In today’s digital age, social good brands possess great potential to cut through the clutter and attract and retain motivated fans by harnessing the power of visual storytelling. Compelling visual stories create emotional resonance and an instant connection with the viewer. So what exactly comprises a compelling visual story and how does a social good brand go about creating one. Well it should be
- Real – Visual stories that show real people, real situations and natural environment not only connect with the users better but also build trust faster
- Positive– Visuals that showcase hope, smiles and triumph over unfavourable circumstances invoke a positive thought and a desire to do something good among the viewers.
- Meaningful– Stories that are relevant to the mission of the social enterprise, consistent with the impact that it seeks to bring about and focused on conveying the truth build credibility amongst viewers
The Making of a Story
Every brand story relies on 6 essential pillars that form the core of storytelling and bring in a sense of purpose to the narrative.
Person: The mission of a social enterprise is a reflection of the personal journey of the entrepreneur from an idea to a sustainable solution with a goal to address a social problem. Take Social entrepreneur Arushi Aggarwal for example. She applies principles of Design and her love for handcrafted products to provide sustainable livelihood to women form lower socio-economic strata.
People: Communities that get positively impacted by a social venture are replete with stories of people overcoming their circumstances to embrace a positive change. The story of providing safe access to drinking water for women in Namayingo District so that they don’t have to walk miles under the fear of being attacked by anyone by charity: water, a global non-profit organization, along with their local partner organization in Uganda, GOAL, is a heart-warming one.
Product/Service: The product or service is the embodiment of the mission of a social enterprise and thus their primary vehicle of social change. Paaduks makes eco-friendly footwear by employing local cobblers thus enabling improvement in their livelihoods thru sustainable income.
Process: How a product is made or a service delivered to the beneficiaries at bottom-of-the-pyramid forms an important element of a social good brand story. It may relate to sustainability of the making process or use of innovative technology. Studio One Eighty Nine prides itself in creating of authentic apparels that are a product of local and indigenous art forms like Hand-Batiking, Hand-Painting, Bogoloanfini and many more made by traditionally skilled artisans from Africa and Asia.
Place: The region or location and its ambience where the target communities are active provide a unique perspective to a story. Urbanologist, Megha Gupta through her e-commerce venture Dharavaimarket.com provides livelihood for artisans from Mumbai’s biggest informal special economic zone, Dharavi in Mumbai.
Power of Vision: The vision an entrepreneur has for his social venture accords a compelling punch to the story. “My vision is to have a center of learning outside the city where all of us can come together, stay and create some beautiful architecture using locally available natural materials or other alternative materials” says Areen Attari, Bio-Architect and Partner at Put Your Hands Together – a team of architects who work with locally available natural materials with an aim towards community-oriented architecture.
Social brand stories can be multi-thematic. They can be about values & ethics of the enterprise or the founder’s life or the impact created by the enterprise or awareness on matters that can positively change the way we think and many more. The ultimate objective of brand stories is to engage their patrons through visual media so as to make them donate to a project or buy a social-good product or volunteer for a cause.
It suffices to conclude that the gamut of stories that can be told is virtually limitless. All social entrepreneurs need is a little imagination.