Stories connect us all on a human level. They teach. They forge memories. They endear us to the people who matter the most. They open pathways to emotional centres. And for these reasons, every brand – and every branding strategy – needs a story. However, not just any story will do.
Contrary to popular belief, a brand’s story is less about the brand than it is about the people who will be reading and hearing it. A brand story should be more than an account of how the brand was born. It should also include details about why it was born, and should be more about the viewpoint of the ideal client than the brand itself.
Your target audience members should see themselves, and semblances of their own stories, in your brand story. They should feel emotionally connected to your brand after experiencing it. It should be difficult for them to forget, hard to keep to themselves, and impossible to ignore.
Writing Story into Your Branding Strategy
How can your brand’s story differentiate itself from the competition? How can it be memorable when the story of its inception is similar to those of current market leaders?
One thing is for sure: more publicity for a cookie-cutter story isn’t going to result in spectacular brand awareness. It must have an edge, like the stories put forth by Virgin. Your story must not only be different from the others, it should be so against-the-grain that it implies the competition may have been doing it wrong all along.
Wondering about how you can craft a brand story that stands out, sends a message, and pushes your brand ahead of the competition? Look no further. Here are some tips from How to Build a Brand for writing your brand story:
- Facts are facts. They cannot be changed. However, the stories told around those facts can be (and usually are) very different. Take a look at your competitors’ stories, check their facts, and then ask yourself how you can convey those facts with a new slant (perspective). This will make your brand’s story unique, memorable…yet backed by solid, demonstrable evidence.
- Craft a story that focusses on change. The word change implies that experiences will be new and different. Therefore, your story about change will inherently mark your brand as set-apart from the rest. CAVEAT: Change just for the sake of change is not effective. Study your market and your target audience to determine what type of change would be most welcomed.
- Challenge the status quo. People resort to thinking in a certain manner because it’s been spoon-fed to them, and they swallow it because they haven’t been given the opportunity to digest an alternative. Give them that alternative, with your brand story.
- Show, don’t tell. Accomplished novelists and short-story writers all live by this tenet. Instead of telling their readers that their main character is “brave,” “handsome,” and “intelligent,” they demonstrate it with accounts of actions and through dialogue. Follow this advice for your brand story, and its impact will multiply.
- Your branding strategy should include provisions for personal branding, and your brand story is a great place to start. A human element is a must for today’s brands, so we always suggest that a bit of your personal story be included in your brand story.
No matter where you choose to tell your story, ensure that it’s easily shareable, and that you supply rewards to those who share it. Every connection that your brand story makes holds the potential to bring more ideal clients to your door. And with the right story, they’ll not only stick around, they’ll invite others to pop in.
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