Connecting Through Narrative: 5 Business Examples

Most consumers look for a company that will go the extra mile. Whether in search of a product or service, functionality is only one piece of a successful sales pitch. The average person wants something more from a business before hitting ‘purchase’ or signing up.

Today, words like ‘branding’ and ‘visibility’ have become popular as companies look for an edge on the competition. Oddly enough, that edge is often a combination of personality and insight that transcends the standard mission statement and digital marketing pushes.

In other words, narrative can go a long way in making a consumer feel comfortable, included, and aligned with a group’s specific mission—even if that’s doing something as mundane as playing slots or shopping for a new car.

Animated Slots

What began as a simple lever mechanism connected to three spinning wheels has become one of the most popular ways to game. With hundreds of slot games, each with a unique theme, users can connect with a narrative journey that resonates with them. Those looking to learn more about online slots can peruse the hundreds of offerings, ranging from fantasy slots like Age of Asgard to commercial hits like Jurassic World.

Each variation of slots helps bring the user deeper into a world, where winning combinations can take them to hidden levels or even higher jackpots. Ultimately, gamers look for a payout, but along the way, they also become invested in their character’s journey through an imagined world.

Language-Learning Programs

What used to be the domain of bored teachers scraping chalk across a board is now a dynamic and exciting journey. From Duo Lingo to Rosetta Stone, big-name language learning groups have shifted their focus from grammar to now include character journeys into their more advanced levels.

Following Forbes’ advice from young entrepreneurs, companies have kept their storylines simple and included engaging visuals for learners. Programs now look to build a narrative around each learner’s journey, keeping them coming back for more even as lessons become more complex. 

shoe

Fashion Brands

At its core, fashion is business. However, many view the clothes they wear as an extension of their identity and personal expression. For this reason, fashion brands from Chanel to Nike have invested in creating narrative journeys for their products.

Nike and other athletic brands, in particular, have worked with athletes for the past decades to align a narrative with a shoe release. From the early days of Michael Jordan’s Jump Man to today’s Greek Freak editions by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nike produces more than a shoe. They produce a story of victory that entices and represents the consumers that buy them.

Car Manufacturers

Though fashion has had a longer and more storied history of bridging identity and products, car manufacturers have successfully created narratives that tell a story with a short slogan. For example, US brands like Chevrolet and Ford are known to be rugged, outback-type vehicles with mottos like ‘Find New Roads’ and ‘Go Further’.

High-class models like Ferrari have opted for the simple ‘Essere’, which means ‘to be’ in Italian. Elon Musk’s Tesla represents the future of vehicles with the motto ‘Ride Free’, while popular manufacturer Toyota highlights the brand’s functionality with a simple ‘Let’s Go Places’.

Charitable Groups

Narrative is incredibly useful in creating an emotional connection with a consumer. Should a product or service deliver on its purpose seamlessly, there may be less need for a storyline (think WD-40 or Kleenex). However, for charitable organizations that provide nothing tangible for someone giving a donation, like WWF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a storyline is most of what they offer.

By working closely with documentary groups, experts in the field, and marketing specialists, charity groups seek to communicate their goals with a heart-warming (or sometimes heart-wrenching) message. In other words, the story itself becomes the product.

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