The Importance of Brand Story & How to Effectively Tell It
Brand Story & How to Effectively Tell It
As a new business or even a struggling existing business, it’s often difficult to make a mark in a competitive industry. Today there are so many companies offering so many products that it’s almost impossible to bring really unique products and services to the market.
Even if you find a way to create something unique or that stands out from your competitors, it may not be enough to push you into the leading position in your market. This is because it’s difficult to make customers switch their preferences from things they already know, even though what you’re offering is superior.
When you look at really successful companies, especially in highly competitive markets, you really won’t see significant differences in what is being offered. Instead, what you will see is how the company portrays itself and what kind of story it’s telling about the company and the products it offers.
You even find large companies that will create multiple identifies to tell different stories to attract different kinds of customers. However, you’re effectively getting the same thing no matter which identity from the company you go with.
Customers want to connect with the companies they buy from. Whether that’s because you pus the narrative that you’re an environmentally-conscious company that uses recycled materials and sustainable locally sourced ingredients, or because you’re an exciting company with energetic spokespeople showcasing how using your product helps you do all these amazing things. To showcase what your company is about and bring in the type of customers you want, you need to create your brands’ story and an effective way to communicate that to potential customers.
What Is Brand Story?
Many people believe that your brand’s story is just something that evolves, your history, your products, and everything you’ve done up to that point. While you can use these things in your brand story, that isn’t what we’re talking about and isn’t what will drive customers to you and keep them as committed and loyal fans of your brand.
The standard definition of a brand story is the narrative about your company, what you offer, how you make people feel, and an aspect of your marketing of how you’re trying to portray the company.
The entire point of your brand story is to bring out an emotional reaction to your company and the products or services it offers. So you’re trying to connect with customers on a personal level and not just provide a product they can buy. Many things can influence your brand story, and it’s not something you can entirely control, though you can undoubtedly point it in the direction you want. Some of the significant things that set your brand’s story are;
How You Portray The Company
A significant factor in your brand story is the marketing and advertising you put out into the world. How are you trying to showcase your brand, is it a fun and energetic company, or is it a serious product or service.
The adverts you use and the spokespeople you hire are a significant factor in how people see your brand. The spokespeople you hire are vital as you’ll be borrowing some of their brands as your own.
Even the packaging you use and the in-store experience customers have plays a part in your brand story. If you’re an online-only business, then your website would be the “in-store experience.”
Another big factor is the values you as a company have or whether you show any specific values at all. If you pick and push certain values, you attract customers with the same but can alienate customers with different values
Your People and Your History
Brands will often try to rebrand to change the narrative of the company. This can be due to major scandals, poor products, or other issues from the past that may have come back up.
Even the top people in the company or just the employees themselves can play a factor. This is why you see CEOs being replaced or employees being fired. Something they’ve done has or could harm the companies brand.
The actual products you are selling play a significant factor in your brand story. If people already have ideas about products, this can play a part in how they think of your company.
Are your products expensive, are they made locally, are they good for the environment at all, do they last a long time? Even the type of product or service, if there is a typical brand story with your competitors, you may be taking on existing ideas about what you are.
Where Is Your Company Based?
You may not always have a choice in where your company is based. However, it plays a part in your brand story, for good or bad. Your country or even town’s reputation plays a role in your brand story.
You can decide on what city to base yourself in and even move as your company grows or needs to change. For example, are you a tech company based out of silicon valley, or are you based in New Zealand? Both locations offer you a slightly different brand story.
What Are People Saying About You?
You can’t totally control what people say about your company or even who decides to use and talk about your products or services. You can direct people to use your product, but that is never guaranteed.
With the rise in social media, what people say, and how much that influences your brand has become critical. You can quickly gain popularity through social media. Still, at the same time, any issues or problems can sweep through social media and damage or even destroy your brand story, which is often where rebrands come into the picture.
Why Is Your Brand Story Important?
Having a brand story isn’t something new. Still, people are becoming increasingly disinterested in traditional advertising, so driving your brand story and engagement with your customers is essential to continue thriving as a business.
Let’s dive into some specific points on why your brand story is important
Stand Out From Your Competitors Offering the Same Product
Whether you offer a unique product, way of doing things, or something else that technically makes you stand out from your competitors, customers are still drawn to brands they know and love. This could be due to childhood memories or just being used to a particular brand, and it’s tough to break into markets.
If you can provide more transparency and information about your company and the products you offer, you can potentially switch customers over to your brand
Customers love learning about brands, where they came from, their values, and even who the leaders are in the business. So if you have a good brand story to highlight all of these features and provide the information to customers easily, it can draw them in if they like what they hear. This allows you to showcase any added benefits of your company, why it’s better, and why customers should choose you over competitors.
Making Connections With Your Customers
Making connections with your customers and showing the behind the-scenes operations of your business is a way to make customers trust your brand. People like to interact with other people and not large nameless corporations.
Putting faces to and sharing information on your leaders, how your company operates, and making a real connection with your customers puts you in a better position when customers have to choose which product to buy.
Should your customers buy from a nameless brand they know little about aside from that fact they are just money to the business, or should they buy from a company that showcases what it’s about, cares about customers and employees, and offers
the same or better product? You’ll almost always find customers want to connect with the brands that sell the products they buy.
Attract The Customers You Want
Writing your brand story allows you to showcase the values that your company has. What you believe in, how you treat people, and if you take accountability for your actions.
Similar to connecting with people, people want to know that the brands they support have similar values and treat customers, employees, and everyone in the way that the customer also feels it should be done.
By pushing a specific brand story, you attract customers that you believe fit your brand and want as customers. Not just because they will give you money, but having loyal and enthusiastic customers for your product helps promote your brand.
