It’s in our name, because it’s absolutely integral to our work helping brands be their best. In fact, we always say that a brand without one is like a body without a soul.
We’re talking about a story.
Say a potential customer asked you, “What’s your story?” How would your answer? Would you respond by sharing the history of your brand—how it began and how it’s changed over the years? If so, you wouldn’t be the only one. When we ask our clients this question, many answer in the same way. And neither you nor they are wrong: Your history can be an essential part of your brand story. But it’s not the whole enchilada. Your brand story should be something much bigger. It should be a strategic story.
What We Mean By “Brand Story”
Brand stories aren’t marketing collateral. They aren’t sales pitches or advertisements. They’re the place where these materials begin…where your brand truly begins.
Imagine your story as the sun at the center of your company’s universe. It underpins your brand and should guide how your brand communicates with the world—at every stage and step.
Take the iconic brands Disney, Coca-Cola, and Apple as examples. Their stories are legendary, and they’ve long-realized the power stories have to help them connect with (and, thus, keep and expand) their audience.
With these companies in mind, you can see how a brand story is more than a timeline, and not a rack card or brochure. It’s the complete narrative that surrounds your company. It shares not only how you do business, but also why your brand exists and why it, in particular, can solve your customers’ problems and change their lives for the better.
In other words, it’s not just the facts about your brand, it’s the feelings created by your brand, too. Your brand story should do more than show and tell—it should evoke an emotional reaction. When it does, you’ve built the foundation for success.
Why Story? What the Science Says
We’re all drawn to stories. Remember when you were little and desperately tried to keep your eyes open as your mom or dad read to you at night, or listened intently around the campfire just waiting to be spooked?! The right brand story can hook your customers like nothing else.
Science supports this, as it turns out that stories have a physiological impact on their recipients. It’s complicated stuff, having to do with hormones and neurotransmitters, but the gist is this: Stories trigger a chain of chemical events that make them simply irresistible to us. This includes the release of oxytocin, a hormone affectionately dubbed the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone.” We become empathetically engaged, even with fictional characters.
You can look at the why this way, too: Think about the amount of data you encounter, the sheer quantity of information you take in, on a daily basis. It’s a ton, and it adds up to total chaos. Your brain wants and needs a story to make sense of it all. When your brand delivers one, you’ve found a way to rise above the noise and captivate your customer.
The How: 4 Tips for Crafting a Great Brand Story
An article in Entrepreneur magazine once shared the following four guidelines for developing a brand story—guidelines that we ascribe to here at Storypowered and that we ensure our clients’ brands convey every day:
- It’s true.
- It’s human.
- It’s original.
- It serves the customer.
Get those three big brands in your mind again. Do they meet these requirements? You betcha! In spades! For an effective brand story, strive to clearly share how your fresh, innovative brand adds value to your customer’s lives—and do so in an honest, approachable way so that they can fully relate and connect.
Even with these guidelines, we recognize it might be difficult for you to draft your brand’s story. After all, storytelling doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and it’s hard to talk about yourself. That’s okay; it’s why we’re here. We’re passionate about helping our clients create emotional messages that encourage positive perception, active engagement, and, ultimately, motivate customers to buy.
Need our help? Click here to email for a free consultation.