4 Brands that do Storytelling Well

These days, marketers are turning to storytelling to enhance their brand, reach new audiences and engage with customers like never before. But are they finding success in their efforts? Here, we share examples of four companies with successful storytelling campaigns.


You may not expect a global corporation to launch its own digital magazine, but that’s exactly what Coca-Cola did in 2012. The magazine, called Journey, is an online repository of branded and nonbranded content focused on such topics as history, food (Coke-centric recipes!), the company’s sustainability and philanthropic efforts, and even music. So far, Coca-Cola’s efforts have proven successful. According to the May 2014 article by Contently “A Look Deep Inside the Coca-Cola Newsroom,” in 2013, “Journey published 1,200 articles and attracted 13.1 million visitors who averaged an impressive 4:40 time spent per article.” What’s more, the company says
two-thirds of Journey’s readers are under the age of 34 – with the largest group between 18 to 25 years old. Perhaps surprisingly, Journey’s co-managing editor told Contently that readers have been drawn to the site’s brand-focused stories more than its non-branded content – a promising sign for other marketers looking to utilize brand-focused content.


Heineken took an interesting marketing route this year when it encouraged customers to drink less of its product. When the company launched its “Dance More, Drink Slow” campaign in 2014, it produced videos featuring DJ Armin Van Buuren that told customers to dance more in order to consume less alcohol. In effect, the company positioned its brand as one that encourages quality over quantity and, ultimately, discourages excessive alcohol consumption among young people. The company dedicated an entire webpage of content to the campaign, and Heineken’s CEO wrote an article for Huffington Post decrying alcohol abuse. In all these efforts, Heineken told the story of a company that not only cares about success, but also the well-being of its customers.


Few brands have as long of a history to draw from as Kleenex, but the tissue maker has also embraced modern technology to tell its story. The August 2014 Inc.com article “Increase Customer Acquisition by 400 Percent with Storytelling” shared that Kleenex “activated hundreds of storytellers reaching a home, interior decorating and fashion audience to own the first three pages of Google search results for ‘Kleenex Style’ and drive 400% greater engagement on their Kleenex Style Web destination.” The author shared the example of The Mother Overload blogger, who framed sections of stylish Kleenex boxes in her home – an example of brand loyalty most marketers could only hope for.


Sharpie has been a staple of desktops for decades, but the company recently utilized social media to ask its customers to get creative. Sharpie took to popular social media sites and asked its followers to share how they are using Sharpie products in their own lives. Customers followed suit, uploading photos of Sharpie-designed phone covers, creative calligraphy and doodles. The company saw a payoff in this approach. According to the March 2013 The Social Media Monthly article “How Sharpie is Making Its Mark on Social Media,” Sharpie “managed to generate a 5 percent lift in market share as a result, ending up with a total of 89 percent.”


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