December 15, 2020

7 Companies that Use Storytelling Marketing for Branding

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” ~ Steve Jobs

Modern consumers are fast-paced, overloaded with information, and always in a hurry. They usually skim content, watch short videos, and gravitate toward convenience and instant gratification. In this new reality, brands must connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways like storytelling marketing.

Let’s dive in!

Storytelling Marketing for Branding

When you meet people in real life, you ask questions to learn more about them. You listen to their ideas, opinions, and beliefs. You try to unravel their story and share yours as well. The idea is to connect and find similarities like preferences, convictions for friendship, romance, or collaboration. In business, the rules don’t change.

Storytelling is a critical part of building your brand. It shapes the consumer viewpoint and enables them to connect with your company and what you’re offering. Storytelling marketing is a strategy in which brands use a narrative to communicate a message. The goal is to make viewers feel something – enough that it’ll inspire or motivate them to take action.

Storytelling in marketing humanizes your brand and helps consumers understand why they should care about what you have to say. Do it right, and you’ll be building a thriving brand, one that people buy from not because of products or services but because they love what you do, what you stand for, and the stories you share.

Storytelling marketing goes beyond filming a video or commercial. You can tell stories with pictures, verbally or in written form, across different channels, from social media to live events. Stories help marketers cut through the noise in a market where it’s all about brands, not consumers. With storytelling, you can create advertising that resonates with people and sticks with them for a long time.

We live in a consumer market that wants to buy from other people, not companies, and that’s why leading brands worldwide are using storytelling to form relationships and sell their offerings.

Let’s take a look at 10 companies that use storytelling marketing for branding:

1. Nike

Nike is among the pioneers of storytelling marketing. In 1999, the brand released a one-minute commercial that celebrated the career of Michael Jordan. There was no mention of Nike until the closing seconds, which featured a school photo of Michael and the brand’s slogan “Just Do It.”

Instead of pushing their brand and products to customers, Nike used an authentic story that would make a lasting impression and build the brand better.

2. Apple

Apple is the pioneer of storytelling in marketing. Its campaigns revolve around the customer experience of its products rather than the greatness of its products. Steve Jobs once famously remarked, ”People don’t want to buy a personal computer. They want to know what they can do with them.” A popular example of this philosophy is “Apple at Work – The Underdogs.”

This video marketing campaign features four colleagues that are clear underdogs who have two days to prepare and pitch an idea to their boss. The ad shows them creating a prototype, brainstorming ideas, talking to other teams, and brainstorming branding ideas. And all this collaboration happens on Apple products.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb uses community storytelling in marketing. For those who are unfamiliar with Airbnb, it’s an online marketplace in which homeowners can offer their property, or part of it, for rent. Travelers usually use the site or app for booking. Airbnb stopped telling the story of a tech company and started telling the story of a hospitality company.

The company dedicated a whole section of its marketing featuring stories from the Airbnb community. Their ‘Belong Anywhere’ rebrand used imagery, offering a quick peek into the lives of the Airbnb hosts. These campaigns aimed to change their customers’ perception and move the brand away from the business of house and room rental to a business of home and traveling like a local.

4. Dove

For years, Dove has focused on real people and their stories, especially rea women, not supermodels. This focus increased brand loyalty, and women felt that the company care for them. Their ads feature stories about beauty in real life, whether it’s the beauty of a mother and daughter relationship or the beauty of face and body that’s generally considered average.

Several of their campaigns, including the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, promote real beauty through celebrating inner beauty and confidence.

5. Lego

When it comes to storytelling marketing, the Lego company produced what marketers are considering the longest commercial of all time spanning 90 minutes – The Lego Movie. The brand created a masterful story combining an indigenous parody of portentous Hollywood movies and using their product as the star.

6. Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers use emotional storytelling in marketing using the nature of their product. Their campaigns are about making better choices to improve health and feel better. But now, their ads aren’t just about weight loss.

For example, their ‘Awaken Your Incredible’  campaign taps into the underlying reason people diet – to get to be the best version of themselves, a version that they always had within them that got lost along the way.

7. Manchester United

Manchester United is the most popular football club in the world with 1.1 billion fans. As a hyperreal brand, the club uses its image to sell products and services to supporters, and it wanted to be the first football club to create a culturally relevant marketing campaign for China.

Manchester United PLC produced a storytelling marketing campaign that brought to life the red devil spirit. Their ‘Wake Up the Devil Inside You’ is a series of short films the merge football will a Chinese art form called Manga to inspire local fans.


A great story is powerful and moving, and every brand can move people to laughter or tears. You just have to be authentic, open, and honest to show that your company is real people with stories to tell. Storytelling marketing is about creating content that shows not only your core values, purpose, and beliefs but also something that matters to your customers.

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.