Storytelling: A New Brand Initiative


High Point Market Seminar

Storytelling-01Hosted by David Altman, CEO of Marketshare Advisors International. David partnered with Bloomingdales, Neumann Marcus, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works. Mentors include Marcus himself and the CEO of Limited Brands (Les Wexler). Tag line: “one customer, one personality, one strategy, one line.”

We want our customers to believe in your product, but also want to make a connection and build a relationship. We want them to share our story.

Being heard over all the noise (excessive marketing). How to break through:

  • Shareable, scaleable, valueable
  • Talk about things that imports their lives
  • Factual sharing makes you skeptical, story telling is more emotional

Story analysis: when you focus on what a product means to someone.

Stories distinguish our brand:

  • Communicate your business values
  • Generate experiences, memories
  • Make an emotional connection
  • Create meaning
  • Stories travel well (gets the word out)

Who wins?

  • YouTube – tutorials and reviews (makeup, beauty)
  • Bonobos – construction and wittiness; casual online to start, then opened stores 2 years ago, now have 20 locations; no inventory, just samples, by appointment only; no hassle, free shipping; customer service is engaging
  • Restoration Hardware – being remarkable, breaking the mold, marketing out artisans first and forward.
  • Coke – bridging the gap between people by sharing experiences, making meaningful connections.

Brooks Brothers encourages sharing of similar experiences

Past –> how do we make our online experience as cool as our store?
Present –> how do we make our store as cool as our online site.

  • Integrated (one hand, one eye)
  • Interact (turn brand love into authentic influences)
  • Immerse
  • Initiate action
  • Constant flow of info (static website is dead); change is based on the consumer
  • Keep it human (think about your brand as a person; would you be friends?)
  • Keep it simple (no jargon)
  • Be remarkable (bold is a brand necessity, cause is a liability
  • Be authentic
  • Avoid the data dump
  • Quality of life


How do you know how long to run something?
Retailers grow tired of something before the customer does. Give the campaigns a chance to get out.
Regulate based on responds

Best options for social media?
Depends on your goal:
Brand building (Pinterest, Instagram)
Commerce (Twitter)
Women are great with Pinterest but not many men are.