The 5 Elements of Narrative Structure That Brands Use to Inspire Prospects

The 5 Elements of Narrative Structure That Brands Use to Inspire Prospects


The concept of telling and being told them is as old as human civilization itself.

It should be of little surprise then, that this fact hasn’t escaped savvy marketers looking to create powerful and enduring brands.

Of course, there is always another agenda to telling stories in brand marketing, outside of evoking an emotional response in the viewer, and that’s to promote something.

Stories might not directly sell products or services but they do help to sell brands. Research undertaken by Headstream in 2015 revealed that almost 80% of adults in the UK believe that brands telling stories through their marketing efforts is a positive thing, with 55% stating that they are more likely to make a purchase if they enjoy and connect with a brand story.

Undoubtedly video remains the most effective medium for telling memorable brand stories, but creating a compelling film requires a compelling narrative arc. In this article, I want to look at the five essential elements that make up this narrative structure in brand marketing.

We’ll start, as many great takes start, with a quest.

#1. Quest

Narrative brand marketing needn’t be fictional in style.

Things to consider:

What does the protagonist want, and why?
Is the protagonist taking an active role, or are events uncontrollably happening to them?
Will audiences understand the quest, and will it induce an emotional connection?


#2. Conflict

A source of conflict should sit between the protagonist and the resolution of their quest.

Things to consider:

What is standing between the protagonist and their goal, and why?
Does the story contain enough suspense, or are things unfolding too simply?
Is the source of conflict believable?


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