In a world of constant stimulation, countless choices and relentless pressure to buy, how do brands make a name for themselves? Is it possible to do this while making a positive impact in the world?
The answer increasingly appears to be in cultivating an interesting brand story. From cave paintings of 35,000 years ago to the collective obsession with Game of Thrones, humans are fascinated by a good story. It is theorized that we retain information presented in a story 22 times better than when information is given through facts and figures alone.
Brand storytelling can shape a company’s identity by using narratives to connect to an audience. In the recent past, this has largely influenced brands to become more creative and/or altruistic. A strong brand story can be mutually beneficial for the brand, the consumer and, on occasion, the community at large.
Here are six examples of compelling brand stories.
Oscar Mayer leapt out of print advertising and onto the streets with the Wienermobile. The company has a fleet of 27 footlong hot dog cars called “Wienermobiles” that travel around the country to raise brand awareness.
The Wienermobiles are driven by brand ambassadors called Hotdoggers who travel around the country, raising awareness for the brand through public appearances and social media management. Most recently, the Wienermobiles have even been listed on Airbnb for overnight stays!
Whirlpool conducted research on the reasons why children in the U.S. are dropping out of school. One reason for the decline in attendance was the inability to do laundry regularly. Soon after this discovery, Whirlpool began their Care Counts program.
Whirlpool installed washing machines and dryers in schools and gave free access to less financially privileged students. The participating schools tracked attendance and grades among students throughout the year. The program yielded amazing results with the at-risk students tracked throughout the project. Ninety percent of these students showed improved grades and 89 percent had increased class participation.
Hinge is a dating site that made a name for itself by highlighting the differences between itself and other successful dating apps. The brand thrived in the spaces left by Tinder with it’s fast-paced, video game-reminiscent interface.
Hinge markets itself as being made for people who are over the games of dating. Their “Dating Apocalypse” campaign includes a moving short film presenting Hinge as an escape from a nightmare-ish (and relatable) carnival of unfulfilling dating games.
This beauty brand originating in the UK has committed to cutting down waste by removing all non-biodegradable packaging from their products.
To raise awareness about their eco-friendly brand, Lush had its employees remove all of their outer packagings to encourage other companies to “get naked” by cutting back on packaging. This cheeky campaign raised a few eyebrows and plenty of interest in Lush and their mission.
For their 70th anniversary, Land Rover highlighted an already-existing story of their brand. Land Rover made a short film entitled “The Land of Land Rovers” detailing a fleet of 1957 Land Rovers being used to maintain remote villages in the Himalayas.
An important part of any brand story is how the product or service is used in the real world. Sometimes the most interesting stories come directly from your consumers and all you need to do is share them.
To put itself in earnest competition with Pampers, which was dominating the diaper market, the Canadian branch of Huggies turned toward an earnest way to set their brand apart.
Huggies launched a campaign to educate parents on the importance of skin to skin contact with babies and ensure that volunteer huggers were available for babies in hospitals who weren’t getting the touch necessary for healthy development.
As time moves forward, customers will be presented with more and more choices. Whether it’s through being in touch with the needs of consumers, ensuring ethical consumption or pulling a heartstring, brands everywhere must step up their game in telling their story in order to set themselves apart.
What other brands have memorable brand stories? Let us know your favorites in the comments below.