How to Use Video to Show, Not Tell, Your Brand Story

Show, don't tellProduct videos are vital to e-commerce sites, but they don’t always lead to increased search traffic or social media engagement. To maximize exposure and buzz, marketers need to explore other types of video formats that are better suited to that task. One example is a ‘making of’ or ‘behind-the-scenes’ video.

Opening up about your company culture and the processes behind your products is a good way to gain, or retain, consumer trust in this age of Radical Transparency. Rather than simply trading on an idea of what you stand for and living in fear of being found out, you can use online video to show that you’re actually ‘walking the talk’. You can bolster credibility and your bottom line by showing what your brand is doing in alignment with its purpose and values.

Online video is an ideal medium to tell the stories behind your products and build your brand authenticity because:

  • Viewers find video engaging, memorable, and easy to digest. The combination of moving images, graphics and narration packs a bigger punch than written words alone.
  • It puts a human face on your business, helping you come across as genuine, personable, and trustworthy.  With a human face and voice behind a brand, it makes it easier for shoppers see the brand as a company that they’d like to do business with, whether immediately or sometime down the road.
  • Video lends itself well to social sharing, and lifts search engine rankings. (YouTube is now the second largest search engine after Google).

‘Making of’ video – examples from retailers

Red Wing Shoes

This all-American brand tells their story through short videos featuring Red Wing employees that show the shoe and work in the boot maker’s repair and manufacturing areas. Video analytics cited from Master Communication Group noted that the retailer’s website traffic increased 45% on days when videos were posted, with time on site growing by 2 and a half minutes.


Whole Foods

Natural and organic retailer, Whole Foods, uses online video to profile local producers, and highlight behind-the-scenes stories about how they source local products for their stores.

LUSH Cosmetics

LUSH uses video extensively to give viewers an inside view of the company. Hundreds of clips show how they make their soaps, bubble bars and other products.  Their videos also give insight on where they source their natural ingredients, and how they are greening their operations. So far they’ve chalked up over 5 million views and 18,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel.


Vat19, home of the 5lb gummy bear, started posting up behind-the-scenes and blooper footage from their product videos late in 2011. Founder, Jamie Salvatori, spoke about their video clips in a recent interview with Practical Ecommerce:

“Fans get more of a connection with us and it allows more people to find us on YouTube.  Also if somebody is searching for something on YouTube that we happen to sell, we have two videos that could show up in those results, as opposed to just one.”



T-shirt retailer, Threadless, showcases staff antics in the warehouse, and manufacturing processes in a series of Tee-V clips on their website. These particular clips cover direct-to-garment printing: