Rise of Micro-Stories Breathe Magic into Brand Stories!

The brand story is an essential technique when marketing brands. The founding story is often used to shape the brand’s image but it’s hard to the average person to identify with the story. A brand must therefore find micro-stories closer to the consumer’s experience and use a more approachable, localized point of view to make the customer identify and connect with the brand values. Apart from story localization, Yankelvich Research reports that consumers now see 3,000 ~ 20,000 advertisements each day in this age of information explosion. This makes them short on patience and easily distracted. The change in consumer behavior in this new age means the narrative must also been pared down to short micro-stories. 

Touching Localized Micro-Stories

How can micro-stories be found? In his article on “The Art of Storytelling”, Michael Mitchell, a brand consultant at InterBrand, said: “The trick is to find the key theme behind the brand and then look for micro-stories that carry the same brand message.” Swedish furniture brand IKEA is a master at brand marketing through storytelling. Localized micro-stories based on the theme of “creating a better life for everyone” is used to increase attentiveness to consumers. In Spain, which has the fastest aging population in Europe, IKEA told the story of a retiree who found new life through a steel chair from IKEA. In Taiwan, IKEA incorporated the local culture into the brand micro-story as well. The main character in the story becomes the female owner of a betel nut stand. A makeover to her small and cramped betel nut stand with IKEA allowed her and her family to finally enjoy a comfortable environment. IKEA rarely talks directly about its low-cost and designer products in its countless micro-stories. Instead, it focuses on emotional needs and connections. Localized characters and a developing plot brought it closer to the consumer, creating a brand image of IKEA caring about consumers and being willing to create a better life together with the consumer. 

IKEA Start Something New
Short, Succinct and Effective Micro-Story

Long advertisements and long copies have fallen out of favor in recent years. Among the younger generation, 15-second video clips, Twitter posts limited to 140 words and short illustrated articles are now all the rage. To satisfy the market demand for micro-content, Twitter’s video platform Vine limits videos to 6 seconds of looped content. This has proven very popular with web users and it now has 40 million users after just 18 months. For this reason, many brands are now developing their micro-story marketing in the hopes of using micro-stories to connect with younger users through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler. Samsung has invested a great deal of effort in micro-stories over the past 2 years. In its 6-second videos on Vine, it used short and succinct micro-stories to give warmth to cold, high-tech products. This is because Samsung knows that when you create a micro-story that is meaningful, humorous and closely related to the consumer’s everyday life, the consumer will be more than happy to share the brand story with others in turn. 

Click the following links to watch Samsung’s micro-stories:



Brand stories for this brave new world are short, localized and effective micro-stories. They might not be passed down through the generations like classic brand stories, but the brand stories imbued into the micro-story will gradually seep into the consumer’s perception of the brand through constant, repeated exposure. 


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