Brand Storytelling, the way to people’s hearts, John Whalley

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Brand Storytelling.

As someone who works with brands to develop strategy, define positioning, create identity systems, develop tone of voice, tell their brand stories…whoa…wait a minute now…

…I was about to carry on, but I sense you may just have rolled your eyes.

Brand stories!? What’s all that about? You’ve got your brand, you’ve got your product, you’ve got your price point, you’ve got your transactional website. Jobs a good ‘un as they say. Right?

Sure. If you like running up the down escalator. If you like taking two steps forward, three steps back. If you love a big red price point or several, you’re sorted.

But what if you really want to reach people, engage with them, mean something to them? What if you want to connect with them on an emotional level, build a loyal community?

Since time began human beings have been making this kind of connection by telling and sharing stories. We are hard-wired for stories.

Brand Storytelling

That’s why as a brand you need to tell your story, a story that tells people who you are, why you do what you do. A story that invites people to join your tribe. A story that tells people how you will make their lives better, how you will make them feel special. A story that connects with people on an emotional level.

Recently I was invited to present a session on Brand Storytelling to students at Manchester Metropolitan University. During the session I wanted to demonstrate that Brand Storytelling is not simply a trend invented by creatives in agencies, not a reason to eye-roll. It’s actually a scientifically proven route to people’s hearts.

Due to the times we currently find ourselves in, the MMU session had to be delivered virtually. So in order to support the talk I created a slide deck that begins by looking at the two words separately, first ‘brand’, then ‘storytelling’.

Next, we put the two words back together and look at some of the scientific evidence, the stuff of the neuroscientists.

Finally, we talk through how good stories are constructed in three stages – situation, complication, resolution – before showing some examples of brands who are building loyal communities by telling their stories well, by telling them with an authentic voice, and by reaching audiences they really want to connect with.

You can download the full PDF here, and if you would like to know more about Brand Storytelling you can contact John at

Brand Storytelling Presentation


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