Communicating and interacting with customers is a key role for any brand’s success. People want to feel that companies approach them specifically to meet their needs and pay attention to their questions and concerns.
Companies that manage to establish a close relationship with their clients win more recognition and loyalty. This rewards the brand with a good spot in the market. However, as a small business owner, you might find it hard to build connections with your customers, which can cost you your market share and reputation.
Each company exists to help the customers, and a business today can’t do that if they don’t focus on content marketing materials and business planning. Content is critical for sales. If you succeed here, you can stand apart from the competitors and create an appealing brand story and image.
Most brands think content marketing is only about writing short blog posts that are published on the site to bring in more traffic from the target audience. However, it’s more sophisticated and complex than that, covering various aspects from image design to email marketing.
Brand storytelling is a new trend that marketers throughout the world are picking up. It’s not only focused on writing the narrative of how you came to be, though. It can also capture the attention of people to establish personal bonds while speaking directly to someone.
Learning how to craft such a brand story takes a bit of practice, and this guide can help.
What’s a Brand Story?
Many marketers don’t know much about company branding through successful brand storytelling. They think that writing a company history is all it takes to win customers over to them. However, if that’s how you feel, it’s time to reconsider the content strategy.
Brand stories are about much more than the company history, though you should include that in the brand story.
However, to be successful with your brand story, it has to include more than facts about your operation and establishment.
A brand story that’s well written can encompass the feelings and facts you want to associate with your company. It should inspire a more emotional response from your customers. In fact, it should barely refer to the history of why your brand exists so that it speaks more about your business’s life, motivations, objectives, and goals.
Storytelling is an innovative form of advertising where you can focus on the customer experience and convenience instead of just the company’s history.
Your brand story is more than a piece of writing. It’s a powerful tool to help you send people the right message to become word of mouth. Even if people aren’t clients of yours yet, your story can let them get to know you.
There’s a good reason for stories being so popular among individuals, brands, and businesses. They are powerful for human communication. Research has shown that the human brain reacts to the descriptive powers of stories in affecting ways to influence the motor and sensory cortex.
When someone reads a story, they feel an experience and synchronize their minds with the same subject. This is called neural coupling. In the process, the listener and speaker share a story to help their brands interact dynamically.
This isn’t a mind-meld. Instead, it’s a brain activity occurring between two people at the same time to affect the same brain areas during the storytelling process.
Ultimately, stories must produce trust, so not every story works. You must tell it with the right features to build integrity and have neural coupling.
Who Are the Authors for the Brand Story?
You can’t assume that once you’ve written the narrative, you have your brand story. Storytelling is in the public domain, so the rest of that brand story is what the customers make of it. This includes their experiences, how they feel, and social media discussions about your brand.
Have you wondered why brands are determined to get their customers to leave feedback and comments? They’re looking for confirmation that the company did things well, but they also want opportunities to build on the brand story by invoking discussions so that others spread the word.
In the business world, it feels like there’s a one-way flow for information only from the company to the consumers. Therefore, it’s crucial to change the direction. Even a decade ago, people felt that businesses were abstract. They were machines offering products for money. However, customers now know their own value. Corporations compete for each client, and the consumer’s power is their own words.
That’s why you should encourage storytelling at all points. This can happen from a guest post or anything else. However, your brand hits different people in various ways. In one sense, your story takes care of itself because a good brand’s story is shareable.
With that, though, here are a few things you can do for your stories. Virality can only happen with user-generated content and everything else:
- Build the personal brand. Your story should be infused with personality. You and the team are the personalities here. This should include the founder and co-founder as well as everyone else.
- Be active on social media. Usually, stories spread faster through social media. Extracts, snippets, and anecdotes are retweeted, shared, explained bit by bit, and liked. Meanwhile, you’re building a presence and brand that lives within the public’s social consciousness.
