The “Brand” is the image of a company in the eyes of customers.
Definitely, all companies have a shared goal which is making profits.
But when do you exactly feel that you need to tell your brand story?
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell.” – Seth Godin.
It is a deep question to consider and answer because everyone has his own story.
But is it logical to start by the meaning or the purpose of the story?
The marketer may craft it using his super storytelling techniques which happens naturally without intention.
Whether you sell a tangible product or intangible service, it is confusing to tell exactly its story.
Sometimes, marketers may misunderstand its essence and purpose.
They could relate it only to the about or history of their business that they communicate through their various media channels and tools.
They also wonder, is the brand story the mission and the compelling statement or the slogan of their company?
- What is Brand Story?
- Why do you need to create your brand story?
- How to create your brand story?
- Examples of compelling brand stories
What is Brand Story?
Telling your brand story is a part of building your brand since it is established.
You keep building and empowering it along with your business journey that is made of collective efforts.
It is a mix of your successes, wins, challenges, and struggles and therefore, it is your way to communicate your brand message.
So, it is not just for startups or titan brands.
Although there is no single definition for brand storytelling that marketers and thought leaders agree on, it can be defined as:
“Using a narrative to connect your brand to customers, with a focus on linking what you stand for to the values you share with your customers.”
The essential factors to build your brand story
As the purpose of your product or service is to ease the life of your customers, your brand story should be customer-centric too.
Customers are the heroes behind all the powerful and authentic stories.
Your brand should act like a guide who has specific traits and values that you believes in.
So by this combination, you will be able to form a story that is significant and expressive.
It doesn’t have to be a long-form story, you can start with your slogan.
3 words can be your fuel, to start showing off your identity and to begin your own story.
Why do you need to create your brand story?
Because storytelling is your key to send messages directly to the heart and also to stimulate brain activity.
In your life, you are exposed to different storytellers who may be your lecturer, a coach or a speaker in public event.
Sometimes you could forget a speaker’s name or his personal profile.
But if his talk is powerful enough, you hardly forget what he made you feel, the idea, cause or purpose that he was representing.
“When we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well.” –Rachel Gillett.
Research shows the impact of stories as following:
- They are 22 times more memorable than facts.
- They light up sensory cortex in the brain.
- Stories bring ideas and emotions together.
The benefit of creating a brand story
To evoke emotions
It is well known that the effect of emotions is higher than the effect of logic.
The consumer can consume your brand experience, using his 5 senses of feeling, hearing, tasting, and even smelling to get your story.
So stories are the bridge for the human to human connection between brand and its potential customers and loyal fans.
To make your human touch.
The story allows you to differentiate yourself, using your identity and message and finally giving them your powerful voice.
In a highly competitive market, if you tell a story about why you exist, it allows you to stand out from the crowd.
It is a need, it forms your brand positive memories with consumers, to increase your visibility and gain more customers, so as to enjoy a higher profit.
You have to engage with your fan base, to know what your brand means to them.
Your brand story helps you in building your offline community, which will serve your public relations strategy and your online community or fans, to finally get more loyal customers.
To satisfy the need of people for recognition.
People need to belong to a group, to share with them common interests or characteristics.
For example, Apple and Tesla are huge brands who played it well.
Apple represents innovation and risk-takers while Tesla represents going green, supporting, and saving our planet.
To create an emotional connection with your employees
Your story is the energizer for your employees, as they need to be satisfied on their personal and professional levels.
This will happen if they know where they stand and what will be their future contributions and added value.
let them know your future strategy and goals and they will take place in promoting it.
How to create your brand story?
“People buy People”.
This should be your guideline when you start brainstorming to write your story.
It is all about being a “social brand”.
Because you can’t sell your goals without humanizing your brand, to attract new customers and to build a strong relationship with the existing one.
Start from your origin
To communicate your added value to your niche market, you should refer to the backstory of your brand.
Start by stating: Who you are?
What are your vision, mission, and goals?
