Brand storytelling is a powerful way to build lasting connections with your audience.
Compelling stories engage consumers, elicit emotion and foster loyalty, forging a meaningful relationship that goes far beyond product and service.
These ten brands show us why it pays to tell data-driven stories.
Storytelling lies at the very heart of Airbnb’s marketing.
Their intricate understanding of their audience and creative use of consumer data has made it one of the most iconic brands of today.
Their messaging centres around community and local hospitality, tapping into holidaymakers’ desires for more local travel experiences.
For New Year’s 2015, the company told its story through an animated video, announcing that approximately 550,000 travelers had spent New Year’s Eve in one of their many rentals across 20,000 cities – a jump from just 2,000 guests 5 years previous.
Highlighting the most popular choices for AirBnB guests to ring in the New Year, New York topped the list with 47,000 travellers.
Just one example of how the brand uses data to tell engaging stories, AirBnB’s stories consistently resonate with its audience by bringing to life the things they care about – travelling and new experiences.
Spotify collects continuous data about what songs, playlists and artists its 30 million users select.
The music streaming service combines this information with listeners’ location data and demographics, using it to create original content for its Spotify Insights blog.
In May 2017, one post looked at ‘How Students Listen 2017’, using data to create an interactive microsite looking at how different colleges and universities in the U.S. listen to music.
The site revealed insights such as where the most listening took place, the diversity of the music listened to, and the most popular genres, with findings including the fact that Penn State had the highest percentage of ‘party playlists’ in the U.S.
Using internal data in this way helps brands like Spotify to create original stories based on insights that only they can access, helping them to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Google’s ‘Year in Search’ videos are released annually, using its data to communicate the terms most searched for, offering a ‘state of the nation’ perspective.
In 2016, the two-minute film reviewed the top searches of 2016 by showing footage of the year’s pivotal moments – both joyful and tragic.
In testing, viewer response proved ‘overwhelmingly positive’, and the film ranked in the top 1% of all ads tested in 2016. It was also the third highest scoring out of nearly 700 technology ads tested.
Google manages to evoke a strong range of emotions from viewers, tapping into events that have touched everyone in some way, using data to identify exactly what topics and events will engage its audience.
U.S.-based online real-estate marketplace, Zillow, has data on over 110 million homes, with information including value estimates, square footage, nearby amenities and aerial photographs.
The company leverages this data to create content.
As well as its more standard data-driven blog posts highlighting the best places for millennials to find affordable homes, or the best places to retire, the company also uses data to produce more quirky content.
In the run up to Halloween in 2016, it ran a blog post on the ‘20 Best Cities for Trick or Treating’, based on home values, how close homes are to one another, crime rate and the share of population under 10 years old.
This data was supported with an infographic illustrating the fact that Philadelphia, San Jose, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Los Angeles make the top five.
This creative use of insights to drive content shows how data can be made meaningful to your consumers, providing a dynamic and impactful storytelling platform.
Hinge is the dating app for singletons who are “over the game” of swiping.
Pitting itself against more established rivals like Tinder, it leverages the consumer data at its disposal to tell stories that resonate.
81 percent of Hinge users have never found a long-term relationship on any swiping app.
This is the insight that sparked an idea among the creative team, shaping their central story: The Dating Apocalypse.
Encouraging people to “escape the games and find something real”, it depicts a world of possibilities beyond the boundaries of the familiar.
“Dating apps have become a game, and with every swipe, we’ve all moved further from the real connections that we crave. So we built something better.”
This key message has become the core brand purpose, fuelling its out-of-home campaign, created by Barton F. Graf, that tells stories inspired by users.
“Humans generate meaningful connections by sharing their vulnerabilities with one another”, Ellery Luse, Strategy Director tells us. “But in a world where dating apps turn relationships into a game of hookups, truly putting yourself out there can be a little scary.”
Proof that one insight can spark a wide net of consumer-centric stories, Hinge shows us you don’t need to be as big as Spotify to strike the right cord.