Stop Selling, Start Telling: Creative Ways to Build Your Brand Story
Stories have always been the medium through which humans connected, strangers became friends and generations evolved. In a business setting, a brand story offers a platform to bond with your audience; it offers pathways for these audiences to feel, experience and see your business for what it is.
Bernadette Jiwa, author of The Fortune Cookie Principle, offers a compelling definition of a brand story. She states “a brand story is more than a narrative. It goes beyond the copy on your website, the text in a brochure or the presentations used to pitch to investors. The story is a complete picture of facts, feelings, interpretations, which means that part of your story isn’t even told by you.”
Here’s how to create a persuasive brand story:
Explain your reason for being in business
While the bottom line is important, there is more to business than just making money and this is what your audience wants to know. What are you in business for?
Your brand story should be built to address this fundamental question to gain customers’ trust in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Engage customers at a deeper level
In one study conducted across hundreds of brands in multiple categories, researchers found that building an emotional connection with customers was the most effective way to maximize customer value and can be a source of firm profitability and growth.
Building an emotional connection with your audience means tapping into their desire to succeed in life, feel a sense of belonging and feel secure. Tell your story in a way that appeals to emotional motivators that remind your customers that you relate to them and understand them.
Tell your story everywhere
As Jiwa put it, your story does not end at your website or company brochure. Infuse every interaction you have with your customers and among internal teams with your brand story. Whether you are tweeting or writing a blog post, take this as an opportunity to convey your brand story.
For your story to be told everywhere, you need other people. Loop your customers in and encourage them to not only buy in to your story but to also tell and spread the story. Whether they do it through testimonials, product reviews or brand mentions, integrate these stories into your marketing arsenal to reinforce brand awareness, loyalty and trust.
Integrate your authentic voice and visual language
Part of what makes a story resonate with the audience is personality and authenticity. It’s what makes brands such as Warby Parker, Patagonia and Apple so engaging to their audiences.
Authentic voice and visual language represent your company culture—the unique way that team members relate with each other, the language used at the company, the vibe espoused by the business. It also includes the logo, color palette, iconography, photography and the entire design system that provides a visual representation of your brand.
When these elements are used well, they bring your story to life; they infuse it with meaning, make it memorable and build a robust connection with your customers.
Why is a brand story so important you ask? If you want to gain trust, brand loyalty and sustainable business, you will need more than just a tag line; you will need a solid story.
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