3 Brands Tell Their Stories

There’s an old adage in marketing that goes, “Data tells; Stories sell.”  That philosophy was apparent in remarks by representatives of three major brands during Sound That BRANDS’s 1st Annual Branded Breakfast.

“We are a store of stories,” says Inside Trader Joe’s podcast co-host Tara Miller. “Advertising is a challenging realm for Trader Joe’s because it’s hard to tell a good story in 30 seconds.  It’s hard to tell a good story in a minute… People listen to podcasts to hear a story, to understand more about something they’re interested in.”

Her co-host Matt Sloan points out that the grocery retailer also wanted to make sure their brand stories are told accurately.  “We didn’t set out to have a podcast; we set out to solve a problem… We wanted to bank it, as information on the record from us in a way that we could control the story.”

On Microsoft’s Worklab podcast, the stories aren’t about the tech brand itself. Mary Melton of content marketing agency Godfrey-Dadich is a correspondent on the podcast.  “They want to tell stories that are pertinent to their mission and their audiences; and it’s very different than ‘advertorial’ or ‘sponsored content,” says Melton.  “It’s more about telling stories that reach an audience that’s very engaged, that’s very targeted.”

As a storyteller, Melton says she is drawn by the intimacy of the podcast medium.  “I’m literally in their ears! There’s a warmth to it, the humor or pathos. That’s really special and exciting.”

No brand is more renowned for telling colorful stories about our world than National Geographic. Since the magazine’s debut in 1888, Nat Geo has strived for quality in writing and photojournalism in all its media outlets. Now with a 24/7 video channel and streaming service operated by Disney, the continued tradition of quality earns National Geographic many Emmy Awards annually. Creating awareness for that recognition is a goal throughout the television industry.

“The best way we’ve found to immerse Emmy voters in our content is for them to touch, feel and experience it.  When COVID hit, that wasn’t possible anymore,” says National Geographic EVP Chris Albert. “I couldn’t have an event with 5,000 people present, so the team came up with the idea of doing an FYC (“For Your Consideration”) podcast.  As far as I know, it was the first one.  Now, everyone seems to be doing them.  It is a niche-targeted audience, 22,000 Emmy voters.”

These are three respected brands with three very different podcasts, and one mission in common: Tell stories that inform, entertain, and provide a service.

As Trader Joe’s Matt Sloan points out, podcasts are just a means to an end for these marketers. “There’s a real theme here among the three entities.  We’re not necessarily looking for the end game where the podcast is it.  It’s about other stuff.” 

You’ll learn more insights about content marketing from these three remarkable brands by watching the full panel video (click here) from Sound That BRANDS’s Branded Breakfast.