I saw a commercial this morning for Ritz Crackers on Good Morning America. It was a great example of brand storytelling. It shows a little girl who is bummed out because she just got glasses. As her story unfolds, we feel empathy. We experience concern, love, and then surprise. All this in just 30 seconds!
The Ritz product gets revealed in the punchline, but it doesn’t draw attention to itself as “this is the cracker you must buy and eat.” Instead, it’s a prop that helps the girl experience happiness after a rough day. It’s all a reflection of the Ritz Cracker brand and it’s tagline “Life’s Rich.” Kudos to the creative team that produced this video!
How does this relate to B2B brand marketing?
The principles are the same, but first we must understand that “brand” is not the same as “product.” Brand is intangible, it’s what customers feel. Product is what they see and use. Your brand must have a strong human element or brand personality, no matter how technical your product. It must speak to the the wants, needs, and feelings that real customers have in their jobs.
In the Ritz commercial, brand is 90% of the message while product is only 10%. This seems lopsided, but it works. In the following video produced by Marketing Valet, the client’s product takes a more prominent role, but the result is the same. A customer connection is created based on empathy. The main character is an IT worker named Max. He’s an underdog.
The video puts the viewer in Max’s shoes as he saves the day for his company. Max has to deal with the pressure of controlling costs, evaluating technology, and selling his ideas up the chain of command. The video is not just about the product. It’s about what humans must go through to find the right solutions to their business problems. This is something we can all relate to.
The undisputed power of video
Everyone agrees that in content marketing, video is by far the best way to tell brand stories. They can be scripted like the Ritz Crackers video, or they can be unscripted interviews with customers, your leadership team, or subject matter experts. You can use animation, even stick figures. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you show how someone’s life, heart, or assumptions changed. Viewers like surprises. They like exploring things that are counter-intuitive, only to have truth revealed. It’s all in the story told by your brand.