7 Great Brand Storytelling Examples For You to Emulate

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The demand on brand marketers to continuously tell new and exciting stories can pose quite a challenge. It’s common to feel like your well of inspiration (at least from time to time) is running a little dry. However, a dose of inspiration may be just what you need in order to get a stream of genius ideas flowing again.

That’s why we brought in one of the best in the biz to help you.

We were able to pick the mind of Melanie Deziel, founder of StoryFuel, brand storytelling keynote speaker and former New York Times brand content editor, to point us to some brands that are setting the tone.

In our other brand storytelling pieces, we’ve explained what brand storytelling is and the three keys to follow. We’ve also assembled the nine storytelling trends to track in 2019.

In this piece, we’ll walk you through some of Melanie’s favorite brand storytelling cases.

7 Brand Storytelling Examples

1. August Oak Woodworks

“There’s a lot of examples of micro-content that I think are really awesome, however, I thought this one was really great: There’s a guy who runs a lumbershop, August Oak Woodworks, out in California. He decided to make his own play at creating one of the popular ‘hands and pans’ style videos that you frequently see on Facebook, where it’s a recipe shot from above and you have hands flying in and mixing things. [In his version], he mocked that setup, dumping in wood glue and mixing around wood chips, which he then put into the oven. [Suddenly], out pops this beautiful jewelry case made out of fine wood.”

“Obviously, it’s a joke, but that content went super viral and this is a small, local lumber yard that didn’t have an agency. He didn’t have to hire a whole team to create it. It was their fun idea to make fun of something they saw out in the world, and they saw how they could put themselves in that context. It only took them approximately an hour, messing around and filming in the shop [for them to] come up with something really cool.”

2. Blue Bottle Coffee

“The brand Blue Bottle Coffee…they’ve done some really creative stuff. The example here though, is that they created an entire course on Skillshare on how to brew the perfect cup of coffee at home, which I think is really smart…It’s not a typical content format,” Melanie explains.

“You don’t see many brands creating full-fledged courses, especially if they’re not educational brands by mission. The last time I checked, [Blue Bottle Coffee] had 15,000 people who had taken that course, and it’s just an hour’s worth of content that their baristas would probably go through for training. I think it’s a really smart way for them to add value to show their expertise on the topic.”

Blue Bottle Coffee have also done some coffee table books and a coloring book for kids.

“They’re just breaking the format of what we expect. It doesn’t have to be just a blog. There are ways you can add value to your consumers in completely unexpected formats,” she says.

3. Red Bull’s Media House

These otherworldly ads by Red Bull’s Media House highlight just how far a brand can go with telling a story beyond the product they sell.

This ‘World of Red Bull’ commercial from 2013 still stands out as an all-time classic.

They continue to drop inspiring videos telling the same story in a different way today.

4. Dove, Real Beauty

The gold standard in personal care brands that promote positive self-image, Dove does it again and again.

From great written content on their website, to a fantastic reflective slideshow profiling the women they highlighted in their first self-esteem film 10 years ago, Dove shows no signs of slowing down.

5. Subaru, Love Promise: Loves the Earth, Loves to Care, Loves to Help, Loves Learning, Loves Pets

Subaru has long been known as the vehicle of choice for those who are environmentally and socially conscious.  

Their recent ‘Love Promise’ campaign touches on how the brand plans to positively impact the world in five key areas: the earth, health care, social support, learning and pets. This campaign really brings the brand’s values to life, by showing just how much this car company cares about what their customers care about (and isn’t only focused on selling them).

For instance, during the month of October, through the Subaru Loves Pets initiative, Subaru retailers collected new pet supplies to donate to local animal organizations in their respective communities. They also provided shelter supply kits for animals awaiting adoption, as well as donated starter kits for new pet-adopting families.

“We believe in being a positive force in the communities where we live and work, not just with donations but with actions that set an example for others to follow,” the Japanese auto-manufacturer says on their website.

6. Airbnb, Stories from the Airbnb Community

Some may argue that Airbnb doesn’t have to tell any stories to be successful, but with over 4 million listings, Airbnb has a deep well of unique experiences that their brand can share: and that’s exactly what they do.

Airbnb’s community stories allow both sides of its marketplace (those with spaces to rent, and those looking for unique accommodations), to enjoy learning more about what hosts from around the world are offering – and why they’re part of Airbnb.
Check out these unique profiles of several Airbnb hosts and their remarkable hospitality.

7. Patagonia, Never Town

Patagonia is regarded as the ultimate outdoor lifestyle brand by many.

This is a company that has promoted sustainability to the point where they’re product is affectionately viewed as a way of life. What other clothing brand offers a reused and recycled online store?

Their latest project, Never Town, is a surfing/conservation mini-film that journeys down the southern ocean coasts of Australia to see what surfers are doing to save the land they love.

What are your favorite brand storytelling examples? How are you going to creatively tell your company’s story?

Tell us in the comment section below.

About Melanie Deziel:

Melanie Deziel, the founder of StoryFuel, is an international keynote speaker and a lifelong storyteller, recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in native advertising and branded content.

She is a member of the National Speakers Association, and has graced the stages of industry-leading events like Content Marketing World, Native Ad Days, Social Media Marketing World, SXSW, and more.

Melanie serves on the board of the Native Advertising Institute, and has judged countless industry awards, including the Digiday Content Marketing Awards, the Native Ad Awards, the WANIFRA Digital Media Awards and the Mirror Awards.

She developed the Content Marketing course for Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MS in Digital Marketing program, and now teaches as an adjunct professor.

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