In response to one of my colleagues’ dilemma between putting his hand up for a last-minute presentation to a group of industry professionals or taking the evening off after a long and stressful week, another team member asked, “which one has a better story to tell?” The decision would be a no-brainer if you are passionate about building your brand and attracting people’s attention with the right brand strategy. Take the option that would give you a better story to tell tomorrow, when someone asked you what you had been up to yesterday.
Since ancient times, stories have been an intrinsic part of our societies and cultures. From films and books to art and religion, the influence of storytelling is present in all aspects of our lives. Stories fascinate people and give them a better understanding of you and your brand. There’s a Hopi American Indian proverb that goes, “those who tell the stories rule the world.” I say, “those who tell interesting stories about their brands rule the market”.
How to attract loyal fans
Many of the most successful brands in the world have good stories to tell. These can be creation stories, explaining how the company was born, or stories defining the company’s passion and purpose.
Coca-cola was created by a pharmacist originally as medicine.
Uber, the fast-growing mobile app, wanted to give the hirer more control over the car hire experience than the inefficient and often frustrating taxi hire system.
Dyson vacuum cleaners came about because their inventor James Dyson saw what was wrong with old vacuums and spent many years making a better product. His innovative invention was repeatedly turned down by major manufacturers before its eventual success so his story was one of triumph by perseverance through adversity.
That said, you don’t have to be one of the biggest brands in the world to tell an original compelling story. You are what makes your brand unique, so even if you think your story shares many similarities with other brands, no one has your story because of your unique background, personality and life journey. As you define your story and shape your brand strategy, those who can relate to your struggles and challenges will gravitate towards your cause and develop into your staunchest brand advocates.
You don’t need to exaggerate or lie to have a story worth sharing.
Setting out to create a better world
We are passionate about our story at Yump, a made-in-Melbourne digital agency – how we got here, why we exist and what we are trying to achieve.
Yump was founded by Gen-Y digital practitioners who were dissatisfied and disenchanted with the quality, value and purpose of the solutions that many digital agencies, in Melbourne as well as the rest of Australia, were regularly putting out to market.
The agencies who produce visually creative work often allow visuals to get in the way and result in a frustrating user experience. The agencies who focus on a functional user experience tend to forget how to delight their users with creativity. Then there are the agencies who pump out mundane digital marketing campaigns one after another that customers have learnt to ignore.
We used to work for these agencies. They sold fanciful concepts that didn’t work with real audiences. They built white elephants that no one used. And they charged exorbitant prices for products of little value to people.
We believe there’s a better way. We want to create visually beautiful, easy-to-use websites, applications and digital tools that people care about. The solutions and campaigns we build strive to educate, enrich or entertain, and we support brands that make a difference to people’s lives. Thankyou, Well Naturally, Save the Children Australia, Diversity Council Australia and Carers NSW are some of the brands and organisations that we look after.
We want to help brands engage more people via digital media to create a healthier and more humane world.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your story?
By Yuan Wang
Yuan is Melbourne digital agency Yump’s Creative Director. He is passionate about building memorable brands that people love via brand strategy methodologies and effective digital marketing strategies. He also likes telling stories, with animated gestures.