Quick editor’s note: As an author, you have a brand. So don’t be afraid to tell your brand’s story!
By Emma Dittmer
Today’s effective content marketing strategies revolve around the concept of storytelling. While content marketing has always been about adding value beyond selling a product or service, telling a brand’s story in a significant, meaningful way has certainly taken center stage. Consumers respond positively to a well-crafted narrative, subconsciously yearning for it. Understanding how to tell your brand’s story is crucial, a content pillar your marketing strategy has to continue to address to drive brand’s growth.
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What Is A Brand Story And Why Is It Important?
A brand story is a cohesive narrative that embodies the facts, feelings, and sentiment. Most marketers are familiar with the idea of showcasing your brand. Traditional marketing focuses on telling consumers about your brand, highlighting your product, and concentrating on the point of sale. The brand story is different. It’s about crafting a narrative that inspires an emotional response.
For some brands, the idea of crafting a narrative around how they came to be is hugely intimidating. For many, it doesn’t feel exciting to talk to customers through your journey. But, today’s consumer wants to understand it all. Your brand’s narrative exists, and you need to tell it powerfully, highlighting why customers should buy into your ethos. Think of Apple, Disney, and Google, brands whose stories have become legendary. It’s about getting customers to care about you, sparking that sense of empathy and passion for your brand as a whole. It’s the ultimate reason to believe.
What’s interesting is how many brands are missing this trick. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 B2C Content Marketing Trends report, only 52% of marketers use storytelling in their communication strategy. Telling your brand story is a missed opportunity you can’t afford to overlook.
The 3 Core Principles Of A Great Brand Story
1. Create Meaning
Today’s consumer is bombarded with content. There are a million pieces of content vying for your attention across multiple platforms. Too many brands are focused on what they think consumers want to see, what their competitors are doing, and how to push their products. What customers care about is what you stand for as a brand. If you can tell a good story that’s relevant and authentic, they’ll see you through all the clutter.
2. Make It Personal And Authentic
Customers need to feel personally connected to your story. That’s why authenticity is crucial. Remember, it’s not only about what you do as a brand and how you got to where you are. It’s about why you do what you do. Learn how to unpack your why in an open, honest, and transparent way. It’ll trigger that emotional response you’re after.
3. Keep It Simple
A common mistake brands tend to make is trying to say too much at once. Yes, your brand story is going to be multi-layered and complicated. What you decide to focus on and communicate to your consumers is the key. It’s also about how you choose to tell the story. Perhaps your product is in the Healthcare industry, and it aims to tackle a big picture problem. Maybe focusing on the narrative of one patient’s experience is the best way to get your message across. Consider how to avoid diluting your message.
How To Write Your Brand Story
1. Set The Scene
Unpack the initial nature of your situation. Think of your brand as a protagonist in this piece, looking to fix a problem. Set the scene for the initial status quo.
2. Highlight Your Story’s Conflict
Your brand was born out of a need or a want identified in your market. There should be a big-picture conflict or concern your brand aims to solve, and that’s the first step in your story.
At their core, stories are about overcoming adversity. If there’s no conflict presented, no problem, or no drama, then your story is just a list of events. It’s an essential piece of the puzzle that holds consumer attention from the outset.
Your conflict is going to disrupt your status quo. It needs to impact that initial scene you’ve outlined, making room for your brand to come in.
3. Find A Resolution
Think of your brand as the protagonist in the story. The conflict is identified, your brand is the solution, the reason everything is happy again, and the status quo is restored. The resolution gives your audience the emotional payoff they’re craving. It’s the culmination of actions that put everything right again.
Key Questions To Ask Yourself
When you embark on the journey of putting together your brand story, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to get your narrative to flow. Spend some time brainstorming with your core team, unpackaging the following:
- Who are you as a brand?
- What do you do?
- Who do you do it for?
- Why do you do it?
- How do you do it?
- What does your future look like?
Once you’ve identified the above, you can choose a format that best suits your audience. Take into account your marketing strategy and content mix, understanding which storytelling formats are most appropriate. Common picks include:
- Case Studies
- Data visualizations
- Explainer videos
- Motion graphics
- White papers
Start Storytelling Today!
Stories are inherently powerful pieces of content. Don’t get stuck in the details. Focus on your narrative as a whole, really driving home the emotional response you want to spark in your consumers. Ultimately, you want customers to buy into your purpose, really supporting your what, why, and how.
Emma Dittmer is a contributing author and Marketing Manager at UCOOK, South Africa’s leading dinner-kit service. Dedicated to sharing the knowledge she’s gathered over the years, she now writes for various publishers. Working in a start-up environment means she’s well versed in the fast-paced, exciting world of e-commerce and all things digital.