The image and reputation of a brand can be fundamentally influenced by a strong brand story, an expert has stated.

According to Mark Truby, Communications and Public Affairs Manager at car giant Ford, a good story can alter consumers’ perceptions of an organisation.

This, he said, is because it can make a person “feel something” and is “universal.”

“People want to buy a car from a company they relate to and they understand,” he commented. 

“They want to grasp your values and your commitment to excellence; be inspired and intrigued. Storytelling is the most powerful way to convey these ideas.”

Mr Truby went on to stress that brands should not overlook traditional media in order to convey their story.

Indeed, he said that he has heard some “great stories” in executive speeches that have transformed his view of an organisation.

“And a speech is about as traditional as it gets,” Mr Truby stated.

Geoff Mead, Founder of Narrative Leadership Associates, believes one critical element of a brand story is authenticity.

He stated that while it can be slightly embellished, ultimately they need to be based in reality, and avoid sounding like a sales pitch.

Mr Mead pointed out that stories concern specific events that happen to certain characters. As a result, those that “veer towards generalities, explanations and abstractions, or which insist on telling their moral or meaning, have abandoned storytelling in favour of advocacy.”

“They lose their extraordinary ability to stimulate both the feelings and imagination of the teller and the audience,” he said.

John Stapleton, Co-Founder of The New Covent Garden Soup Co, backed up this view, saying that brand stories must “tell the truth” before being spun for marketing purposes.

“A strong story based in reality will bring your message and values to life in a way the consumer can believe in,” he observed.

Why brand storytelling should be the foundation of a growth strategy Marketing Week