brand storiesAll good brand stories contain essential elements that make them compelling. Here are 7 of them.

1. Make it unexpected? Whatever your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th story idea is – throw it out and think of the opposite. Compelling brand stories that people want to share are those that have a certain degree of WTF. Part of that could also be about taking an approach that is unexpected for a brand. Making fun of yourself is a refreshing break from the expected.

2. Let your audience feel something for your character: Great stories have a main character that is going through a major shift in their lives. That’s true for an episode of Game of Thrones as well as a story from Nike.

Remember…’Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. Then one day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.’

3. It’s got to be real: Fake stories are called ads. Real, raw, emotional stories work better if you really want to connect with an audience. People’s lives are real and if you can hold a mirror up to somebody and they see a reflection of themselves in what you are showing them, you’ve built an emotional connection.

4. Simplify: Keep editing until you have stripped out everything that gets in the way of your story being the simplest version of itself. Complexity is just a distraction.

5. Have a strong main character: With strong options, vulnerability and obviously, lots of layers of character. Audiences love stories that involve fantasy characters that are larger than reality.

6. Add value: Why are you telling this story? Is it just because you had excess marketing budget that you had to burn through or do you really believe that by telling this story you’re going to change the world? Begin your storytelling from a place where you believe that you are adding heaps of value to the world and maybe others will agree with you and share the love.

7. Have a call to action: If you’ve managed to inspire your audience, make sure that you satisfy their burning need to get involved with a clear call to action. Let them get involved straight away and join your movement.

Thanks to our connected digital world, brand stories is an exciting new field of creativity that is only set to grow stronger in the years to come. And although it is a new genre of advertising, at it’s core the essence of storytelling is as old as mankind itself. Approach your challenge with these 7 points in mind and you’re set to make a bigger impact than you ever thought possible.

For more, check out: The 22 rules of storytelling according to Pixar