Whiplash Team, 23rd March 2023

Differences between storytelling and brand story

Storytelling and brand story are two powerful tools for companies, but they have different goals and approaches. Understanding these differences can help organisations to develop a strategy to communicate their brand effectively and consistently.

Today, the language of branding and marketing is full of terms that can sometimes be confusing. Two of the most commonly used terms are “storytelling” and “brand story.” Although they are often used interchangeably, there are significant differences between them that are worth knowing about.

Narrative or storytelling refers to the art of telling stories. In marketing, it is used to create emotional connections with consumers by conveying the brand’s values and personality using a narrative. The goal is to engage the public and encourage identification with the brand.

On the other hand, the brand story focuses on communicating the essence of the brand through a story. The key difference is that the brand story is not just about telling an interesting story, but about conveying the brand’s purpose, values and personality in each element of the story.

Another important difference is that storytelling is often used to create isolated marketing content, such as an ad campaign or video.  The brand story is, on the contrary, a long-term strategy used to communicate the essence of the brand in all its interactions with consumers.


Storytelling is an effective way to build relationships with the public. When a brand tells a story that appeals to its audience, it connects with people on a deeper level. This can help build brand loyalty, increase sales, and build a customer base.

Additionally, stories are an effective way to communicate the brand’s mission and values to the audience. If a company can tell a story that reflects its purpose and values, it can make its audience feel closer to the brand and what it stands for.

Instead of simply presenting products and services, storytelling allows brands to tell how their products or services can improve people’s lives.

Key elements of storytelling

To create an effective story, there are certain key elements that must be present in the plot:

  • Must have a main character, a star that the audience can identify and empathize with. This character must have a defined personality, a clear motivation and a transformation arc that leads him to overcome a challenge or a conflict.
  • Must have a conflict. It is the problem that the star must face and solve. Conflict can be internal (for example, a struggle with your own emotions or limitations) or external (for example, a struggle against an enemy or a force of nature).
  • Must have action. That is, events that occur and make the plot go forward. These events should be exciting, interesting, and relevant to the story and the star.
  • Must have a conclusion. This must be satisfactory for the star and for the public. The conflict must be resolved, and the star must have learned something or experienced a significant change in his/her life.

In addition, each story must have a clear and coherent theme or message, it must have detailed descriptions that help the audience to get immersed into the story and must evoke emotions (such as; joy, sadness, fear, empathy) in the audience, to engage them into the story and remember it better.

The tale behind the brand

A brand story is an important tool for any company looking to stand out in a competitive market. It is the story behind the brand or the company. It is a narrative that tells how the brand came to be, what makes it unique, and how it has evolved over time. It is a complete story that shows consumers why they should choose that brand instead of another.

A good story behind the brand can help create effective bonds with consumers, increasing its credibility and differentiating it from the competition.

Suppose a company can tell a good story that backs its brand in an authentic, relevant, memorable and consistent way. In that case, it can create a lasting and meaningful relationship with its customers.

Key elements of the brand story
  • It must be authentic. The story must be true and reflect the values and culture of the company. Consumers are savvy and have a lot of information at hand. If the brand narrative is not true or exaggerated, it will be detected, and the brand will lose credibility.
  • It must be relevant to the target audience. The story should connect with consumers and make them feel that the brand is relevant to their lives. For example, if a brand sells eco-friendly products, the brand story could tell how the company was founded to protect the environment and reduce the negative impact on nature.
  • It must be memorable. Consumers are faced with an immense amount of information to digest and process daily. Therefore, the brand story must be interesting and exciting enough for consumers to remember it and share with others.
  • It must be consistent. The story behind the brand must be present in all aspects of the company, from logo design to the way marketing messages are communicated. A consistent brand is a brand consumers can trust.

In short, storytelling and brand storytelling are two powerful tools based on narrative that use the different formats available to communicate a story, but with different purposes and approaches. A brand capable of conveying a coherent strategy using both tools effectively will manage to remain in the memory of its users.

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