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For Powerful Visual Storytelling, Take a Cue from These 8 Brands

Thunderfoot Team

Discover what makes these brand narratives stand out from the pack.

To cut through the avalanche of content posted online every day, brands need strong and consistent visual storytelling. For inspiration, we’ve assembled eight brands whose holistic verbal and aesthetic narratives set them apart from the rest.

Like what you read? Join L&T in New York City on November 2 for a panel discussion about visual storytelling and the future of photos. In anticipation for our event you can also check out Libris’ Q&A with Peter Krogh and Paul Melcher.

1. Glossier

Ecommerce powerhouse Glossier is the brand to beat when it comes to seamless visual storytelling. The direct-to-consumer beauty company puts marketing aesthetics above all, interacting with its consumers via email, social media, and the company’s website in a casual voice dressed in feminine minimalism. The brand wastes no opportunity to enhance customers’ visual experience, and includes adorable, branded stickers inside every pink, bubble wrapped package.


2. Starbucks

The behemoth brand behind your favorite cold brew maintains a reliably authentic and engaging presence across social media platforms. The visual consistency of the brand’s online presence, social media channels, video offerings, and in-store merchandising has made Starbucks one of the most recognizable companies on the planet, giving the brand a massive platform through which to champion the social justice initiatives it has become known for.

3. Outdoor Voices

Considered the fitness brand for the fashion set, Outdoor Voices offers high-quality athletic apparel to millennials uninterested in flashy neon spandex. The chic, minimalist palette extends from the clothing itself to the brand’s web and social presence, all the way to their brick-and-mortar store experience. Did I mention that the brand’s founder and CEO Tyler Haney is only 27?

4. Vox

Vox’s video offerings are unrivaled in clarity, concision, and production quality. If you’re looking to solidify your knowledge of complex current events, Vox artfully unpacks some of the most mind-boggling political and cultural stories of the day with a growing video library that consistently reflects their on-site visual palette.

5. Airbnb

Airbnb is a digital peer-to-peer marketplace that connects individuals looking to rent their homes with those searching for accommodations. The company markets itself as a community of travelers, and highlights the colorful lives of its hosts and users on its beautifully designed Stories page. In addition to excellent social handles and eye catching site design, Airbnb has produced a spate of gorgeous videos. Warning: viewers will find themselves desperate for a vacation.

6. Everlane

Another ecommerce branding victory — are you sensing a trend? Since its launch in 2011, Everlane has employed the proven strategy of selling classic styles directly online, at prices lower than their competitors. The company touts “radical transparency” as its mission, and tells customers the exact cost breakdown of their clothing — materials, labor, transport, etc.

Everlane addresses potential drawbacks of a strictly ecommerce model by providing beautifully produced videos of models wearing each of the brand’s products, as well as behind-the-scenes stories of its sourcing practices. Customers are invited into a community of likeminded consumers who value fair trade, honest pricing, and high quality.

7. @HumansOfNY

What is Humans of New York? A brand? A book? A pet project? A hopeful glimmer of humanity on social media? In a digital landscape brimming with bells and whistles, it’s refreshing to experience photographer Brandon Stanton’s unbridled love of storytelling through still shots on Instagram. Sometimes less is more.

8. Virgin America

Today’s commercial airline experience couldn’t be less appealing. Between $12 snack packs, $45 legroom, and $75 baggage fees, it can be hard to make it to your destination with even a shred of dignity (or a dime in your bank account). Virgin America’s irreverent approach to the burdens of air travel has carved out a niche for the airline among the young and decidedly hip.

Every aspect of the Virgin experience communicates a consistent aesthetic — from its blue-lit, nightclub-esque check-in counters to its chic, user-friendly website design. Plus, you know something’s working when an airline’s silly, musical safety video has been viewed nearly 12 million times on YouTube.