December 21, 2021 | 6-minute read (1099 words)
We discover stories almost everywhere, from news articles to discussions to movies, and often we expect these stories to serve as the foundation of our relationships. According to Jeremy Hsu's research, personal stories comprise up to 65% of our conversations, on average. They symbolize our need to comprehend and emotionally connect with why and how things occur.
The majority of stories are emotional. "Stories ... activate sensory parts of the brain that help influence the meaning and purpose of what is seen and heard — helping provide a greater personal insight into life and events," branding expert Jonathan Gabay writes in Smart Insights.
Every business owner who wants to develop an enduring brand needs to understand the art of storytelling. When stories are compelling, they become alive, like breathing components of the brand that spurt workers, consumers and other stakeholders to band together and support it. When told correctly, stories can convert a brand into a legacy, produce significant revenue, build a strong marketing strategy, gain customer loyalty and trust, and provide a variety of other advantages.
What is a brand story?
In basic terms, a brand story tells the audience who you are and what sets you apart from the competition. As per The Story of Telling: "A brand story is more than a narrative. The story goes beyond the copy on your website, the text in a brochure or the presentation used to pitch to investors. Your story isn't just what you tell people. It's what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. The story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings and interpretations, which means that part of your story isn't even told by you."
Socially aware shoe brand Toms has an excellent brand story, which can be summarized as: "While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake Mycoskie (the guy behind the idea of One for One®) experienced the challenges encountered by children growing up without shoes."
To provide relief, Mycoskie founded Toms, a company that would provide a new pair of shoes to a kid in need for every pair of shoes purchased to a kid in need. Anyone can determine why the firm was created and its purpose from reading this.
How do you make a brand story for your company?
To write your own brand story, follow these steps:
Step 1 – Create a timeline of your past, current and future events: Your company's and brand's story begin with you and why you started it in the first place. Don't leave any information out, and try to be as historically accurate as possible when writing your story. Include fun facts, experiences and testimony about how the firm got to where it is now. Don't forget to emphasize the sections that disclose your company's mission.
Every excellent brand story is built on the company's founding dream and mission, and knowing how you got here and where you're headed is a wonderful place to start.
Step 2 – Write a statement that summarizes why your company exists: Your brand statement isn't a vision or mission statement; it's what matters to your stakeholders and consumers, as well as the organization's more profound purpose.
A brand statement creates an ideal future to strive toward, guided by ethics and values rather than the amount of money you want to make. "Why are you here?" and "How are you making the world a better place?" are two questions to consider. Answering these questions will motivate you to create your brand statement.
Step 3 – Create a story around the statement: Use the brand statement you created in the previous phase as a launching point for your brand story. To back it up, write a roughly one-page document.
A good brand story is short and communicates your brand's story, including where you came from and where you're going. A brand story must be honest, accurate and truthful; if it is overly contrived, customers may pick up on it and punish you as a result. Purpose and passion are also essential components of a strong brand story. Your audience will be keener to interact with your story if it has a purpose. If written in a conversational tone, it helps readers to participate in your journey and understand why you do what you do.
Other suggestions: You can create your brand story in various ways – comedy and sentimentality are two popular methods for connecting with audiences. If you choose the sentimental approach, make sure you use the correct phrases so consumers feel like you're talking to them personally.
When creating a brand story and setting the tone for your business, be sure to portray your customers as "heroes" to make them feel like the focus of your brand.
Try to appeal to your audience's sentiments and emotions so that they develop a solid attachment to your products or services. Customers are more inclined to return to your brand when things are fun for them.
How to broaden the reach of your stories
If your brand story is compelling enough, it will stand on its own. This is due to the fact that a fantastic story demands to be told. To that end, consider the following tips to help your brand story go viral:
Build your own brand by telling your story. When creating branded content, use your brand story to develop your unique identity and urge your colleagues to do the same. Then, use these personal brands/identities to increase the number of people who see your company's branded material.
Convey your brand story with as many people as possible. Make your brand story an integral part of who you are and what you do. Tell it via interviews, presentations, tweets, podcasts, guest blogs and other places when you're ready to share your brand story with the public. Find methods to incorporate your most engaging stories into various media types to expand their reach and infuse them with your consumers' perceptions of your brand.
Increase viewership through social media. Through the power of social media, stories tend to perform better. To give your viewers a sneak peek into the content of your story, use snippets, quotes, excerpts and anecdotes. Over time, you'll establish a presence and a brand that will live on in the minds of your viewers.
Motivate your audience to tell your story. Customers are eager to spread the word about the companies they enjoy. More often than not, the story is what draws people to a firm. If you make your story a part of your brand identity, your audience will be more likely to share it.