The Winning Brand Stories of 2021

Stories rule the world. Brands can’t rely on products as they did before. Nowadays, what sells is stories and values, not the products themselves. That’s why we’ve seen an increase in narrative-driven brands, ads, and pr stunts – some are great, others not that much. Luckily for you, today we’ll be talking about the most powerful and emotional stories we’ve seen this past year and the impact they had in the marketing digital of some companies. Let’s get into it!

1- Dannijo

Dannijo is a jewelry brand, founded in 2008 by two sisters – Danielle and Jodie Snyder. Their visual storytelling has captured more than 200,000 Instagram followers and names like Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Natalie Portman.

So, what stories are they telling? Their own! The sisters use Instagram as a way to show their lives, while also showcasing their products. Since their personality and way of living is extremely honest, you’ll get a lot of emotional and powerful content, especially in their #ConversationPieces, where they interview influential figures. Danielle also has a popular podcast, called “No Filter with Danielle Snyder”, where she talks with celebrity friends in music, marketing, movies, and many other industries.

They have used their life to give their brand a face – in this case, two faces. That way, people don’t buy their jewels just because they like them, but because they feel connected with the sisters – who make a lot of effort to also connect with their fans.

2 – Airbnb

Another brand heavily focused on the customer is Airbnb. For them, it wouldn’t make sense in any other way, since their customer (hosts and guests) is the brand and the product.

Again, being personal is their livelihood, even though it’s quite different from the example above. Whereas in Dannijo you have 2 faces representing a brand, here, you have millions. It is this diverse range of stories and emotions that helps create a community and it’s this community that helps them grow, with an efficient and globally scaled mouth-to-mouth.

They have even created a section on their website called “Stories from the Airbnb Community”, where users can share their memories and moments, using this service. The company moved from the industry of houses and instead grew in the industry of homes, mainly due to their “belong Anywhere” campaign, where they raised more than $1 million for refugees through USA for UNHCR.

3 – Goodlife Fitness

I know what you’re thinking. What is a gym doing on this list? Or, what is a franchise doing here? Goodlife Fitness has over 365 locations across Canada and the United States and for many years has brought us ads and campaigns that impacted anyone who viewed them.

Since 1979, they had the same communication strategy – aggressive sales tactics and images of fit and sculptured bodies. It was based on motivation – what you need to hear coupled with what you need to see. In the last years, they realized that it wasn’t working anymore, mainly because the gym industry was saturated with those kind of techniques, which makes the “regular joe” run from them.

Goodlife Fitness realized that going to the gym is not about fitness, but taking care of ourselves. It’s not only about the physical, but also about the mental. How do you reach the mental? By being relatable. The thing that motivates people the best is seeing their peers, in the same situation, achieving their best selves – if they can do it, I can do it!

With campaigns like “Live Your Good Life” and #SexySmartStrong, they were able to show people from different backgrounds, with a diverse range of body shapes. That way, they were taking advantage of the techniques we’ve mentioned in the past examples – real stories sell. My story, his story, her story, and most importantly, your story!

Make It About Your Customers

If there’s any advice to take from this winning brand stories is that your customers have more to say than some honest feedback comments on your product’s page. The most effective way to advertise is mouth-to-mouth and if your service is customer-focused, you don’t even have to try, as your community will spread your brand.

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