have always leveraged people’s feelings and the most important life values. Each narration has smiling people as protagonists, who share experiences and live happy moments while savoring the famous drink.
Coca Cola, through the synergy between different tools (TV commercials, social media, contests) continuously interacts with its audience and creates a super positive association with the purchase and consumption of its product.
Who better than IKEA has known how to use storytelling to communicate the advantages of the products on offer? Involving different tools both online and offline (from catalogs to TV commercials, to be clear) he speaks directly to the public by recounting moments of daily life.
And it is precisely here that all the strength of the brand lies: it uses themes close and dear to people to push them to identify themselves with the IKEA world, touching different emotional spheres and making people understand how living with its products becomes much simpler and more functional.
5. Miele Professional
Well-known brand of high-quality professional appliances Miele Professional uses social networks, blogs, landing pages, ADV campaigns, chatbots and newsletters to enhance its communication. Use simple and engaging language and tone of voice, obviously taking into consideration the tastes and needs of your target audience.
The corporate values have been conveyed very well through the individual communication channels, transmitting to users all the potential of the products in the catalogue.
6. Mademoiselle Coco
Chanel has created its corporate storytelling dedicated to the life and career of Mademoiselle Coco, its founder and eternal muse of the brand. By showing the human side of the woman, which is hidden behind an icon of such international fame, the brand has been able to bring the exclusivity of luxury closer to all consumers.
In fact, the protagonist is a French orphan who, thanks to her determined and ambitious character and her extraordinary talent, manages to build an entrepreneurial empire with her own strength, which pushes any consumer to believe in herself and think she can do it. exactly like Mademoiselle Coco.
7. #GoInSix by VISA
Finally, the VISA brand has also managed to generate interest and involvement in users through the #GoInSix project: through specially created content, the distances between the company and consumers have been canceled (or in any case reduced), prompting the latter to travel or make purchases with the VISA card.
Specifically, interventions made up of 6 images, 6 words or 6-second videos were used which aimed to associate the use of the card with moments of happiness and light-heartedness, all with the ultimate goal of having positive memories linked to VISA.
In short, the success stories of famous brands are diverse, as well as numerous, which leads us to think that corporate storytelling is truly a great resource for all those brands that not only aspire to a simple sale, but also and above all to create a network of loyal customers who will remain close to them despite the passage of time..