Your Brand Story isn’t just your history, your CEO’s story, your company financials and stats, or anything like that.
Any of those aspects can effectively be part of it, but an actual Brand Story is so much more.
It’s about inspiring emotion and forming your audience’s beliefs and responses to your brand as a living thing with its own living tale.
And it has everything to do with your audience—how they feel and what they believe about your brand, based on the signals your brand sends.
The Brand Story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings, and interpretations. It goes beyond the copy on a website, the text in a brochure, or the presentation used to pitch investors.
More importantly, the effectiveness of your Brand Story isn’t just what you tell people, it’s how it’s told.
Your Brand’s Character.
Just like in a story, your brand has a certain character. As the narrator of the story, you’re typically going to be the hero (or anti-hero) of your own story. As a character, how do you navigate the world through life, especially in tense situations? The way your character handles change is what inspires (or repels) your audience. For example, is it in your brand’s character to use stealth power or brute force to lead others? Do you use your analytical mind or your vulnerable heart to overcome defeat? Or, are you ego-obsessed or more spiritually grounded? There are no absolutes when it comes to character. Rather, there are distinctions in one’s character. Bring these distinctions forward when telling your Brand Story.
Create a Narrative.
Storytelling is the most powerful element of your Brand Story. Think about the distance between describing Grey’s Anatomy as “it’s about people in a hospital” and an enthusiastic fan describing major plot points and long-running character developments that help to explain why it is that this person is so enthusiastic about the show. Think of this person as your client or customer: this is exactly why you want to provide thoughts, feelings, and beliefs for them to pass along. Another pro tip when it comes to narrative is start in the middle of the story. Why? This pulls people right into the story. You can certainly back track and explain the background context for the story, but some of the best stories start in the middle.
You’re not the only one who will be telling your Brand Story. When you share your story in a powerful and meaningful way that connects with your target audiences, they’re more likely going to share your story with others. Think of enrolling others to be guest speakers of your brand. Word of mouth carries more weight than a pristine website or fancy marketing campaign. Social media never sleeps, and your brand has its own 24-hour news cycle. People are out there constantly engaging with your brand, whether you realize it or not. Rather than leaving it to chance to tell your story, taking the time to articulate and share your Brand Story is essential.