Do you have a brand story? Maybe you’ve heard the term brand story,but aren’t quite sure what it means. That’s okay – I’m here to help! First, let’s look at what it is and why it’s sooooo important in your business.
(Do you even know what a brand story is?)
What is a brand story and why is it so important?
A brand story …represents who you are and what you stand for. It sets the stage for every interaction customers have with your brand, in-store, and online (Shopify).
You can think of a brand story as the story a customer has in the mind when they think of your company.
Can you see how important that is?
Think about brands we all know, like Tesla, Nike, Instagram, and Lululemon. They’ve all created a unique and killer brand story that creates massive value in their company and builds a relationship with their customers much greater than the products they sell.
Maybe you’ve worked through story ideas in a marketing meeting, or already have something in mind that you’d like to share with clients.
If you already have a brand story, it might be time to develop it further—making sure it’s uniquely in line with your business values.
Using a well-developed brand story as a central part of your marketing will make things easier on you, your team, and will connect customers.
Stories are the very fabric of the human culture. They have helped people connect since time immemorial, and have always been used in advertising.
Today, digital marketing offers much more in the way of both sharing and collecting stories you can use to highlight your brand.
Examples of Successful Brand Stories
Here are a few examples of brand stories that made a lasting impact.
- Apple’s iconic 1984 ad alluded to George Orwell’s book 1984 and as such, spoke to people who wanted to ensure their independence in a world that was clearly turning digital
- Nike’s “just do it” slogan has evolved with the brand and continues to speak to the people who are motivated to be motivated.
- Bevel uses a specific type of “grooming experience” to market to a very specific target audience of black men.
Each one of these companies clearly has a different market, but their message can be told over time and stay consistent.
Make Your Brand Narrative “Big”
A brand story isn’t just a set of objective facts outlining the “history” of your life or your brand; it should be both brand-specific and universal.
You need to strike a careful balance of targeting it to your market, but also leave it open enough to reach beyond current customers so you can continue to attract new markets.
For example, if you have been mostly serving adults you might want to start using broader age categories in your marketing images. Or shift from female-only to non-gender specific messaging.
The goal of your brand story is to become a narrative that speaks to the values you believe in and want to express to your customers.
How to Create a Meaningful Brand Tale
You’re making this brand story to connect with others, which means that it should be authentic, and grounded in real experience.
If you are running a sole proprietorship or small business, you should make it a little bit personal. hat doesn’t mean you need to share your deepest, darkest secret with the world. But, you could include more photographs of you behind-the-scenes or the history of you starting your business.
Find a compelling story you can own, and that you are comfortable talking about for the rest of your life.
Here are some questions to consider if you are looking to build or evolve your brand story:
- What drives you to run your business?
- How do you want to change people’s lives?
- What is a challenge or accomplishment which led you to create this business?
- How do you add value to people’s lives?
- What is the “soul” of your brand?
- What values encompass your brand?
- Are there specific things your clients have responded to?
- What do your customers say about you?
Features of a Great Brand Story
Humans are wired to love stories.
The best brand stories will connect to your audience and offer information that explicitly or implicitly addresses your target market.
As such, it should:
- Speak directly to your target audience
- Be values-driven
- Be unique to your brand
- Address a core conflict or problem
- Tell how it solves this core conflict
- Encompass some version of the Hero’s Journey
- Place the consumer “in” the story
- Draw on social proof and user-generated content where possible
If you are stuck, try to go through the decision-making process you used to purchase a similar product or to build your brand.
Keep Telling Your Story
Find something that is universal enough to adapt to a changing world, but still unique enough that you’ll be happy to talk about it in any context.
All brand stories evolve over time but stick to a key set of values.
If you have a story and it’s not at the forefront of your marketing activities, it’s time to put it there.
Want more awesome ideas for building your business? I’d love to chat!
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