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#5 Ways Startups Can Tell Their Brand Story and Become Superstars It's just the vision you create will bring people close to your brand making it a hit

By Mukti Masih

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Cognitive psychologist late Jerome Burner had suggested that the messages that are delivered through a story are 22 times more memorable than just facts. This is why world's biggest brands focus on a great story. Today's customers are buying from a good story of a product or service that represents something.

Several startups in India need to learn this faster and adopt it more quickly. Since I have been in the business of creating videos and brand visual stories for almost nine years, I am asked a lot of questions about storytelling. Based on my answers to such queries, I decided to compile a list of 5 most vital ways to become superstars in brand storytelling.

# 1 Define Customer's Conflict Before Storytelling

Why did you feel the need to start up in your particular niche? What were the gaps? What problems did your customers face before you launched your product or service? The answers to these will set the background for your actual story. Observe the Youtube ads run by The ads are actual customer success stories: individuals and small businesses who used Wix to become bestsellers. Your customer's struggles and conflicts form the foundation of your brand story.

TIP: Two-time Academy winner and animation film director Andrew Stanton recommends: Don't give them four; give them two plus two.

# 2 Build Your Founding Story on an Obstacle and Stick to It

Any screenplay writer would tell you that a good story has an intention and an obstacle. A startup's brand story is no exception. What's your favourite Bollywood movie? Does it have a struggle story? Indian consumers love struggle stories –obstacles that lead to victory or failure. What were your major obstacles and how did you intend to overcome them? I was once covering a story of a viral content website in a leading publication. The brand had built itself up on a lot of failures and the lessons learnt. When I highlighted the "failure to success' factor in the headline of the story, the said startup was skeptical. I assured them and went on with the same headline. The story went viral within 24 hours.

TIP: Once you have built your intention of overcoming the obstacle in your story, stick to it. Make it consistent.

# 3 Use Data Analytics to Analyze Audience

Data analytics is your brand story's director. As you gather more data about your customer's purchase behavior, you will know his interests well in advance. Data analytics tools help you get a context and parameters about your subjects. This would further help you create personalized narratives in order to trigger sales. Always break down your ads campaign leads and run sequence ad campaigns to convert your audience into customers.

TIP: Don't get carried away by figures. Always dig deeper into what those figures are telling you about customers.

# 4 Your Brand Story Must Empathize

It's important to empathize with your customers and infuse emotions into your storytelling. My team and I worked on a video about "Inclusion and diversity' for a leading group of hotels in December 2017. Before we got down to creating a story-board, we spoke to some of their employees in person. The video, which was created to motivate employees in-house, became so relatable that it was eventually used for brand marketing. When you empathize, you are able to evoke the right emotions. Every kind of audience then finds your story relatable.

TIP: There are five emotions that trigger customer loyalty in a good brand story. They are surprise, relief, familiarity/relatability, belonging and gratitude.

# 5 Infuse Culture Into Your Story

India is a land of storytelling. Right from the Rangoli tradition on all Indian festivals to the folklore, storytelling is everywhere. Amul India's iconic ads for decades have been great examples of infusing culture and current affairs into the messaging. Food delivery startup Zomato has been picking up Indian current affairs lately. For instance, one of their ad campaigns ran:

PNB – Paranthas and butter. Cheat day? Order online on Zomato.

TIP: Always work on a consistent brand story, then play on deep-rooted traditions and culture. Remember that a great brand story compels consumers to take purchase actions. Isn't that what we all want?

Mukti Masih

Co-founder of AVM Pictures

Mukti Masih began her career with The Times of India 12 years ago and two years later quit journalism to become a freelance writer. She co-founded AVM Pictures along with her brother Abhishek Masih. She is a passionate story teller and extensive traveller. 

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