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The power of authentic storytelling



Laura Nerissa Parungao

Associate Account Director

Kantar Millward Brown



As brand-building charges toward uncharted marketing territory, many brands have come to accept that in order to thrive, they have to shift the conversation. No longer is the task for companies to convince consumers what their products can do, but rather to make consumers realize what their brands actually stand for.


Identifying the right cause or sentiment to align with is a challenge; do it right and the brand stands to a gain a much deeper connection with its consumers, such as Airbnb has done with its “belong anywhere” messaging. However, do it wrong and the repercussions can be swift and unforgiving. Just think of Pepsi’s short-lived “Live for the Now Moments” commercial, one of the most reviled ads in recent memory.


In presenting a more human version of themselves, brands must take into consideration two things:


-       Is this a message that we can confidently say?

-       How can we say it in a way that sounds natural to consumers?

The first calls for brands to dig deep. It requires a careful evaluation of how the brand has presented itself before, its perceived personality (or the lack thereof), and whether the sentiment or cause in question is aligned with the values of the brand, the company, and of the people who operate it. The second consideration means that, rather than be driven by how best to show off their product credentials in a 15 or 30-second ad, brands must ingrain themselves into stories that really resonate, and narratives that people can actually emotionally invest in.

How can brands best present their chosen perspective to the world? Be genuine. Be creative. Engage in authentic storytelling.