The Value of Storytelling in Marketing

Subaru's New Advertising Campaign: Example of Storytelling

Marketing has historically relied on gimmicks like catchy jingles, quippy one-liners, and flattering words to capture consumers’ attention. Longform commercials let companies tell a little bit more of their story, and marketers discovered the value of storytelling.

Over the past few decades, informational content has replaced most of the gimmicky tactics as consumers have gained greater access to information and better research skills. If companies don’t offer it, people more often than not will search for relevant information on products and companies before making decisions.

To catch a customer’s attention, companies should consider their storytelling capabilities — and make sure their operational reality stands up to the story they’re telling. If it doesn’t, Internet Sleuths will certainly find out at some point, and that company will get Cancelled. Honesty is important to consumers — they hate getting duped.

The value of a story lies in its relatability and ability to evoke emotion in the listener. The purpose of a story is to deliver information in an engaging, poignant, or entertaining package.

Example: Subaru’s Love Promise

Take Subaru, for instance. Subaru does an excellent job of utilizing storytelling in their marketing campaigns by connecting their product to a particular emotion — love — rather than focusing on the features or functions of their vehicles.

They do this in a range of ways, from conveying relief when a parent sees their teenager getting home safe in the Subie, to a humorous collection of commercials featuring a dog family that drives a Subaru. Instead of describing safety features, they convey through storytelling the way Subaru drivers feel about, and because of the vehicle they own.

They capture the audience’s attention, then let the interested listeners go seek out any specific information they want to know about the vehicle. This is a powerful strategy of engagement.

Both storytellers and audiences can learn from the exercise of crafting, telling, and listening to a story. People today are concerned with the ethics and values of the businesses that they support, not just the quality or efficacy of the product or service they offer.

Using stories to convey information about a business, what they offer, and why they do what they do, creates a path of connection for the consumer.

Facts are certainly important, but they seldom elicit any emotion — the spark that enables a meaningful connection with consumers. Marketers learn from storytelling by engaging with the world around them and observing first hand what is driving the consumer to purchase products.

Media Fragmentation

Consumers are often overloaded with different types of media. Media fragmentation is a new issue, born from increased access to media from a plethora of sources and delivery methods.

Marketers now have a greater need for a different delivery method. Storytelling is an effective tactic that can help cut through the noise of media fragmentation and gives the consumer an alternative introduction to your brand. Storytelling piques consumers’ interest and gives them a reason to ignore the rest of the noise and take a moment to engage with your brand.

Storytelling in marketing is more than an alternative creative approach to gaining new customers, it requires a unique understanding of digital consumers and the brand you are marketing.

Every company has stories to tell about how things got started, the hardships it has overcome and how, or about the people that make it run and why they’re important. Shaping your stories and what you offer into content that will engage your target audience can be challenging and you might need help to do it effectively.

At Jexan, we delve deep into your business, staff, and what you offer. We seek to understand what motivates and drives our clients’ organizations. This understanding enables us to give voice to the unique story behind your business and brand that facilitates a deep connection with your targeted audience.

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