• Precious Media

Building Customer Relationships; The Importance of Storytelling for Food and Drink Brands

By Clement Ma, Account Director @ PRECIOUS

We're inherently drawn to great stories. It’s the way we communicate with each other no matter your age or culture and a goldmine for brands to build strong relationships with customers new and old. In a crowded food and drink industry, brands that execute brand storytelling effectively have the ability to really stand out from the crowd.

What Actually is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling allows brands to communicate their core values and narratives in an authentic way. These stories should be sincere, appeal to emotion and above all authentic.  

Here are just some examples of brand stories for food and drink brands:

  • How the brand came to be

  • A brand’s mission or purpose

  • Key ingredients used to make the product

  • Unique production/process

  • Signature serves or consumption rituals

It’s important to have different brand stories, as different audiences will identify with different stories. No matter the brand story, the key is to be authentic and drive an emotional connection. 

Brand Storytelling Builds Trust with Customers

Convincing brand stories strengthen a brand’s reputation and aggregates consumer trust. Many marketers I speak to seem to be of the idea that brand storytelling requires significant marketing budget and is therefore reserved for the brand giants - that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The New Covent Garden Soup Co

Take The New Covent Garden Soup Co as an example of how you don’t need eye-watering marketing budgets for brand storytelling to be a success. In the early days of the packaged soup brand, they focused on telling the story that its soups were honest home-made recipes from all around the world using authentic recipes synonymous to different areas - the same lovingly crafted, homemade soup that doesn't require hours of watching the kitchen pot. Through authentic storytelling of its brand mission, fresh ingredients and key recipes, the brand appealed to consumer emotional attachment with lovingly made home-made soup. Over the years, the brand expanded at an incredible rate and was eventually sold for more than £150 million in 2011. 

Showcase Authentic Brand Values Through Storytelling

Storytelling is the way a brand can bring its values to life. Storytelling becomes a vehicle to communicate brand values that can resonate with the (right) customers. These values are used to define who your brand’s customer is and what messages resonate most with them. 

Seedlip is a shining example of a brand that has utilised storytelling to communicate brand values to develop close relationships with its customers. The non-alcoholic distilled spirits brand’s mission is to solve the dilemma of “what to drink when you’re not drinking” and has attracted a loyal group of customers who are rekindling with nature, going back to basics and health conscious. These brand values are brought to life through content about its unique distilling process, natural ingredients and unique cocktail recipes. Through engaging storytelling, Seedlip has grown to become one of the leaders in the rapidly growing non-alcoholic drinks category.

Brand Storytelling Converts Casual Shoppers into Die-Hard Fans

Brand storytelling doesn’t just drive brand awareness, when done well it has the ability to convert casual shoppers into regular customers. With the integration of e-commerce, brands have the ability to ‘close the circle’ between content marketing and sales.

Diageo Reserve utilised brand storytelling through a five-part travel series World Class List that saw aspiring drinks enthusiast Carey Watkins explore the best of what to eat and drink in key cities around the world. The documentary features some of the world’s top bartenders explaining how to make the best cocktails using Diageo Reserve brands such as Johnnie Walker, Ketel One, CÎROC and Don Julio. The content was distributed across Amazon Prime platforms that allowed consumers to not only be inspired by their favourite cocktail recipes but conveniently purchase Diageo Reserve products.

In a crowded food and drink market, brands can no longer just rely solely on their product features to attract customers. Effective brand storytelling builds stronger relationships with customers new and old, helping brand stand out from the crowd. Brand storytelling doesn’t require huge marketing budgets and when done correctly can have David vs Golliath-like success.

Precious is a content marketing and digital commerce agency that helps brands use content to improve sales. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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