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Is there anybody out there who doesn’t love a good story? People aren’t moved by PowerPoint presentations and slides – they are moved by an appeal to their emotions and storytelling represents a fantastic avenue to do this. We are hardwired to listen to and remember engaging stories that resonate with us. Storytelling grabs attention in a crowded marketplace and makes you memorable. But what if a great story was your story?
Brand storytelling is a powerful communication instrument for stating and sharing a company’s vision and values and can help capture candidates’ attention, build trust with candidates and demonstrate how good it is to work for the company. But many companies are still nowhere near of perfecting the art of storytelling. Career sites full of photos with a ping pong table and a beer dispenser may initially look attractive but it won’t set you apart from companies who have the exact same approach. So that’s why, we’re giving you a breakdown of the top 5 companies that have nailed ‘telling their story’ so you can get inspiration.
1. UPS’s ‘Driver for a Day’
This is a great story from UPS about a 4 year old kid named Carson who couldn’t drink normal milk so he required a special formula delivered. He quickly struck up a friendship with 25-year veteran and delivery man Mr. Ernie who made deliveries to Carson’s house 2-3 times per week. Carson was fascinated by trucks and always wanted to be a UPS driver so UPS created a custom truck for him to deliver packages in his local area. It’s a brilliant, real-life story that is emotionally driven and showcases UPS’s values which is their commitment to making wishes come true as part of their Your Wishes Delivered campaign. A positive campaign like this gives viewers the feel good factor which translates into a positive brand association.
2. Virgin Media’s Christmas Gift
Around Christmas time, an elderly man named Patrick was buying a Virgin box which when installed, didn’t work properly. The engineer named Paul who initally installed it returned and found out that it was in fact the TV that was not working, not the box. Paul left but quickly realised that Patrick, an avid Liverpool fan who lived by himself, would have no TV over Christmas so he went out and purchased a brand new TV for Patrick and fitted it for him.
This story really resonated with audiences, indicated by its near 2000 shares via the Virgin website, and it demonstrated heartfelt service and a random act of kindness. There’s also a big lesson here because this story had previously gone untold, indicating the importance of reaching out to your team to uncover stories like this and find out how they have impacted people and customers. It also serves as a reminder to candidates of what the company’ vision is: going above and beyond for your customers.
Co-Founders Jon and Ryan of Greats, a men’s sneaker brand, created a cool video about their company which showcased their personality and how they sell their trainers online. Jon and Ryan detail how their experience told them the customer is paying for costs in an inefficient system when ordering trainers. By selling directly to customers, the co-founders explain how customers only pay half the price and cut time for delivery in half.
The greatness of this story isn’t so much the content but the style in which they tell their narrative. They follow the ‘And.But.Therefore’ (ABT) method of storytelling which makes the information being told much more compelling. Instead of telling just a sequence of facts (i.e. and, and, and….) which is dull, simply adding a ‘but’ or ‘therefore’ helps build tension and interest. If we were to put ABT into the Greats narrative, it would look something like this:
- And – create a revolution in footwear industry, classic design
- But – setting up company amongst big players e.g. Nike, Adidas
- Therefore – selling directly to customer, lower costs
4. The Lego Movie
What a movie! This is a unique example because the product is the movie. The story itself is surprisingly thoughtful with the Lego characters appealing to audiences of all ages. Lego could have easily of fallen into the trap of making this movie just an enormous advertisement but instead of focusing on the products, they sell ideas, feelings and thoughts that resonate with audiences. The movie challenges the minds of audiences from different generations on what they believe is possible and playing on the mantra that we are only limited by our own imagination. In other words – the story enabled Lego to engage and connect with audiences and in doing so, reinforced the type of culture they continually strive for – creativity, imagination and fun.
5. Guinness’ ‘Round Your Mates’
We just couldn’t leave out our national beer! In recent times, Guinness have totally redefined effective beer advertising by focusing on emotive storytelling. They have executed numerous thought-provoking campaigns but one of our favourites is the ‘Round Up Your Mates’ advert which tells the story of a group of guys playing wheelchair basketball, followed by a pint of Guinness in a pub. Pretty simple, right? Well there’s a twist half-way through the story whereby we realise only one of the men in the group is a wheelchair user, while his friends are playing wheelchair basketball so they can all play a sport together. Guinness here is celebrating quality time with friends which makes for a more richer life.
The voiceover is brilliant towards the end of the ad – “Dedication, loyalty, friendship – the choices we make reveal the true nature of our character”. Not only does this apply to our friendships but you could argue it also applies to our beer of choice and that by choosing Guinness, you will be drinking a quality beer. A very memorable ad that again appeals to the emotions.
These are just some examples of companies who are effectively using storytelling to breathe life into their employer brand. By creating compelling, thought-provoking and emotion-driven stories around your products, you can form a personal connection with your candidates which can enhance your reputation so when it comes to the time when candidates are looking for a new role, they are more likely to remember your company and your story.
(Recommended Reading: 5 of the Most Creative Recruitment Marketing Campaigns)
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