31st January 2023

Storytelling

as a
FORCE FOR GOOD

Learn why storytelling is important, and how it can be used as a force for good.

Why Storytelling?

Human beings have been telling stories since the beginning of time, and storytelling has always been an effective way to connect people and build empathy. They can capture people’s attention and make it easier to process information.

 Have you ever gotten lost in a favorite book or movie, to the point where the world around you disappears? This is known as Narrative Transportation, and research has shown that when someone is transported into a story, they become more emotionally engaged and are more willing to change their beliefs. 

 As emotions impact decision-making far more than data alone, by sharing stories, we can create a sense of shared experience and understanding. This is especially important when it comes to promoting sustainable practices and values, which can create a sense of shared responsibility and inspire people to take action. 

Your business has a strong mission and set of values that you want to communicate to the world and your potential consumers. Storytelling is an effective way for you to communicate these values in a way that is relatable to your customers and stakeholders. By using storytelling, your business can create a narrative that connects with people on a deeper level, inspiring them to support your brand and it’s mission, and to turn them into loyal brand ambassadors.
 
Authenticity and transparency are key. Consumers today are savvier than ever before and can see through false or misleading claims. By being transparent and authentic in your storytelling, your business can build trust with your customers. This is especially important when it comes to communicating the impact of your products or services on the environment. Consumers are voicing their values with their dollars, and are more likely to buy from companies and brands that align with their values. Research shows that the environment is a priority for consumers globally, and that they are willing to pay more for eco-friendly brands.

How can you use storytelling in your business?

There are many different ways to use storytelling in your business. Videos, when done right, can be a great way to create memorable, shareable stories that your customers will love. Brand films are a great way for your potential customer to get to know you and your business better. They are an easy way to connect with your audience, and videos are far more likely to be shared than any other form of content, helping you communicate your sustainability efforts to your customers in a more impactful way. Below are 5 great video examples of how a brand can use storytelling in their business.

 

 

Introducing your Company

Grove Collaborative

This video from Grove Collaborative is a great example of using storytelling to introduce the consumer to the company, while also showcasing its commitment to sustainability and the environment. 

 The video without any proof would just be greenwashing. In order to be transparent, they have a sustainability page on their website showcasing their commitment to sustainability. They also back this up with an annual sustainability report showing their impact, and how they plan to improve it.

Apeel

Another great company introduction is this video from Apeel. 

A more abstract video with a high-level overview of who Apeel is, this video is well-designed, and sparks curiosity from the viewer. A great teaser video, those who are intrigued by the video can visit Apeel’s website to learn more about them and what they do. 

 They also have an impact page on their website as well as an ESG page that provides further data on their operations and its impact. https://www.apeel.com/esg.

Character-driven Films

Character-driven films are much more relatable and great at connecting with your audience emotionally and transporting them into your world. 

John Lewis

John Lewis, a UK-based retailer is well known for this, and last year’s holiday ad was no exception. By focusing on a strong, relatable character, the audience can often picture themselves in the character’s shoes and so follow them on their journey. This leads to higher engagement for your brand. 

While not sustainability-related, this video does highlight how they’re using their business for good and there are a lot of lessons to be taken away from this video that can be applied to your business.

 

 

Mr W

An older video (but still a great one, and one of my favorites) from Epuron about Mr W. Another great character driven story. 

 This example immediately draws you into Mr W’s world, almost feeling sorry for him. Without giving away too much, this video is very well executed with a great, feel-good ending.

Father Christmas and Mother Earth

Last, but certainly not least, is this great video from Posten, Norway’s leading postal service. Their ‘Father Christmas and Mother Earth’ follows two character’s journey, carefully portrayed in a way that is very relatable. 

The video does a great job of acknowledging the company’s role in fafacilitating overconsumption, and how they’re trying to fix it. They’re building trust through vulnerability, by recognizing that they are part of the problem. They’re also being transparent about their sustainability goals and showing how they plan to meet them.

 

Important Tips to Remember

When using storytelling to create positive social and environmental impact, it’s important to keep a few key things in mind:

  • Be authentic and transparent.
  • Focus on the impact of your products or services on the environment and communities
  • Use relatable and emotional storytelling to connect with your audience
  • Use multiple channels to share your story and make sure it reaches a wide audience
  • Use data and statistics to back up your claims and make them more credible
  • Involve stakeholders in the storytelling process and get their feedback.

 

Do you use storytelling in your business? If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use storytelling to elevate your business, get in touch!

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