brand narrative

Why do consumers buy what they choose to buy?

What drives those decisions?

Brand narratives play a crucial role in such decisions.

A brand narrative is a streamlined story, a messaging framework that acts as the framework for the marketing and communications of a business.

If consumers are asked why they chose a certain product or service over another, their answer almost always has a sensible and logical rationale.

Consumers might choose a product or a service because of the price or the appearance. However, the real reason why consumers choose a certain product might involve more subtle rationales. This subtle rationale almost always involves a compelling brand narrative.

Customers buy things for emotional benefits, to feel secure, to feel connected with others, and for numerous essentially subconscious reasons. Intangible factors such as memories, the image of the company that produces the product, and consumers’ conceptions about the product, all end up having a noticeable impact on what a person purchases.

Brand narratives make it possible to create an emotional relationship between brands and people. Given below are the traits of powerful and persuasive brand narratives.

Emotional Differentiation

Emotional differentiation refers to people’s ability to differentiate experience into discrete categories. Well-executed and engaging brand narratives are marked by emotional differentiation.

Emotional differentiation is often associated with brands that are well-known. For instance, a business might want to introduce a cola-flavored soft drink.

Today, consumers already know everything they need to know about what a cola is, and the product only has to be distinguished from its competition on an emotional level.

Understanding the Target Audience

If brand narratives are not designed for specific customer personas, a business might miss the mark. A brand narrative should be one that a given brand’s audience wants to hear because they think narrative will convey some insight or guidance.

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Most importantly, the target audience should be able to relate to the narrative. For instance, in Apple’s ‘The whole working-from-home thing’ ad , Apple focuses on relatability. The audience is familiar with the troubles of working from home during the pandemic.

The story that Apple tells is about a team that overcomes the pitfalls of WFH to come together and complete a project.

The ad acknowledges the difficulties of the pandemic and shows how Apple’s products can be used to make life a little easier.

Offers solutions

People like brand narratives that offer solutions to problems.

If a brand has a product that solves a problem, or if a business model solves a common consumer problem, it should be a part of the brand narrative.

Consistency

Consistency in brand narrative is vital to providing a coherent and authentic customer experience. By using consistent storytelling, words, and themes, a business can create loyalty and brand engagement among those they seek to influence.

For instance, if a company really wanted to focus on the sustainability of their products, some themes that its brand narrative should include are responsibility, transparency, and environmentalism.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.