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Go Boldly: 3 Key Takeaways from Guinness’ Powerful Storytelling

Brand Storytelling

From humble beginnings to worldwide notoriety, Guinness has become synonymous with dark Irish stout beer.

Though now a leading global brewery, Guinness was built from the ground up by working class folk. It’s still seen as the working man’s beer. Big and stout and strong. Their story exemplifies those qualities and reverberates with their target audience.

And that story starts with a signature. In 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on a small, disheveled property and began brewing ale in what would grow to be one of the world’s largest international breweries. Guinness’ signature is still a vital part of their brand — along with the harp and their signature type treatment. A bold first move for sure, but one that set the tone for a trailblazing business.

Arthur Guinness SignatureThe brand’s marketing has changed over time, but that story and the emphasis on their pioneering spirit has remained at the heart of Guinness’ advertising campaigns — from their earliest ads to today. That powerful storytelling has boosted their brand’s staying power.

Brand storytelling is a powerful tool that allows you to share your company’s story with a clear, coherent voice. Your brand will likely evolve as your company grows but defining a strong voice will help you build consistency and shape your marketing strategy. Here are three ways storytelling can help grow your business.

Be Real and Relatable
Advertising is most powerful when it engages people emotionally. Storytelling invites your customers to connect with your brand on a more personal, human level. It can show them the real people behind the brand, giving them a glimpse behind the curtain to see what makes your business move. This can help build trust and connection with your customers. Guinness’ “In Pursuit of More” campaign takes customers into the original St. James’s Gate Brewery, introducing the people who work behind the scenes to brew their signature Irish stout.

Cultivate Brand Loyalty

Storytelling can help people connect to your brand by reflecting parts of their personality back to them. When a customer identifies with a brand’s message, they are more likely to feel a sense of brand loyalty. For this to work, it’s important to stay true to your brand’s core identity and make sure to tell your story authentically.

For example, Guinness’ “Made of More” campaign celebrates the “confidence to carve [your] own path,” which taps into their brand’s history and hopes to resonate with customers who seek adventure.

Guinness Made of More Ad Campaign

Stand Out in a Crowd

The way you tell your story can help you stand out from your competitors. What’s different about your approach? What expertise do you bring to the table? What obstacles did you overcome on your journey? Tell your customers — in your own voice.

Smart storytelling, which can include personal anecdotes, real-world experiences, earnest explanations or an unexpected approach, can help showcase your business’ personality and make your messaging more memorable. From their 1929 advertisements, Guinness distinguished its voice as strong, sturdy and bold with its now-iconic “Guinness is Good for You” and “Guinness for Strength” campaigns. While Guinness isn’t really good for you and it doesn’t make you stronger, the ads have staying power — just like Guinness’ story.

Guinness is Good for You Ads

From encouraging brand loyalty to driving marketing strategy, authentic storytelling can help boost your business’ advertising impact. We’re here to help you be bold, go forth and share your story.