Whether you know it or not, you are telling a brand story with everything you do. From your tagline and website content to your online reviews and signage, everything works together to craft a story about your business.
While some businesses are intentional about their brand story, other businesses are telling a story without even knowing it. Some are telling the wrong story altogether.
So how do you tell the right story in the right way?
First, you need to know the definition of a brand story. A brand story is a cohesive narrative that informs consumers and inspires an emotional reaction.
Many businesses think their brand story is the history of their company or a detailed narrative about the types of products and services they provide. While those things can certainly be a part of a brand story, they are not the most interesting part — and they’re likely not eliciting an emotional reaction. People connect with stories of struggle and achievement – not years in business and range of products. Simply outlining the basics of what your company does won’t cut it.
Here are some ways you can craft a great story about your brand:
Think like a customer.
A customer who is shopping for a product or service is doing so to solve a problem or need. Instead of thinking like a sales person, think like a customer. Is your product the best on the market, made from the highest-quality material, and sold at a competitive price? Consumers hear that all the time! That type of marketing language makes no difference to them if a need isn’t being met. When crafting a brand story, consider what problem your product or services solve. How will buying your product make life easier for your customer? Those are the questions that will drive a more interesting story.
Nail down your why.
What is it that makes your business different? When it comes down to choosing one brand over another, a strong value proposition is what will ultimately sway a consumer’s decision. The “why” can be as simple as detailing how you got into the industry. For example, a runner who struggled to find a comfortable running shoe so decided to make one himself. Or a mom who was looking for healthy food options for her children and started baking her own granola. Consumers can relate to a story about overcoming a problem or meeting a need. They also relate to brands that align with their values. Maybe your business doesn’t have a compelling founding story, but you’re doing great things in your community. Simply telling an authentic feel-good story can connect you with consumers.
Unless you’re intentional about your brand story, one will often develop on its own. Consider a small mom-and-pop store without any advertising or digital presence. The customers who walk through their door do so for a reason. Maybe it’s because of the store’s longevity in the community. Or maybe it’s because the store is close to their home and they like the convenience. Maybe the store has earned a reputation of having the best prices in town. Whatever the reason, it plays a part in the story. Without even trying, a brand story has developed. In some cases, a business can capitalize on that brand story and tell it more clearly. In other cases, they may need to redirect and tell the story they want consumers to know.
In conclusion, it is important to be intentional both about the story you’re telling and how you are telling it. A well-crafted, intentional brand story will connect with your target audience and help your brand stand out in a competitive market.