Written by Lauren Woods

Storytelling is the practice of using a narrative to communicate a message and humanise your brand. It helps consumers to understand why they should care about something and therefore take action.

We have all read and been told stories, but have you ever considered if your brand was a character in one of those stories? What would you look like? What would you sound like? How would you act? We can uncover this through your visual and verbal cues. 

Visual Cues

Semiotics is the study of signs and signifiers:

  1. A sign is not a link between a thing and its name, but between the signifier and the signified.
  2. A signifier is an object, image or text, and the signified, being what the signifier is referring to, can only be defined by the recipient of the signifier.

An example of how this is used in practice is displayed below in a screenshot from the 2017 TK Maxx TV advertisement ‘Why Would Anyone Shop at TX Maxx?’ (0.37-0.41).


As the viewer we can see several signifiers to be:

  1. A white horse – Could we interpret this to express being identified with this character you will obtain power and wisdom?
  2. The colour yellow – Will we experience feeling of happiness, freedom and jealousy of others?
  3. A well-furnished room – Does this interpret signals of wealth and style from the big labels you have received in store? 

Can you identify the signifiers associated with your brand or latest marketing campaign? How might this be perceived by consumers?

Verbal Cues

Your tone of voice can be used to enhance your product image.

Is your script to:

  • Grab attention?
  • Educate?
  • Persuade?

Connecting to a brand archetype can be useful here to deepen the delivery of your brand promise. They can be used to give brands a character that makes them accessible and relatable to audiences who share the same values. They also help to deliver brand experiences that are ‘in voice’ because it’s easy to imagine how the archetype would behave in any given situation. The wheel below visualises where some well-known brands have identified themselves within the different archetypes.

Pinpoint where you would add your brand on the wheel.

Image source:https://medium.com/ebaqdesign/brand-archetypes-the-ultimate-guide-with-48-examples-44b39eb41c8f

If we turn the page of the book, what does the next chapter look like, and how does the story develop? I hope this blog post has inspired you to think more deeply to humanise your brand and consider the next steps you can take to turn your brand into the leading character you have always envisioned it to be. 

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