The effect of narrative transport on your branding

Branding is about the brand, but most importantly how people see your brand. It’s about how people define your brand. A simple commercial can change the way you look at a brand. For illustration, if we look at Nike you can say it’s just a shoes and clothing brand, nothing more. But when Nike tells contemporary stories they become more than just a brand about shoes and clothes, they become relatable. By making your brand relatable your one step closer to the connection you want with the costumers.

Why is the use of storytelling an important aspect?

Research shows that storytelling increases your conversion rate (Jeffrey Bleijendaal, 2017) considerably. Storytelling is reflected in videos, but this can also be seen on your website or your product itself. Don’t just show your product, tell the story behind the product. For example, when you look at Tony’s Chocolonely the product itself is already based on storytelling. The chocolate bar comes with a good USP (Edwin Res, 2018). The USP is, by eating a chocolate bar it feels like you did a good thing. When most people think of Tony’s Chocolonely they know what it stands for through their storytelling.  You see it in their logo, website, product, and the way they advertise. Their branding is based on the way they tell their story.

The meaning of narrative transport

Narrative transport (Lotte Willemsen, 2019) is an important aspect of storytelling. There is a bigger chance you will influence your target audience with your story if there is a narrative transport. For your story to have a narrative transport the target audience needs to be able to identify with the main character. With a persuasive message and meaningful content, you will be able to sell the story to your target audience. With the right elements, you and your company will be able to influence your target audience with your story.

For Nike narrative transport didn’t only lead to a relatable brand, it also led to an increase in demand. Nike (Steve Cameron, 2019) markets its shoes to inflate the worth of the Jordan brand. The Jordan brand has made his debut in the nineties. The shoes were mainly made for the sports sector but were also worn by the general public. The model of shoes did make his debut in the nineties but is still going strong. The shoes are originally sold for around €180 but can be resold for up to €2000. Research (Matt Cohen, 2019) showed that the shoes became so much more expensive than other popular sports shoes were because of its brand image. Nike Jordan got a luxury image. Jordan sneakers became a luxury brand and product to match Michael Jordan’s talent and style. The luxury image wasn’t affordable for everyone but because of Michael Jordan’s image, it became something everyone wanted and related to.

A life lesson to be learned from narrative transport

Patrick Moreau a psychologist said: “the goal of narrative transport is to tell remarkable stories- the kind that sweeps you up, send you spinning, and leave you altogether changed. And when your narrative can transport your audience that’s entirely possible.” This quote or life lesson for your company can change the prospective your target audience and you yourself may look at your company. Narrative transport can be used in books, films but most importantly for the storytelling of your company.

Knowing your company is the first step

For startups, it can be though to define your brand and storytelling as Nike and Tony Chocolonely did. But with the following tips and this article, you will come a long way. First of all, you should bring your shared purpose to life (Lulia Baidac, 2020). For example, if you are starting to make the customer journey involve your target audience. For your story to be understood it has to be clear, simple and repeatable. There has to be uniformity on all channels for your story to be recognizable. The last but probably the most important tip is to know your story from the beginning. Even when you are just starting and only have 2 customers it has to be right. Those two customers can with the right kind of engagement share your company’s story. In conclusion, you have to bring your purpose to life, create uniformity and know your story as you start your business.

If you think of starting your own company and you’re not sure what to do with your branding, look if you know your own story. When you exactly know what your story is and what you stand for, communicate this through your branding and don’t forget to make it relatable.

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