In 2005, two women decided that they wanted working out to feel less like work. They shared ideas, settled on one, and set up a small location in Manhattan. They handed out flyers on the street, and hoped to find others who could identify with their story.
Thirteen years later, their company is worth over $112 billion and has an almost religious following across the country.
This is the story of SoulCycle - two women with similar ideals, attracting thousands of other people with their own connection to the same lifestyle. SoulCycle now uses that united story to visually brand itself by sharing videos on its social media profiles.
A lot of you are wondering what to expect from SoulActivate. We hear you, so we asked some instructors about it. Here’s what they had to say. - Catch an Activate class with any of the beautiful souls in the video: Jared, DC, @jaredkeithlee Victoria, DC, @imvictoriabrown Ryan L., Philly, @ryjlewis Denita, Philly, @denitaelizabeth Erin L., Boston, @ernlinz Sara, Boston, @sjsilk Naz, Chicago, @nazzwithme Brent, Chicago, @blocey7 Devin, Chicago, @heartsbuffy Anthony M., Chicago, @mcclainstrong - P.S. NYC & LA, if you haven’t taken a class yet, now may be the time ????
Their videos don’t feature beautifully toned trainers like their parent company Equinox - instead SoulCycle captures actual people who have experienced the company’s programming. SoulCycle allows potential customers to hear stories from people just like them.
And while this story was always part of SoulCycle's business, it wasn’t until the founders began utilizing video storytelling that they were able to expand their operations across the country. This visual storytelling, and use of brand story, is evident all industries, from medical to finance to fashion and non-profit.
Even the children’s toy market is dominated by storytellers - did you know Lego pretty much went bankrupt in 2003?
After digging themselves into $800 million of debt, Lego made the comeback of a lifetime.
How did they do it? Storytelling.
Lego realized that it had lost sight of what its target audience wanted - it was producing too many extraneous products and unintentionally abandoning the simple, nostalgic brand that children and adults alike knew and loved. And while Lego was losing its grip on its products, it was also losing its audience.
With the addition of a new CEO and some fresh perspective, Lego was able to identify and tell the story its target audience could relate to. Lego then launched video storytelling ads showing parent-child relationships growing because of the toy.
Essentially, Lego began telling its true story, rather than over-the-top, fictitious ones that simply were not selling. It wasn’t a new product that vaulted Lego back to its powerful position in the toy industry, it was its real-life video storytelling.
One of the most popular ad campaigns of all time is Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign.
This memorable and heartwarming video portrays average women voicing their insecurities. Through this campaign, Dove was able to tell women that they are more beautiful than they think. This monumental campaign proved that no matter what your product is, if you identify a story that others can relate to emotionally, and experience visually, your audience will take note.
So how does this relate to you and your brand?
By identifying your own meaningful story, and harnessing the power of video storytelling, you too can win over the hearts of your target audience members, leading to them becoming customers, fans and advocates.
Stories are extremely powerful, and the popularity of video content on social platforms makes it the perfect medium to share yours.
What's your brand story? How does your business contribute to your customers' world?