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How Narrative Therapy Techniques Can Power Storytelling and Improve Your Brand Messaging
Mar 29, 2023

by Dan Bulman

Storytelling is a huge part of our lives. Through music, film and entertainment, culture’s driven by it. It’s also probably marketing buzzword #3 of the #10 most used (yep, ChatGPT is #1 and AI is #2). So, here’s an alternate take on how, as marketers, we can power brand stories that are relatable, impactful and just generally more awesome by using techniques from narrative therapy.

What’s narrative therapy you ask? It’s a form of psychotherapy that helps people reframe their life stories to create more empowering and positive narratives. It’s an all about the stories we tell ourselves, and how they shape who we are. And if you think about it, marketing is pretty similar. We create stories around brands that show what they’re about to connect with people on an emotional level.

So what are the techniques from narrative therapy we can apply to brand storytelling?

MAKE THE PROBLEM LESS PERSONAL In narrative therapy, people learn to see their problems as separate from themselves. It’s the cornerstone of the approach. We can actually do the same thing in marketing by chatting about the challenges our consumers face and showing them how our brand can help. This approach makes any brand story way more relatable, and it helps people see themselves in it. But here’s the thing – it’s so often overlooked when everyone’s busy hunting for that perfect key visual.

CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO This technique is all about questioning those widely accepted stories that might be holding people back. In marketing, we can give this a shot by figuring out the beliefs that could be causing the consumer to view a brand or product in a negative light. Once we break down these beliefs, guess what - we create more positive connections with our audience.

CELEBRATE THE WINS Narrative therapy is laser focused on recognising those special moments when people break free from the usual story. We can apply this idea to marketing by sharing customer success stories OR those awesome moments when a brand really made a difference. This approach helps humanise a brand and inspires people to imagine their own success alongside it.

CREATE TOGETHER In narrative therapy, therapists and clients join forces to build empowering new stories. We can do the same thing in marketing by involving our customers in developing our brand story. Encourage feedback, read and respond to comments, and get people to share their own content – it makes any story more authentic and relatable.

GOOD VIBES ONLY Narrative therapy is all about embracing and promoting a new, positive story. In marketing, we want to keep those good vibes going by consistently reinforcing our own positive narrative through all our channels – our website, social media, ads and more. Doing this consistently helps maintain a strong brand identity.

So, using narrative therapy techniques in brand storytelling helps create powerful stories that can really help connect with people on a deeper level. These stories make brands feel more human, create a sense of belonging, and inspire loyalty.

If you’re ready to tap into the magic of storytelling and watch your brand stories come to life in amazing ways, give us a shout ;-)

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