If you don’t already have one, a brand story can be an integral part of your marketing that you need.
A brand story is something that makes your business human and connects your business to your audience in a more profound way than other forms of marketing.
What many successful businesses are finding in our digitized and automated world is that while they search for the way to set themselves apart, the human connection or element is what would ultimately do the trick.
Below we go into what you need to know about a brand story and how to create one.
What is a Brand Story?
A brand story is a narrative that should tie together a combination of facts and emotions evoked by your brand.
Your customers learn through your brand story why you’re unique, why you exist, and how you came to be.
They can also at the same time learn why they should buy from you.
Your brand story is something you need to have, and it should be integral to your overall marketing strategy.
Stories can stimulate not only our emotions but our brain activity overall.
Since brand storytelling is a narrative, it should include the key elements of any story including characters, a setting, conflict, action, a climax, and a resolution.
That lets your customers follow the natural ebb and flow of the story, and it will be something they remember.
Your customer is the character in your brand story — not you. Your customer is the hero of the story.
Without your story, you’re just another replaceable product or story. When you have a compelling and cohesive brand story, this is what’s going to be your primary differentiator and something that your competitors can’t replicate.
As you build your brand story, you want to think about creating something that your targeted audience will not just buy into but also truly care about.
You aren’t just showing and telling — you’re inspiring an emotional reaction.
Customers will create a brand story for you whether you want them to or not, so you should work to control the narrative.
CrowdSpring has a great infographic that shows the various brand story archetypes:
The Power of Storytelling
Storytelling is something that’s persisted in humanity and across cultures since the dawn of time. Stories get our attention, they make us feel, and they engage us.
A powerful story can even trigger a biological response.
Your brain physically responds to a good story.
For example, when you hear a story that resonates with you in some way, your brain might release oxytocin, which is a feel-good chemical, or cortisol, a stress chemical.
Critical Factors in a Standout Brand Story
The following are some things that you should integrate into your brand story as you create it.
Don’t Just Show, Tell!
We touched on this above, but don’t use your brand story to list off qualities or features of your business or products.
You want to show how your products or services help a person.
Try to make the person-specific. You want to build this persona on your targeted audience.
When you show rather than telling, it’s more likely to hold your audience’s attention and help them relate to what you’re saying.
As you show and don’t tell, think about the approach you want to take as far as the emotions you hope to evoke.
Include A Story Arc
A story arc is how you build your relationship with your audience.
For example, the hero of your story, who is again, your customer, should struggle but then be able to overcome a problem they’re facing.
You want to have enough of an arc that your audience feels emotionally invested.
You want to keep your core values, your mission and purpose, and your overall business objectives in mind as you create a brand story so that you’re consistent across all your marketing, which will help you be memorable.
Make It Meaningful
We’re overload with content every second of every day. Don’t think about what you want to create or what other brands are doing.
Instead, focus on what people care about. Relevance to your audience will help your story be meaningful, and that’s what’s most important.
We’ve already talked about the emotional elements of a brand story several times above, but it’s so important.
You have to get your audience to empathize and feel something, whatever that might be. You need to start to trigger an emotion right away.
It might end up taking you a little more time to create an original brand story, but it’s worth it. Consumers are incredibly well-versed in spotting inauthenticity.
Tips for Creating a Brand Story
First, know your story as you start to think more about your brand story. You can then interweave your story into that of your hero, aka your customer.
Before you write a specific story, be able to articulate your overall brand messaging, and know your targeted demographic. Create personas to help guide you.
If you need inspiration, do some brainstorming by starting to look at your day-to-day business, how it runs and what makes it unique.
Your brand story may already be lurking there beneath the surface and it’s up to you to uncover it rather than to create it.
- Who are you?
- Who works for you?
- What is the face of your business?
- What is your brand’s personality on a human level?
You also want to think about who you’re doing it all for and why you’re doing it. You want to arc your story to a larger mission that’s going to grab the heart and mind of your audience.
Once you have some of these above elements in place, you can start to build your story out and make it something great that’s unique to your business and can’t be recreated by anyone else.
Then, you can go from there as far as video creation or other digital media that will allow you to bring your story to life and share it widely.