Storytelling has long been used to create emotional connections with an audience. Humans in particular have a great appreciation for storytelling and oftentimes spend money on its various forms, like music, poetry, or theatre. As a business, you can take advantage of society’s propensity for storytelling by creating a brand story.
Like any kind of storytelling, a brand story is a powerful tool used to create emotional connections and build relationships. However, it is important to understand that a brand story is an abstract term; it does not represent isolated items, like a poem or a play. A brand story is omnipresent, and not always explicitly stated.
Your brand story exists within all your communications – internal and external, written and spoken – and is therefore closely related to the content you generate. In a digital world, your website and social media activity is likely to be the most popular source of your brand story.
Use your brand story to narrate:
• Who your company is
• The purpose of your company and why you exist (Hint: It is not to make a profit)
• Your company’s journey into existence
• The value your company offers to the consumer
• What your product or service is
• Your product/service’s journey into existence
• The human power behind your company
• Your customers’ experiences
Remember, your brand story is NOT a 5-paragraph essay. Don’t write a long-winded document that answers each of these questions in detail and add it to your website under “Our Brand Story” – if you do, you have missed the point.
You should use your naturally occurring pages like About, History, and Team, and use them to write creative content that addresses some of the above-mentioned points. Each of these content items are like a piece of the whole, only a chapter of your brand story. You should use other mediums to write new chapters. Utilize employee interviews, time-lapse “A Day at the Office” videos, speaking engagements, and more to spread and support your brand story.
Other important chapters of your brand story are those written by clients. Specifically, testimonials and success stories. When you involve clients in your storytelling, they essentially corroborate and authenticate your brand story to outsiders and potential clients.
Another way to reinforce your brand story is through case studies, which are ideal for creating empathy. Through case studies, you can create a situation with a problem, a “hero” (your company), and a solution. Your readers (hopefully potential clients) can relate to the problem presented in the case study and recognize the huge benefit your company offers in terms of solutions.
Important tips for developing your brand story:
Write for your consumer. Make sure your brand story is client-centric, and that the content you are creating is relevant to your consumers. Talk about their problems, real or perceived, their needs, and answer their questions. Always make sure your content clearly shows the value of your company to the consumer.
Be creative! Your brand story should embody your company’s unique personality,voice, and style. Even if you work in a “dull” field, you can create an engaging style that is all your own.
Use as many mediums as you can to spread and support your brand story. Your brand story is everywhere, not confined to any specific channel of communication.
Do not use your brand story to directly sell your products or services. Use it first and foremost to connect emotionally to consumers, and selling will become a byproduct.
Even if you haven’t deliberately created a brand story, your company probably has one. Storytelling happens naturally, and as stated earlier, your brand story exists within all of your company’s communications. Still, it is important to formalize your brand story so it is understood and supported by all levels of your company.
Not sure if your brand story is up to par? Refer back to the 8 Important Traits of a Strong Brand – all of them are applicable to your brand story.
This is the third article in the Marstudio Info Series: All About Brands. Read the previous article here.