If you want people to really love your brand, they need to feel a connection. This connection is what creates a strong loyalty that ultimately grows into customers feeling invested in your brand. One way to build this connection is through a brand story.
The point of brand storytelling is basically to show your customers that you are human too! To show personality and emotion through your brand in the hopes of creating that important personal connection.
Most of us know the stories that lie behind the big tech brands that we use today – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak at Apple, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, and Elon Musk at Tesla. People today have more choices than ever, even in B2B, and they are choosing to do business with companies they want to do business with.
✔️ With brands that support the things that are important to them.
✔️ With brands that make them feel good.
✔️ With brands that are aligned with their values.
You don’t have to be a consumer brand to connect with your audience in this manner. Even a 92-year-old industrial machine manufacturer is sharing a compelling brand story. Formed out of the 1925 merger between the C.L. Best Tractor Company and Holt Manufacturing Company, Caterpillar is now one of the most recognizable industrial brands in the world.
But how do you write a brand story?
Don’t write your brand story with the thoughts I need this product to sell, sell, sell. You will end up writing something boring and it will come across to the readers of your story that all you are trying to do is get their money. That is not what we want; we want your readers to develop an interest in you and your brand.
Remember at the end of the day what you are creating here is not an advert or sales pitch, it’s not something you’re going to present to the bank to get your start up loan it is something that is for your clients.
Know your audience
Pretend you are having a conversation with your potential customer. What do you know about their daily lives? What are their hobbies? How do they consume media? What situations will they relate to?
Continue to ask these questions until you can envision your ideal customer in your mind. Be specific when it comes to describing this ideal person. Ultimately you want to know how your brand can be a solution to their problems or simplify their lives.
Make it light
You definitely do not want something that is heavy to read, the overall tone of the story needs to be quite conversational and not too formal as if you’re talking to one of your friends rather than a group of investors.
You need to make sure the story sounds believable and authentic and tone of voice will help a lot with this. Although you are writing a story you need to remember that this story is not fictional it is based on true events so it needs to read that way.
Start with a statement
Develop a statement to sum up why the company exists. Your brand statement is something you’ll say externally, so you want to be creative and have fun with it. It is neither a mission statement nor a vision statement; a brand statement considers what matters to customers and stakeholders and the deeper purpose of the company. It goes beyond the money you want to earn and sets an ideal future to reach for, driven by values. It asks, “Why are we here?” and “How are we making the world a better place?” By answering these questions, you find the seed from which you’ll build your statement.
Develop your story
The statement you created in step two becomes the starting point for what will become your brand story, and you’ll write a one-page document to support it. A great brand story is succinct and tells the narrative of your brand, including where you’ve come from and where you are going. A great brand story must be true, authentic, and honest. It cannot be made up or derived; consumers sniff out inauthenticity in a heartbeat and will punish you for it.
A great brand story must also be deep rooted in purpose. When there is a purpose driving your story, audiences engage. It invites the audience to be part of where you are going and is written conversationally. It shares your heart and why you do what you do, and as a story, you must learn to tell it masterfully.
Share your story
Every brand needs activation in the market. First, you need to ensure your brand is aligned to your story. Review your content, the brand assets you have, and your brand touch-points to consolidate your brand around the story. For it to be true, honest, and believable, it needs to be consistently told.
Your brand story can exist within a brand story book, on your website, and as the building block for new team members. You’ll find that your brand story is as important for your team as it is for your customers. A great brand story should also spark ideas for campaigns that are aligned with your purpose and help deliver a consistent narrative throughout advertising rollouts to generate leads.
When working on your brand story remember:
Credibility: Why are you qualified to sell this product?
Differentiation: Why are you different from everyone else who sells this type of product? (Be positive and truthful).
Purpose: Why are you in business? What difference or impact are you trying to make? (Be emotional if possible. People want to know that you care).
Intrigue and Personality: What makes your story worth listening to? What will appeal to the customer on a personal level?
Memorable brand stories tell the unexpected, challenge you, dare you and strike an emotional chord. They can convey your personality, share what you stand for, set expectations and communicate your values. Once you’ve created a brand your customers love they will look forward to what you will do next. 🙂