The age-old method of storytelling can be an effective string to your company’s bow if used correctly.

Susan Gunelius wrote back in 2013, “the opportunities to tell stories as part of direct and indirect brand marketing initiatives have become a strategic priority.” This is still true today. We explore four benefits of brand storytelling.

1. To show your personality

Storytelling is one of the best ways to portray your brand’s personality. This can be through user generated content or stories you tell yourself – just try to avoid doing it by selling. Never be afraid to tell a story to let your company’s principles really shine through.

Remember that it’s your brand’s personality – not your marketing team’s or another individual’s. Ensure the personality is consistent through all messages.

2. Bring your brand to the forefront of your activities.

As the country manager of Jeep UK, Damon Dally, said: “Storytelling in the automotive industry has been key in marketing campaigns for some time, especially since the advent of interactive/social media. This can be something metaphoric, yet simple, like a journey, to something more in-depth, with use of roles and a plot for the more adventurous. Portraying your brand as the protagonist in either case is essential.”

This will make sure your brand’s story is linked to the story’s overall message. This could have the goal of setting your brand apart from the competition or ensuring your brand will deliver on its promises. No matter what you do, you should always aim to make your brand stand out.

3. The possibility to make it emotional

With storytelling you can really hit an emotional chord with your customers, much like the recent John Lewis advert. You can tell stories that are real or based on true events, with the aim of evoking emotions and feelings towards your brand. Just remember to be genuine – customers will be able to see through your marketing if it doesn’t resonate with your brand.

4. Returning customers

All companies want customers and prospects to come back to buy more. There are many ways to increase customer retention, but one of the best is by storytelling. Rachel Gillet wrote, “when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well.”

It’s not the best idea to simply throw stats at consumers – tell a story instead!

Read and comment on the original Forbes article.