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"Once upon a brand": Storytelling practices by Spanish brands

Septiembre 2016, Vol. 20, nº 2

E. Delgado-Ballester, E. Fernández-Sabiote

We have all listened to and told stories. People are captivated by good stories since they have the power to translate us into new worlds and enable us to live the lives of others. In addition, our thoughts and emotions seem bound by the structure of stories. However, not only do consumers interpret their exposure to and experiences with brands through stories, but stories can persuade and strength the brand. Nowadays, companies are making efforts to build their brands through storytelling. After reviewing the concept of story and some of the impacts that arise storytelling, this exploratory research analyses the use of this practice by Spanish companies six different sectors. Content analysis is applied to identify differences among companies that use or do not use storytelling, and the characteristics and elements used in 104 stories 247 websites are analyzed. Additionally, through a cluster analysis, four different groups of stories are identified. The results show the main objectives of the stories, the plots and the archetypes used, among other aspects. Nevertheless, storytelling is underused by most Spanish companies and there is room to increase the quality of stories. Managerial implications of these findings are also discussed.

Keywords: Storytelling, Brands, Consumer behaviour, Communication.

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