Involved, emotionalised and fascinated by storytelling

The work of a storytelling agency?

The attention span of media consumers is shrinking. And in the race for relevance, companies are faced with the challenge of weaving stories that not only attract attention, but also captivate the audience. This makes storytelling indispensable.

Stories create a deeper, more emotional connection to the target group than conventional marketing approaches. However, brands need to speak a crystal-clear language to achieve this, because the stories need to be authentic, emotional and, above all, relevant.

This calls for an experienced storytelling agency that is capable of picking up and engaging the respective target group. The Ruess Group embodies precisely this expertise, with over 15 years of experience as a storytelling agency.

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What exactly is storytelling?

Storytelling unfolds as an artistic journey in which information and advertising messages are presented within a narrative framework. It's the art of conveying a central message in an engaging way through the skilful weaving of one or more stories.

Companies and specialised storytelling agencies use this means of communication to convey a deeper, more authentic connection between their customers and their brands through emotional strings. It is not just a transfer of information, but an invitation into a world in which brands and people are interwoven through narrative threads.

How does a storytelling agency develop an authentic and appealing brand story?

Step 1: Discovering the soul of your brand

Step 1: Discovering the soul of your brand

The roots of every impressive brand story lie deep in the authentic exploration of a company's origins, vision and ambitions. What makes it stand out from the crowd? What distinguishes its uniqueness, both on the market and in contrast with its competitors?

At this point, the storytelling agency commits to a careful exploration of the positive aspects of the brand, without overlooking the authentic power of challenges and past setbacks, which – put in a positive light – can become real narrative gems.

The following questions can serve as a guideline for creating the structure of your brand story:

  • What story lies dormant at the core of the brand?
  • What was the driving force behind its creation?
  • Who are the people behind the scenes?
  • What defines the company's mission?
  • What factors distinguish the brand from others?
  • What hurdles have been overcome along the way?
  • How do difficulties manifest themselves?
  • What problems does the target group struggle with?
  • How is the company solving them?

The well thought-out merging of the answers with a carefully modelled brand identity creates the foundation for a company's distinctive, unique brand stories.

Step 2: Voice and resonance space for your target group

Once the essence and storylines of the company have been carefully analysed, it's important to find the right linguistic melody and emotional tonality.

Avoid bold advertising messages, industry jargon or technical terminology. Your aim is to create gripping stories.

Consider these questions to strike the right tone:

  • Who makes up your customer base?
  • What emotions do you want to evoke?
  • From what perspective do the stories unfold?
  • How does your target group communicate?
  • Does your brand choose a formal or casual tone?

You can only reach your customers – and attract attention to your products and services – with a sensitive ear for target group-specific communication.

Step 3: Developing a brand story

Developing your brand story is far more about authentic insights, captivating facts and a convincing passion than about coining catchphrases.

Selecting the right content formats and channels for your brand storytelling deserves just as much attention and creativity. This ranges from company blogs, classic newsletters and social media, all the way through to more comprehensive formats such as e-books, YouTube channels or podcasts.

Step 4: Unfolding the storylines

In this final phase, your comprehensive brand story is translated into specific storylines. The aim here is to find the perfect balance and keep the narrative concise and exciting – without getting lost in the depth of detail.

At the same time, it's important to ensure that any campaigns, references or insights coherently convey the core message of your brand story. This message is the common thread that has to remain consistently present in all storytelling and marketing activities. So stay on message!

As with all content marketing strategies, it's also important to provide a regular flow of engaging content rather than publishing more extensive formats at irregular intervals. The knowledge and practice of an experienced storytelling agency is very helpful in determining the right timing here.

The dramaturgy:

unfolding an authentic and captivating brand story

Every captivating narrative, whether in literature, film or communication, is built on a tried-and-tested storytelling framework: A hero embarks on a journey, is confronted with conflicts or problems along the way and ultimately finds a solution.

At the heart of every story is the transformation the hero undergoes after leaving his comfort zone – often reluctantly – and venturing into the unknown.

This reluctance is not only legitimate, but also essential. Readers, listeners or viewers tend to identify with characters who overcome understandable inner conflicts. This gives them authenticity and credibility.

As soon as a connection is established between the recipient, the hero and his world, the narrator becomes the centre of gravity. The trick now is to retain the attention that has been aroused in order to effectively convey the central message.

How is this achieved? By the protagonist encountering believable obstacles and challenges on his journey, be it in a battle against his own self-doubt or a – metaphorical – Death Star.

During the adventure, the hero encounters companions who offer support, as well as opponents who present him with serious tests. With each obstacle overcome, the hero's will and abilities grow in order to triumphantly overcome the final confrontation.

The longed-for reward often manifests itself as a precious object, a healing elixir or an illuminating self-realisation. The hero returns home victorious. The various elements of the storytelling methodology can therefore be summarised in four basic aspects:

  1. Protagonist
  2. Objective
  3. Obstacles
  4. Success

Although every story offers variations in terms of content and form, the mechanisms of dramaturgy form a reliable guideline for storytellers to stage their content with suspense. Despite the almost infinite wealth of content, the basic framework for effective dramaturgy remains surprisingly constant.

