Each brand is a story. The question is, what kind of story is your brand telling?
Is your brand telling a clear, compelling, and intentional story that creates trust with your customers? Or is your brand suggesting a confusing, muddled story?
Or—worst of all—is your brand unintentionally telling a story that’s keeping customers away?
When many people think of branding, they instinctively think of logos and graphic design. But the visual aspect of your brand is merely one component, and it’s not even the most important part. The story your brand tells has the single biggest impact on how people feel toward your business, for better or for worse.
In a way, your brand is your story—a story that everything else, from your social media content to your web design, should be reinforcing. When your products, employees, and marketing are all serving the same message, your brand’s story will be coherent and powerful.
Of course, not all brand stories are created equal. How can you improve your brand story to make sure it’s the best it can be?
That’s what this article will attempt to answer. Keep reading to find out how.
Why Your Brand Needs a Powerful Story
What is a brand story?
Although your brand’s story can encompass a wide range of information about your brand, at its core, it’s about how your brand came to be and what it intends to do. It’s the origin story for your business that also points to the future with a vision of what it eventually wants to be. Like all good stories, a strong brand story tells its audience what it’s all about in a way that’s exciting and relatable.
But why are brand stories so important? After all, you could simply tell people about your product, and that should be enough to convince them to buy from you, right?
However, without a good story, all your brand can do is give people information about your product or service. And while people need information, especially when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision, what they want is to get caught up in a big story. They want to appreciate your mission and message at an emotional level, not simply learn about your product’s features.
Your story should be something that customers can see themselves being a part of. It needs to have a beginning, middle, and end, but it also needs to be about your audience. It needs to show how they can help change the world by being a part of your business’s story.
When you tell a potential customer about your product, all they have to decide is whether they need it or not. Without that immediate need, they’ll probably move on without thinking about it further. But when you tell your audience the story of your brand, they’ll want to stay along for the ride, even if they may not need your product right now.
The Brand Story Template
Does crafting a good brand story that excites customers sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be. Telling your brand’s story can be as simple as the following three steps:
- Explain the problem you set out to solve with your business
- Describe the breakthrough moment when you solved the problem
- Elaborate on the success the solution produced and emphasize how it can change your customer’s life in the future
As you can see, when you approach telling your brand’s story in this way, it will have a beginning, middle, and end—like most good stories do. But it isn’t just good storytelling—it’s a logical progression of events that provides an enticing narrative for customers to follow. And by making the last part about the customer, you’ll be directly inviting them to take part in your brand’s story by purchasing from you.
If you wanted to, you could make each section of your brand’s story quite long and detailed. But for most purposes, this is something you should avoid. This template’s strength lies in its simplicity, so it’s important to keep the story you write with it simply as well.
While each of the three parts is integral to a good brand story, the most critical element is the ending. When you write the third and final part of your brand’s story, you’ll want to avoid making it feel like a real ending. Rather, it should be open-ended enough to focus on the future and feel like a new beginning.
You want to use your story to give potential customers a vision of how their lives could be improved by your business. It should inspire them, but above all, it should invite them to join you.
How to Craft Your Brand Story
Now that you’ve learned about the template you’ll be using to craft your brand’s story, let’s dive into some specific things you’ll need to do to get started. Although the classic three-act story structure is very simple, the process that surrounds it can be harder to get right. By remembering the following tips, you’ll be able to write a story that not only gets your point across but gets remembered.
Dial-in on Why Your Brand Exists
What’s the most important part of your brand’s story?
It isn’t your customer or your product. It isn’t even the third section of the three-part structure where you invite people to join your mission.
Instead, the most important part of your story is the problem you’re trying to solve. This is what gives your business its mission in the first place, and it’s the part that potential customers need to relate with if they’re ever going to buy from you. Solving that problem is your brand’s reason for being.
Because it’s so important to the rest of your story, you should spend some time dialing in on exactly what problem your brand exists to solve. Go into detail exploring why what you do is important, and how you’re changing the world for the better. These details won’t all make it into your story, but they’ll help inform it.
Relate to Your Customers
It’s not enough to tell a story about something that you care about. To make it a story that others will connect with and remember, it has to be about what your customers care about. This is what will make it a relatable story.
Remember that your story isn’t about your company. Your company exists to fill an important role, but your story is about your customers. Make sure your story shows customers that you relate to them, understand them, and have things in common with them.
Infuse Personality Into Your Story
A good brand story doesn’t read like a marketing message. It also shouldn’t sound like a business description. Instead, it needs to carry the personality of the person who wrote it or the collective spirit of the people who work at your business.
Keep in mind that people don’t enjoy stories that are cold, corporate-like, or rigid. When someone enjoys a novel or movie, it’s because they appreciate and relate to the (often flawed) characters in the story. They may even appreciate the personality of the person writing or narrating the story.
To leverage this in your story, make sure it has a “human” sound and feel to it. Don’t let it sound like something a computer could have written.
Remember the Brand Story Template
By this time, you’re probably getting excited about all the ways your brand’s story can impact your customers and boost your business. But as you’re learning about new tips and tactics for telling your story, it can be tempting to spread out your story in different directions. After all, you don’t want to leave out any of the exciting details about your company.
But it’s important to resist the temptation to include too much in your story. As you brainstorm ideas for your brand’s story, remember that you’ll need to fit them all into the three-step template we gave you earlier. You don’t need to share a comprehensive history of your business—just a brief beginning, middle, and end.
Keep Your Brand Story Simple
Similar to the above point, remember that simplicity is key. We already mentioned this when we discussed the story template earlier, but it’s worth repeating. The whole point of telling your brand’s story is to be memorable, but if your story is too complex, people will have a hard time remembering it.
If you’ve effectively dialed into the singular problem you set out to solve with your business, then you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping the rest of your story simple. Keep the main thing the main thing, and don’t get distracted from your brand’s purpose to talk about clever anecdotes or unnecessary tangents. Focus on what problem you set out to solve, how you solved it, and what it means for your customers.
Surround Your Story With a Community
One of the biggest reasons for creating a great brand story is to give people a way to connect with your mission and relate to your journey. It’s about creating an idea that others can identify with and support.
But telling your story is only the beginning. You should also foster a community around your brand that people want to be a part of.
People crave two things: a purpose bigger than themselves and a group to be a part of. Your story provides the purpose, and your community is the group where potential customers can feel like they’ll belong.
After you’ve defined your story, prioritize finding advocates to be early supporters of your brand. Then give them ways to support and connect.
Get Others to Tell Your Story for You
Have you started to wonder why we keep reemphasizing the importance of keeping your story simple? This is one reason: so that other people can tell your story for you.
Rather than doing all the talking yourself, ask some of your existing customers to talk about your business and tell its story for you. Connect with your social media audience or email list and ask for video submissions from your existing fan base. You can give them a few bullet points to help them cover your brand’s story, but they should do it in their own words, and they should focus on what your brand means to them personally.
You can incentivize participation by offering prizes or a giveaway contest for those who submit videos. Along the way, you’ll not only get some valuable promotional material, but you’ll also gain enormous insight into the people your brand impacts already.
Each Brand Is a Story, Including Yours
As you can see, a great brand and story are integral to building a business that keeps customers coming back. Anyone can sell a product, but it takes building an intentional brand to stick in the minds of customers for the long term. By improving your brand’s story, you can make your business unforgettable.
One of your brand’s most powerful storytellers is your website and app design. Nizek offers these services to make sure every interaction with your brand is top-tier.
Each brand is a story. Make sure yours is a great one by working with Nizek today.