Create A Powerful Brand Story in 3 Steps
Science proves that nothing captures the attention and gets branded into memory better than a good story. Forging a personal bond with your customers starts with the way you present your brand, and it can make all the difference.
Step 1: Put Everything on Paper
Effective storytelling is the power tool of many great keynote speakers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. However, because a good portion of a business’ marketing is optimised for algorithms, articulating a brand story is not as easy as it sounds.
Still, it provides an exciting new opportunity for content creators. So, as Mary Poppins puts it, let’s start at the very beginning.
All companies begin with a founder and a reason for its inception. Before moving on to step two, it’s important to recall the company’s journey from origin to now, sparing no detail, and to illustrate the purpose and dream behind the brand.
At their core, stories are about overcoming some form of adversity. Conflict needs to be overcome for an emotional journey to happen. One of the biggest problems is that brands are reluctant to reveal anything that can seemingly taint their image – they are wrong. People don’t relate to perfection but to a story of overcoming struggles.
Step 2: Dissect the Good Bits
Customers crave authenticity, and now more than ever are wary of dishonest marketing. Consider including accounts of industry experts that are not associated with your brand, or testimonials from happy customers.
Additionally, rather than selling yourself, you want to explain to people who you are. What’s unique about you? Or, more creatively put, focus your brand on the narrowest definition of “expertise”.
“Eight out of ten (79 per cent) UK adults want brands to tell stories as part of their marketing, but work needs to be done to make those tales more memorable.” – Natalie Mortimer
“Storytelling should be at the forefront of any marketer’s mind. This is because a good story evokes emotions which can heavily influence a consumer’s purchasing decisions. A person’s emotional response to an advert has a more significant influence on their reported intent to buy than the ad’s actual content.”
Step 3: Present Your Story
Without an audience, the story falls on deaf ears.
It’s one thing to know who to appeal to, but the trick is to understand how to fine-tune your brand story to appeal to a broader audience segment.
Take Peloton, for example, whose $2000 bikes have continued to sell at astronomical speeds. How? Initially, the company had been targeting a core, affluent audience, but overlooking a less affluent consumer who was willing to splurge on a convenient fitness habit.
By altering how they presented their brand story, they captured the attention of those who were initially reluctant to spend so much on a product, but now understood and related to the product enough to realise the investment is worth it.
The format by which you present this story is also vital (for example, video is one of the most popular mediums in today’s day and age, with 3D animation and virtual reality slowly taking over).
In any case, you should experiment with different ones until you find the one that works best for your brand. Remember always to keep efficiency and effectiveness at the forefront.
Solidify Your Vision
More specifically classified as a statement of intent, a brand vision serves a great purpose: to inform operations. Whether this is to attract more customers, help the selling process or inspire those involved in the organisation, it shows where your company is heading, and what you aspire to.
If you were to describe your brand as a person, the result would eventually align your brand with an existing archetype that can enhance your brand story. Maintaining this persona will then be the foundation for how your brand should behave and what stories it should tell.
Keep in mind that although it can be drafted for the long term, brand visions must be revised according to the changing environment to ensure they’re always relevant for the consumers.
Relate to Your Target Audience
Who exactly do you want to reach out to? A good approach is to create consumer personas and to paint a clear picture of those you wish to influence. What are their hobbies? What are their quirks, philosophies or mottos for life?
“The idea is to uncover a tension – that is, a psychological itch that this audience needs to scratch – and then resolve that tension through the telling of a story.”
When it comes to explain your brand’s core values, think of them as conversation starters that spark thought. Keep the tone casual and steer away from jargon, aka corporate speech.
Lastly, remember to keep your story focused on basic human needs and problems. We are social animals interested in one another, and crafting stories around other people sparks sympathy and relatability.
“A clearly communicated story is the backbone of a strong marketing strategy,” says Celinne Da Costa, and she’s right. Every business has a story to tell, but many fail when it comes to the execution. Your brand story is more than just a recalling of why the company came to be – it is a way to break away from a faceless identity, and the reason why customers should buy your product or service.