When readers, viewers or listeners are moved by a story, they feel entertained. And this is precisely where the core lies: creating communicative added value that makes a story fertile ground for successful seeding.

Hallmarks of an excellent brand story

Presenting an authentic brand personality

An excellent brand story goes far beyond arousing emotions in the target group instead of simply reflecting a trend. It's an authentic expression of the brand itself – its mission, values and uniqueness. It represents what the brand stands for by incorporating the brand's voice and personality and highlighting its distinctiveness.

Example: If a brand is distinguished by seriousness and trust, this should be at the centre of its stories. Each story should consistently reflect and reinforce the brand's marketing strategy.


Even if a story is firmly anchored in the brand strategy, its main focus should always be on the customer. It should emphasise the shared experiences and values between brand and customer, and how the brand can help solve customer problems. The added value for the customer is key here, with the customer being placed in the foreground as the hero of the story.

In short, the brand acts as a mentor, supporting and guiding the customer on their journey, creating a foundation of trust and appreciation for the offering. This works more elegantly if the brand is not permanently in the spotlight.

Creating emotional resonance

A masterful story captivates its audience. Humans are biologically wired to learn, share and connect with emotions through stories. Scientific studies have even shown that the brains of storytellers and listeners can synchronise in dialogue.

Simplicity and relevance

There is no need for epic or dramatic "from rags to riches" stories to spark enthusiasm. Instead, the focus should be on the relevance and realism of the story. It should revolve around topics that affect the target group – their ambitions, wishes and challenges. A simple, everyday narrative that is concise and not excessive can often have a greater impact.

Key reasons for strategic storytelling

Marketing: Emotionalised sales

Successful storytelling in marketing combines sales with the powerful communication of emotions, creates curiosity and fires the imagination of potential customers. It isn't just quality and price that play a role in purchasing decisions, but also the story that a product tells – such as the Mini's reinterpretation of an icon or Tesla's vision of the automotive future.

The focus in marketing storytelling is not so much on bare facts, but rather on blending them with the emotional appeal of gripping stories. The components of success here are: a hero, a conflict, a clear dramaturgy and emotions that inspire people to tell the story or share it via social media.

Management: Authenticity is the key

In management, storytelling serves to convince others – be it employees, colleagues or the executive team – and to appear authentic. A personal introduction using a short story can generate more authenticity than a simple list of CV milestones.

Important elements here are the initial situation, complication and resolution. If you can present your leadership story credibly and also have empathetic communication skills, you can win people over and use storytelling effectively in change and innovation processes.

Corporate communication: Abstract visualisation

Corporate storytelling aims to make the actions of a company as well as its roots, visions, goals, strategies, values and personality understandable and tangible – both internally and externally. Instead of simply listing values, stories bring them to life and therefore remain anchored in the memory.

Whether it's about the founders, important customers, employees, brands or products – these stories offer a deeper insight into the soul of the company than a mission statement could and provide direction in times of crisis.

Product management: convincing stakeholders

Not all product managers are born salespeople. That's why storytelling can help to present new products or ideas effectively internally. It isn't just about being better than competing products, but also about making an emotional connection.

To put their products on the road to success internally, product managers need compelling stories, metaphors and symbols that are both emotively and conceptually convincing, especially in an environment where products are becoming less and less differentiated from one another.

Storytelling: Because it works

The basic idea behind storytelling is that the brain has evolved to tell, understand and remember stories. However, it isn't geared towards hard-nosed business logic and PowerPoint charts.

Experiments at Stanford University show that stories are up to 22 times more memorable. This is because stories are more emotionally moving, as the recipients take the place of the protagonist or narrator and identify with them.

What's more, stories sell two to five times better. Experiments at Stanford University also showed that stories are at least twice as well received as pure facts. The perfect mix therefore consists of facts plus story.

Because when people hear stories, their brain releases the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin makes them empathetic: experiments have shown, for example, that the higher their oxytocin levels, the more people donate.

Various studies also show that information is absorbed especially well when several senses are also involved. In addition to hearing and seeing, storytelling also targets the heart – i.e. the emotional level.

Vivid language and many impressive emotions also help recipients retain the information for a long time. So much so that, ideally, it will be passed on. That's the best marketing can achieve.

Storytelling has to be skilful

Anchoring messages, knowledge or data in the memory of target groups is important, but it isn't an easy discipline. On the one hand, information is becoming more complex, and on the other, the amount and scope of available information is increasing.

At the same time, the receptivity of recipients remains limited. The attention of customers is fiercely fought for. Storytelling makes it possible to simplify information and present it clearly.

Messages can be easily anchored in the memory. The basic objectives are therefore to simplify information, present it in an appealing way and make it easily accessible.

Storytelling is nothing without the right strategy and an empathetic feeling for the company and brand. Because stories that miss the core of the company are useless and, in the worst case, even counterproductive.

In short: turning good companies into good stories is a job for an experienced storytelling agency. We at the Ruess Group do just that. For companies like Bosch and Mercedes Benz. Because we love making great stories even greater.