Once upon a time there was an ancient art called storytelling. It was revealed in so many domains, from the study of ancient cultures to movie maker, fiction writing and branding. Nowadays the principles and success factors are closely related with word – of- mouth, social sharing, social media in general, brand perception and the very core of content marketing.
Storytelling is much more than telling stories in marketing and communications for business. It is an essential content marketing technique that has a crucial place in content marketing strategy, it is made for the ones that want to make the differences in these social and content-intensive times.
However, some see storytelling as just a technique in creation of written and social content: Although storytelling is about much more and raises various important questions, each with their many answers.
Storytelling is not about language, it’s about telling and creating stories in a compelling way. It’s about finding the right metaphors and above all the structure in which to tell a story.
There are many important brands in the cosmetic industries that use storytelling; However marketing’s dependence on storytelling techniques has never been more strong and creative than it is now. Brands tell stories that create a certain style of life, a feeling of comfort, liberation and empathy, or even a desire to be a better human being.
Two of the most important brands that use this techniques are Chanel & Dior.
Chanel and Dior are one of the most prestigious brands in the fashion industry, and even though they are recognized internationally they have found a way in which to incorporate storytelling in their marketing scheme. These brands have realized that traditional media and commercials are not cutting it, the audience is asking for more that just a pretty commercial where they feature supermodels or good looking actors. The audience want compelling stories, which they can relate to.
By using storytelling, companies have a great opportunity to be creative and show a great production where they can catch the attention of the audience and by doing this they have more presence on social media. According to an article from Forbes there are five secrets to Storytelling that brands should follow in order to have a successful response, these include:
This has to do with being honest and show transparency in order for the audience to believe and feel identified with the story. “(…) Yes, you’re crafting “stories,” but they need to be rooted in the reality of your brand, products, and industry.”
Infuse personalities into stories
This point has to do with telling interesting stories, where the audience can be surprised. One example of this is a video that Chanel presented in 2004, in this video Chanel told a fabulous story with great production that assimilates the movie Moulin Rouge, a movie that is recognized internationally.
To introduce one of their new fragrances, Chanel made a campaign surrounding Keira Knightley, where they tell a story about a woman, and her personality once she put on her perfume, this video thoroughly engages with the audience and impresses it, as the end of the story is surprising.
Dior also has a video where they have great production value and they tell an interesting story with Robert Pattinson, this is the kind of stories that captivate people and give the brand more attention.
Create characters your audience will root for.
For beauty brands, specially Chanel and Dior, have a tough job in this aspect as most people can not afford their products, but they still have a lot of presence in the beauty industry. In this case they choose to have “ordinary” people with extraordinary stories, for example a girl who rides a vespa, a man that falls in love, a dancer, a surfer and a rockstar. They tell these stories in a way the audience can’t take their eyes off the screen.
Include a beginning, middle, and end.
Like every story, in storytelling, you should follow the basic narrative structure. You should start with the establishment of time and place, characters and roles. Then you can keep on developing the plot point of the story, including the details that will catch the audience attention. And, at last the narration should close with the resolution and absolution of the previews climax.
Don’t give it all away
The best advice you can take when you’re developing any type of story is that the important things are not the ones you tell, but the ones you keep out from the narration. Every person is looking for being surprised in a positive way, and publicity is not the exception. The human mind will definitely remember the things you took away from them, than the ones you gave away right from the beginning. But you must be careful not to set their expectations higher than the product or company can go, because their deception can turn your message to the opposite.
The way that brands are perceived has changed over the years, the target audience has changed and nowadays it is not enough for brands to be have traditional media or be socially active, they also have to tell a story and engage with the public, otherwise they are pretty much not relevant. Beauty brands have chosen to take a different path and they spend a lot of money on production to tell simple, yet extraordinary stories and this has proven to have result on the audience.
“The challenge is in figuring out how to share that story in the way that aligns with the need and priorities of prospects and customers. But, it’s not just sharing the story. It’s about making the story so compelling that it elevates perceptions of value and urgency resulting in more qualified leads and faster purchasing momentum.” (Lee Odden)