In our previous entry, we talked about the importance of businesses connecting with their audience by looking at two international brands that expertly utilized the art of narrative across different touchpoints. Despite having a large global presence and client base, the most successful brands are able to find common ground and share content that resonates with everyone as they communicate their brand purpose in a variety of creative ways.
In this follow-up, we are going to give you concrete tips on how to build your own story to improve brand recall and build relationships with people, but this time we will be looking at two local, home-grown brands that have been stepping up their storytelling game lately.
Founded in 2013, furniture store Castlery was the answer to Singaporean homeowners’s wishes to have stylish and affordable designs during a time when their only choices were between indistinct mass-market products and pricey luxury brands. Founder Declan Ee, who lived abroad for many years, realized that the furniture he bought overseas were “great value but still cheaper” and wanted to bring that quality to Singapore.
Soon, it became apparent what Castlery is about. They don’t want to merely fill rooms, they want to materialise environments where people can thrive. Their website states “we create furniture that opens everyone’s eyes to the spaces they already have – and the life that’s yet to be lived in them.” In their images, the focus is not just on the furniture but the people who use them. Unsurprisingly, their customers are mainly families building a haven with their partners, children and pets.
TIP – Find your purpose and make it clear
When you are sure of your purpose, you will be able to tell your story and communicate naturally and consistently with your audience.
Castlery’s content is practical and straightforward, showing products, interior design ideas and home-making guides, but this year they started a video series called “Shoes Off” on the Singapore Instagram page, in which customers take you on a tour through their living space. They show, not only what pieces they purchased, but how they brought out their vision: in Rachel’s case, a nostalgic 90s, maximalist home that accommodates her toy collection; in cinephiles James’ and Lynette’s case, an entertainment pad where they can host dinner parties and movie nights with friends.
Through these dialogues, Castlery lets their followers know that they can cater to different personalities, provide the lifestyle they want, and most importantly, help you make memories with your loved ones in the place you call home.
TIP – You don’t need a big budget to tell a story. Just be creative and authentic.
You might have noticed from the examples we shared that these are professionally produced videos. Not to worry. The same company proves that they can still tell their story with simpler ingredients when they posted a Father’s Day video made by their summer intern’s dad who followed her to work one day, helping to shoot a video on his phone and give a voiceover. Using Singlish-specific humour, it conveys the familial love, warmth and camaraderie the brand wants to inspire.
Established in 2009, Carrie K. is a jewelry boutique that specializes in statement pieces and reviving heirlooms, works that require building trust and an intimate understanding of the person they are designing for. Their purpose is to “create versatile and meaningful jewelry that brings your personal story to life” and this comes through especially in their bespoke design services, but those who have not experienced this for themselves can get an idea of what to expect via their social media and blog content.
Between standard posts of the latest designs or product lines, their Instagram will feature inspiring female customers in shoutouts called #WomenWhoRock and couples in their #LoveLetter series. The latter will be linked to a dedicated blog on their website, where you can read about the couple’s personal story and how their jewelry symbolizes their relationship.
TIP – Your customers are also the characters in your story; don’t forget about them
According to American advertising agency founder Jeff Freedman in his book The Moral of the Story: “the brand that creates the strongest relationships with people are those whose moral is consistently shared by all those who represent it.”
The founder Carrie K. herself is an empath with a deep interest in people and what makes them unique, and her team is always curious about the stories that pass through their doors. Whether they are anxious fiancés looking for the perfect engagement ring or, in contrast, long-time jewelry lovers with a very specific vision in mind, the process of helping them achieve the design of their dreams will be a deep exploration hence the keen attention to detail, the conversations over coffee, and the connections that often form as a result.
TIP – Talk it out!
You likely already have a story in you, but it takes work to put it in words. Say it out loud, share it with your friends, or seek a professional opinion. It is always good to get different perspectives to check if your story is coming out the way you want it to.
We would love to help you build your story. Let’s chat!