Storytelling is designed to create relationships and gently persuade an audience into suspending their cynicism, to ‘buy in’ to an emotion or point of view. A good story has character, plot and resolution it will also mirror the experiences and emotions of the audience in order to engage them. Brand stories will focus on the product, the vision or the user. Digital channels are particularly highly rated for user-related narrative.


Storytelling as a creative approach involves following the structure of traditional stories – it needs characters, a plot and a resolution. Storytelling is often used as a way to drive emotional appeal. More broadly, brand storytelling is the act of building stories around a brand.

Key insights

1. Cultural nuances are particularly relevant for effective brand storytelling in APAC markets

Storytelling for brands holds a special significance for APAC audiences given the legacy of storytelling in Asia. In this region the future of brands depends on storytelling. Seven trends have been identified which brands looking to APAC markets should consider as they develop their stories.

  • Data: culturally-nuanced, data-driven insights need to be behind the story
  • Culture: localisation and personalisation of story content is essential
  • Native platforms: APAC consumers would rather be on unpopular social platforms consuming niche, tailored content than consuming generic content on globally popular platforms
  • Voice: Micro-influencers are more influential than celebrities
  • Delivery: As early adopters of advance technology, APAC consumers look for more than showmanship when technology is deployed. The key is to use the right technology for the message
  • Distribution: There is a strong affinity for earned media in the region
  • Balance: The brand needs to be plugged in and the message clearly delivered by the story.