Show, Don’t Tell: The Role Storytelling Plays in Effective Branding & Marketing


“People don’t want more information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith — faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell.”


In today’s marketing climate of glitzy billboards, neon sale signs, and buzzing Internet pop-ups, consumers increasingly crave authenticity, relatability, and transparency. But as a business owner or marketing professional, connecting with your audience at that level is no easy feat.

So, how can you make your brand stand out among the flash and fanfare in a genuine and effective way when other tactics, which seem phony, appear to speak more loudly? By sharing the story that drives your brand, the story that inspires you.

Storytelling continues to solidify its marketing worth by increasing top brands’ name recognition, popularity, and perceived trustworthiness. In fact, many of the most recognizable companies — including iconic juggernauts like Coca-Cola, Google, Apple and Subaru — have successfully leveraged brand-focused storytelling, revealing the public’s acute desire to connect with the brands they endorse on an emotional level.  

Hallmarks of sound storytelling in the realm of marketing include consistent brand identity, honest communication of company values and ideals, and the development of a distinctive, personalized “voice.” This marketing method is uniquely effective because it appeals to audiences on a personal level, cultivating deep brand loyalty that lasts for years to come.

“Your brand story is more than what you tell people,” Deborah Shane from Small Business Trends, writes. “It is what they believe about you based on all the signals your brand sends out. The story is a complete picture of the facts, feelings and interpretations, which are shared about your business by you, your customers, your community and the public in general.”

When focusing on your company’s story, you aren’t just relaying facts, shouting about the money they’ll save, or selling them something. Instead, you’re unveiling the beating heart of your brand, the underlying vision and values that propel you to do what you do — and you’re offering potential clients the chance to be part of that story.

Conveying your brand’s story to your audience creates an emotional connection that goes beyond purchasing decisions. This connection is what drives consumers to proudly sport Coca-Cola attire or religiously boast of being a “Mac person.” The vision of these companies is contagious, and consumers want to be part of their story. To market effectively, don’t just tell about your services or products: share your brand’s story.

Are you struggling to pinpoint your brand’s story? Need help polishing, producing, or sharing it? Let us know. We’d love to collaborate. Knowing where to start is hard; successfully implementing a marketing strategy, even harder. But the end results — when done right — are invaluable.

N. C. Cole