When you offer an abstract service rather than a tangible product, telling a story–and a good one at that–helps customers envision using it. At Seattle-based Trupanion, a pet insurance company founded in 1998, the marketing team was determined to find ways to make the service resonate among both customers and veterinarians. To do that, they created 10 branded video testimonials a year, showcasing the stories of pet owners who have reached out to the company to express their gratitude.

The videos are posted on the Trupanion website. One of the most popular, “Joe’s Dog Pack,” tells the story of an employee who owns two deaf dogs and two hearing dogs, with the goal of debunking negative myths about deaf pets. The clip has clocked more than 11,000 views. “A Pet Fire Drill,” which offers fire-safety information and stars the staff’s pets (some 80 animals come to the Trupanion offices with their owners each day), has generated 8,500 views. The videos are also distributed to veterinary clinics nationwide, many of which show them in their lobbies.

“Pet insurance is two pieces of paper and a staple,” says Anne Tomsic, Trupanion’s vice president of brand and communication. “We have to bring that to life, and a video is a compelling way for us to paint the picture of a pet owner who has benefited from Trupanion.”

In turn, thousands of customers have begun sending in their own pet stories and posting them on Facebook. “It’s a win-win,” says CEO Darryl Rawlings. “We get lots of ideas from the stories our customers send in.”

If you’d like to talk about telling your story with video, we’re here (and you can bring your dog!)