- Tell your story everywhere. Make the brand story part of who you are and what the company is. Communicate with the power of your story and bring your brand to the forefront. Whether you’re tweeting about your day or piecing your biography, the story should have an elemental presence.
- Encourage the customers to tell your story. Testimonials from customers are an effective way to broadcast the brand story. They have experienced the problem and found the solution, so they are the only ones qualified to present an authentic story.
- Encourage the brand story everywhere. As your brand starts going mainstream, the story is entrenched in public awareness. Don’t ever suppress an accurate telling of the brand story.
One great example of successful storytelling is from Ben Silberman (Pinterest). While he’s reserved and soft-spoken, he tells his story with authenticity and passion. With that, the personal brand grew because of the storytelling.
Your Voice and Tone Matter
You aren’t helpless here. In fact, you can lead your brand story by setting your mission. Customers must know what values you have and pair that with other favorites in the industry. Therefore, every brand must develop a voice for itself.
Have you wondered why Apple stores have lines of people waiting for new products each year? The products aren’t cheap, but many consumers give up the money for new iPhones all the time.
In a sense, this company represents innovation. It makes people believe that they are innovative because they buy those products. While it does offer the latest technology, people buy from Apple because the company sends the right message through its story and voice.
Therefore, for your service or product to sell well so that you thrive, you must speak to potential customers and existing ones in a clear way that defines the components for your business.
This voice speaks to their minds and hearts, ensuring that they experience, feel, and know that your company cares about their needs, aspirations, interests, and values. In a sense, people want your products more because they feel attached to you.
Look and Feel
It’s also important to focus on your brand identity at this time. The look and feel of your brand isn’t just a logo but a full persona. This includes the design, colors, logo, packaging, stationery, signage, and everything else.
Many companies feel that they can’t create all that alone. It might be best to work with a graphic designer.
How to Write a Compelling Brand Story
Writing a narrative about the brand isn’t easy. You must ensure that you have the essential elements and reach your target audience. This means knowing who they are and what they want.
In a sense, you must infect people with your brand’s spirit, and it must all come from the brand story. Most brands focus too much on fancy terms and jargon. While it’s nice to know that you have that information, your goal right now is to create a compelling story. Big words don’t achieve that and can do just the opposite.
You could turn people away before they get a real feeling of what you offer and do. Here are the steps necessary to put together your brand story:
Define the Brand Personality and Mission Statement
You must define the brand statement and mission to ensure that you have an effective and interesting story. The entire interaction and communication with the customers must be based on the mission statement and vision statement your business uses and the core values it wants to convey.
Once you’ve got all that, you need to figure out why your business is unique within that industry and identify the brand’s personality and voice.
Remember: brand stories aren’t just for marketing. Don’t think of them as ads or sales pitches. In a sense, you should use your brand persona and the writer’s personality here. Boring stories aren’t likely to retain or attract readers, but those with brand personality do.
In other words, the story can’t seem like it’s made from a godlike figure dominating legend to infuse your company with power and life. Instead, the story is inspired by the people who create, participate, connect, and develop it for success, growth, and brand loyalty.
Personality is what helps you create a powerful brand story, but it’s not to be used as a biography of the founder. In a sense, it’s the evolution of the entity. While you can include an origin story and tell how the business came to be, you should focus more on the brand’s values to build trust.
People trust people, not businesses. The story you create must be personality-driven to offer someone real and tangible that customers can believe in.
Make Sure It’s Appealing and Keep the Brand Story Simple
To make your brand story appealing, you need to make it human. Start with the impulses, motivations, and emotions that help your customers see the real people behind the business. You don’t want it to seem abstract.
Convey the challenges and passions your business has had along the way to shape the brand. Express how customers and their experiences influence your concepts.
To make it appear more human, add case studies and employee stories to your story. Depending on what your values are, you can use those things as leverage for the brand narrative.
Where most brands falter is to keep it all simple. While shortness is often focused on here, that doesn’t necessarily create simple stories. Don’t think about word counts; make it straightforward with a focus on the problem, solution, and success.
