Brand Storytelling: 5 Insights from #ReMark18

April 13, 2018 by  Top Drawer Creative
Two animated robots hill top at the end of the brand storytelling journey. Robot on peak is lifting a treasure chest overhead.

Top Drawer Creative Attends Retail Marketing Conference


In a sea of brands, retail marketers are continually faced with the challenge of how to keep theirs relevant. At the recent Retail Marketing Conference held in Toronto by the Retail Council of Canada, Top Drawer Creative CEO and Founder Howard Chang delivered a clear message for his audience: “If you think you will win in the market with a better price or better selection, you are wrong.”

So if it’s not prices or selection or expertise or value or whatever, then what attracts consumers to one retailer over the other? What keeps customers coming back?

“The only way for retailers to differentiate in this hyper-competitive market is to connect emotionally with consumers.” And to do that, Howard insists, you must have a compelling brand story.

Like every good story, a brand story consists of a hero (or protagonist) who faces obstacles and is inspired to embark on a journey to become their ideal self. But any old story won’t do. There’s an art to it. “Brand storytelling isn’t about feel-good. It’s about being memorable and desirable.”

What, then, makes a memorable and desirable brand story?

How to Be an Expert at Brand Storytelling


1. You are not the hero of your brand story. Your customer is.

Good stories are built on drawing your listeners into the story. By making your audience the hero of the story, you gain their attention and they begin to empathize with and root for that hero.

2. Know your customer.

What are their concerns? What keeps them awake at night? What do they wish to change about themselves or the world around them? A well-crafted brand story provides a resolution to your customer’s innermost needs and desires. Knowing your customer is how your brand builds a connection with them, and it’s what keeps their attention.

3. Your story needs an arc.

No one remembers flat stories. The stories we enjoy are those with highs and lows, ups and downs. It is important to weave a journey, rather than a sprint. Speak to more than just their needs; speak to their values and aspirations. To take a brand from like to love, a customer must feel aligned to that brand in more than a few areas.

4. Be honest.

Why? Because your audience will know if you’re not. This is where you demonstrate how you truly know them and can leverage your audience intelligence to connect with them.

5. A great brand story is not created in a vacuum.

Brand stories do not become great brand stories without a little help. With a team made up of brand strategists, seasoned storytellers and retail industry experts, your brand story can achieve its full potential.

For over 25 years, the team at Top Drawer has been crafting game-changing brand stories for local to national retail brands. Our structured brand strategy workshops and creative story building processes are backed by research, experience and creativity.

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