Your brand story isn’t one particular type of content; it’s a throughline in every piece of content you make. From your ads, to your sales materials, to your annual report, if you are using content to communicate, you are telling your brand story. But the best storytelling doesn’t just inform; it uplifts, inspires, and energizes both your brand and the people you’re trying to connect with.

That may sound like a tall order, but it’s really not that complicated. Sure, some brands push the boundaries through innovative storytelling and next-generation tech. But there are plenty of effective brands that use simple, creative brand storytelling to enrich people’s lives. But what does that look like?

7 Smart Ways to Tell a Brand Story

To give you a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite real-world examples of brands (both large and small) whose content moves the needle. From engaging social posts to creative explainer videos, these brands prove that a great brand story just requires a little creativity.

1) Bacardi

How they use content: To spotlight culture

Strong brands don’t just make products that stand alone; they make products that are part of a lifestyle. For Bacardi, the largest family-owned spirits company in the world, their rum is part of Caribbean culture, which is why their smart storytelling focuses on celebrating that culture in a unique way: through music.

Their 4-part documentary series Sound of Rum is a deep dive into the roots of Caribbean music and the artists who brought it to the world. For Bacardi, it’s a unique and creative way to create a connection with the culture while educating viewers about an important cultural legacy.

(If the documentary inspires you to spin some reggae or dancehall, you can also check out the custom Bacardi X Major Lazer Spotify playlist.)

2) Häagen-Dazs

How they use content: To educate about important causes

For years, we’ve heard that VR will be the new frontier of brand storytelling, but you might assume it would be tech brands that would jump on it. Not so. Ice cream maker Häagen-Dazs is embracing the medium in a genius way: to highlight a cause important to their brand. Certain flavors of their ice cream, like rocky road and strawberry, rely on thriving honeybee colonies.

Unfortunately, these bees are suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder, something that affects not just the natural world but our human world. The brand has invested in research to remedy this issue, and now they are raising awareness through a 360-degree brand storytelling experience, which educates viewers about the honey bee experience—by putting them in the driver’s seat.

Through the VR experience, you learn about the plight of honey bees, how their issue affects humans, and what you can do to save them.

It’s a brilliant way to personalize a collective problem, helping the brand bring the average person into their mission.

3) Supreme

How they use content: To turn branding into art

Supreme is a skateboarding brand that has amassed a huge following, elevating it from standard streetwear to coveted designer item. (They even released a Louis Vuitton collaboration in 2017.) Much of their allure comes from their hip, creative, and artistic approach to brand storytelling.

One classic example is their simple, brand-centric “random videos,” which immerse you in an entirely Supreme-branded world. Whether it’s a custom Supreme-branded pinball machine or a Rube Goldberg machine featuring Supreme-branded dominoes, these simple snippets feel like art installations, allowing the brand to push the boundaries of creativity and try to outdo itself with each video.

4) Suavecito

How they use content: To demonstrate their values

Suavecito is a pomade brand that, like Bacardi, has firmly immersed itself into a lifestyle: the custom car, motorcycle, and tattoo barber culture that is thriving across the country. As such, they value individual expression and attention to detail, whether it’s the airbrushed mural on a car or the embossed designs on their pomade lids.

They’re all about creating a unique, high-quality product and an experience to match. Thus, they demonstrate that value through content, even in the simplest of ways. For example, when they brought in a local handlettering artist to hand-paint the brand’s logo an their flagship store, they documented it via a timelapse video.

Sharing this behind-the-scenes story was a simple way to celebrate creativity, support a community artist, and demonstrate their values.

5) Visa

How they use content: To reimagine explainer videos

Explainer videos are important. They show people how a product works or how to use it, which is vital information. Unfortunately, many brands take a dry and clinical approach to their explainer videos. Visa, on the other hand, breaks the mold by turning their explainers into entertaining storytelling experiences.

Through mixed media, motion graphics, paper craft, stop motion, and a variety of other techniques, they turn what could be dull explainers into colorful, creative videos that are enjoyable, informative, and educational.

6) Tito’s Vodka

How they use content: To build community

Animal rescue has been a major pet project (literally) for Tito’s Handmade Vodka for the last 20 years. They are determined to better the lives of dogs (and pets) everywhere through their Vodka For Dog People partnership with Emancipet, an organization that provides affordable spay/neuter services and veterinary care to pet owners.

As such, they sell Tito’s-branded pet products (whose proceeds go to Emancipet), and have cultivated a tight-knit Instagram community that celebrates the stories of dogs and humans everywhere. Their instagram is an inspiring feed of adorable dog photos, each including a Tito’s branded product and a personal story.

Through these unique photos, the brand embraces personal storytelling to build a bond with the dog-loving community.

7) Play-Doh

How they use content: To demonstrate the possibilities of their product

Play-Doh is a much-beloved product meant to help kids express their creativity, but the brand is also committed to helping kids expand their minds. As such, they have amassed a number of educational how-to videos to help both moms and teachers use the product in educational ways.

For example, a simple DIY project shows kids how to create a solar system, helping them combine play and learning in a fun and creative way.