If you cram more into the story, you’re losing momentum.
Generally, a simple story is better, and science confirms that. You might love the complexities found from your favorite authors, but you can’t import such a complex model into the brand’s story. You need simplicity with a few interesting facts sprinkled here and there.
Every story told has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning should be your problem or the problem people had that your product could fix.
The solution describes how you solved that issue. Then, you can show excitement about the success people had because of that. This is the form that most people expect. However, you should be careful with your ending.
You don’t want it to feel as though you’re at the end of the road. Instead, it should feel like a new adventure is waiting to start.
Storytelling is a special form of writing with certain tricks to it. To write a good story, you must know what most narratives have in common. Then, you place your main characters at the core of this story, add critical details to keep the audience’s attention (create the story’s conflict), and finish with a revelation.
The story is only good if readers want to continue reading. However, it can be better if the potential customers research your brand more thoroughly. This happens only when you know your brand persona and buyer personas. That way, you can tailor the information to what people want to see.
In a sense, you’re highlighting the conflict to grab attention and ensure that readers stay on the edge of the seat while wondering what happens next.
Your story doesn’t have to be long. Instead, you should think about making the readers transform from the conception of your idea to the result. Determine what main characters you want to use and let them speak out about the values of your business.
A brand story is a way to build trust, so you want it to be authentic. To do that effectively, you must:
- Add personality
- Use simple stories
- Focus on why the brand is here
- Connect with others
- Remember that customers buy the story and not the products
- Have others tell your brand story
Make Up the Main Characters
For most people, the real story isn’t likely to have real people to base it off of. You can use a fictional character, but remember to focus on the real stories of how you got where you are today.
Then, empower those characters with the voices and roles you want to communicate the truth of your brand. Think of it like this: Ronald McDonald isn’t a real person, but he’s the brand storyteller of one of the top fast-food chains in the world. In a sense, his main role is for marketing this brand effectively.
To ensure that your story stays in the minds of the customers, you have to make it bold. Therefore, it might be a good idea to add visuals and images to communicate your brand story more effectively. This also helps the readers retain the information you present.
If you feel that the point you’re trying to make is weak or the brand story lacks emphasis somewhere, add some visuals for a more vivid message. Just don’t go overboard here!
Be consistent with each value you share. Customers can spot dishonesty easily, so you want to avoid any issues. Don’t contradict your brand by saying too many things. This confuses the customer. They rely on their senses, so if they believe your brand violated their trust, you lose part of your followers.
Make a Difference
Every brand should be doing what it can to make a difference in the world or its communities. If your brand story can hint at social problems that your company solved, add this information!
It’s also good if you can tell everyone how your brand is making the world better by solving problems in the community.
Activate the Brand Story
Now that you have a brand story, what do you do? You need to share it with everyone, which requires activation in the markets. Where might a customer try to find information about your brand or a similar one? It could be in a magazine, on a website, in an email, or on social media.
Remember, your brand and story are important for the marketing team and the customers. If it’s well-written, your brand can align it all with the purpose and goals you have in your campaigns.
Conclusion – Create a Great Brand Story
Great brand stories are told for many years to come. If you want your brand to succeed, you must focus on brand awareness, and an authentic brand story is the way to go.
Is there such a way as to have an emotional connection with your customers? Remember, they are buying a part of the brand’s story and not the product itself. If they don’t believe in your brand, they aren’t likely to make a purchase.
Therefore, you must connect with your audience through your brand’s heritage to reach the target audience. On top of that, you must share it everywhere to keep the story alive.
Story creating isn’t easy to do. Your brand story is the framework for your business and brand. It’s not there to be a trap. Many brands get caught in the story and neglect their values and live in the past.
However, a powerful brand story focuses on the future and what’s happening now. With that, a great brand story builds a foundation of trust. Then, the customer’s personal experience cements it into a lasting relationship. You did all that with an authentic brand story.