It’s also an opportunity to promote yourself to larger entities that may want to work with you. This includes other companies with similar values who wish to use your services or even stock your products.
Communicate What You Can Offer
Without a brand story, you are often just competing on the products you offer and the price. So unless you want to continuously lower prices or keep developing brand new unique products, a brand story will help you showcase your business value
Showcasing your value against competitors lets you compete and grow without fighting it out over who can offer the lowest price. You can show customers what your product will help them solve, what they will specifically get with your product, any other valueadded features your product offers.
Find why you’re unique or a better fit for customers to help them decide to choose you over any other company.
Take Control Of the Narrative
Whether you want a brand story or not, you have one. So taking active approach to how your brand story develops is essential to operating as a successful company.
You can nudge what people think about you and even what they’re saying to other people about your brand by writing your own story. Without a directed approach, you can have misconceptions and even totally false information about you out in the world, damaging your brand significantly.
You should be putting your best foot forward, so all information is accurate about you, any issues that start to arise can be addressed and not flow out of proportion, and so that you can direct the right people towards your brand to help it grow.
How Do You Effectively Tell Your Brand Story?
If you’re interested in being an active participant in your brand story, you’ll need to plan and implement a number of effective strategies. You may be concerned that you’ll cause issues with being too transparent or alienating customers, but no matter what, the story is getting written, so you should be taking control.
How you tell your brand story will be through the communication channels you have open, which includes emails, your website, adverts, stores, and anything else that customers can interact with and see. You’ll also be telling it through your actions as a company, so what you do vs. what you’re saying.
Below we’re providing some effective ideas on directing your brand story and what you should be thinking about.
What Is Your Brand?
What is the purpose of your company, and why does it exist? This can often be the core of what you put forward as your brand story. In most cases, your purpose wasn’t specifically to make money; this is just a great byproduct of your business and working in general.
Was the business started due to a passion from the founder? Was it to solve a problem in a better way than others were currently doing? Does the original purpose still hold true?
You need to understand and then promote what your brand is about, what you stand for, and your goal as a business.
While you shouldn’t flip flop, if you are an existing business that wants to change its brand story, you can certainly do that with a rebranding. Change how people perceive you based on your new ideals. Just don’t flip flop every year into a new brand, or your flipflopping will become part of your brand story.
Who Are Your Customers?
Knowing who your customers are or who you want them to be is as important as understanding yourself as a company. You can’t build an authentic brand story without acknowledging your customers and their beliefs, what they want in a product, and who they are as real people
While being general as a brand opens up a wider audience, that audience will be less passionate about your product. It will be more challenging to bring in loyal customers. It also means everything else you do is watered down. How do you set values when you’re trying to be too general.
Review what you’ve done in the past. What marketing initiates have done well and what have done poorly. This can start to show what your customers like about your brand. It can also be true with your products; which are your best products and which do the poorest? This can help direct where to focus your energies and even marketing.
Get Rid Of Things That Don’t Resonate With Your Customers
Whether it’s products, services, or just what you’re talking about, get rid of anything that doesn’t resonate with your customers and try to narrow down what you do. Unless you’re a marketplace like Amazon, having too many products you’re trying to be the authority or market leader on will water down everything else.
As you grow larger, it may be possible to add new things in but trying to stretch yourself out on numerous different things will make it hard for you until you’re established.
Once you have your core expertise, you can work on your messaging and what you’re putting out as your brand story. You will be able to showcase yourself as the leader or expert in a specific field, rather than competing to be an overall authority in a larger market with more competitors.
Find Your Story
What is your brand story actually going to be about? Did somebody found your company with a lofty goal or fantastic idea? You can put this forward as the driving force behind what the company is doing and why there is so much passion.
Otherwise, is your company dedicated to changing how an industry operates—providing environmentally friendly, sustainable, and recycled products in some way that separates you from the competition.
Your brand story doesn’t need to be one thing, especially if the founding wasn’t particularly exciting or noteworthy. You can set multiple stories within your brand, similar to how the larger corporations drive brand stories across numerous markets. You should, however, have overall values or something that connects each of your stories or initiatives.
Simplicity Is Key
Keep the ideas behind your brand story simple, easy to understand, and follow along with. When initially trying to introduce your brand, you don’t want customers becoming confused about what you’re talking about or what you as a company are
You also don’t want people to spend too much time trying to understand your brand story. This can result in people just giving up trying to understand you lose the whole point of creating the brand story.
Your goal is to draw customers in with a simple emotional connection to you as a company.
Keep Communication On Brand
Ensure that your entire organisation is on the same page with your brand message. You should not be operating, designing products, or putting messages out to the public that isn’t On Brand.
You need to live an authentic brand message and not just use it as a temporary marketing strategy to pull in a new sector of customers. If you are not authentic and live up to your brand messaging, that will start being included in your brand story.
Use Powerful Imagery
Your brand story needs powerful imagery to help connect people to your brand. Images make it faster and easier for people to see what your brand is about. This means high-quality pictures and videos with your brand messaging backing it up.
If you’re talking to your customers about sustainable, environmentally friendly products, you should have imagery showing your processing facilities or the farms from which you get your ingredients. This starts to connect your customers to how you do things, and it gives them a behind-the-scenes look at your company.
Customers want to know and see that what they’re buying comes from good places that they would feel comfortable with. So strong imagery is essential in your communications.
It would be ideal for this type of work to outsource to a professional photographer or videographer specialising in corporate and industrial work. They should understand what kinds of images are important and best to include in your overall brand story
Angelo Velardo offers these services and the expertise to use powerful and highly effective imagery to help grow your brand story.