In order to tell them about the inspiration that pushed you to establish your company and reason for the uniqueness of your product or service.
In a nutshell, What is the value or the “Why” that makes your an original and authentic brand?
Take into consideration the buyer’s journey
Customers now are educated, their buying decision is based on research and reviews and not just the word of mouth marketing.
In order to communicate your message, convert leads into customers and finally turn them into loyal fans.
Leverage the scene through powerful content marketing
Each channel and page is an opportunity for you to share your stories.
Stories can be formed in the website content, about page, products pages, interviews, guest posts, social media channels, and email marketing.
You may go further step and get empowered by “customers reviews” and reap the benefit of “user-generated content”, to promote your brand organically through your advocates.
Remember: the successful story is the one that engages and delights the customers who share the same values of your brand.
Define your target audience
To create powerful and consistent message in your content marketing effort, you have to determine the cross-sectional area between you and your buyer persona.
Start by the demographics.
- determine your audience age, location, income, and interests.
- Set their goals and their challenges and summarize your results in one or more buyer persona.
- Collect each useful information and analyze them, well to know their behavior to be able to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time.
Analyze your current audience against your competitor audience.
You can use social media listening tools, to understand your brand sentiment across digital marketing channels.
To get the best mix out of your ingredients, you should also learn and analyze the story of other brands.
Keep the human interaction
Also, they should personalize this engagement with your audience on a deeper level to satisfy, delight, and build long relationships with them.
Due to the advanced technology and automation services provided through digital communication, people miss the human touch.
So the community managers can extend your “Social” story by some activations and competition.
Examples of compelling brand stories
“The stories we wear” is the statement of Patagonia’s story that it shares with their customers.
So, customers of Patagonia are part of the brand story as they buy their products.
Patagonia sells high-quality clothes that are “worn wear” but what does that mean?
This means that clothes stay long and also can be repaired and recycled.
They celebrate the stories of their customers; clothes that are worn wear.
Their goal is to make people buy fewer clothes, in order to reduce waste and to support and save our nature and the planet.
2. Cadbury dairy milk
Cadbury is launching a new campaign in the UK, to raise awareness about the old people who suffer from loneliness.
This campaign is based on the packaging.
There is no logo or brand name ”Cadbury” on this new cover, just the glass! so it depends heavily on their branding and positioning of their classical color in the market.
The goal of this campaign is to encourage people to speak to old aged ones who could stay a whole week without speaking to anyone.
It also aims to donate to old age people in the UK by 30p from this bar.
Why Cadbury made this kind of marketing?
This story is not related to the quality of the chocolate itself.
It highlights the common social responsibility that people in the UK society should take part in.
Because people buy products from companies that are human, cares about them and so, it seeks to make a positive impact and not just to make profit.
At 2016, Ikea has made an SEO campaign in Sweden for its retail therapy website.
When people used google to find out an answer for their search queries, that are about relationships and how to solve their problems, they found Ikea’s products in the search results.
Ikea has renamed 100 products that solve those problems and added them on their website.
It aims to get closer to people using humor.
It made this campaign to evoke their emotions so they remember the Ikea brand when taking their buying decision.
- “Frying pan”: How to Stay Married.
- “Single bed”: My Partner Snores.
- “Bicycle”: Ate too many Swedish Meatballs.
- “Dishwasher”: My Girl Won’t Do these Dishes.
- “3-ports USB charger”: He Doesn’t Text Me Back.
- “Dressing Table with Mirror”: My Friend Only Talks About Himself.
- “Lantern”: My Boyfriend Doesn’t See Me.
At 2015, Ikea has launched “improve your private life” Shelf Help Guru campaign In Singapore.
Ikea also promoted it across social media channels.
This campaign targets customers who want to illustrate Ikea’s furniture solutions through the funny story of “shelf discovery” in their bathrooms and bedrooms.
Social Media role in Ikea’s Campaign
Ikea took their story to social media channels to generate interaction and engagement.
They had made a contest and asked their fans to ask this guru a question about how to improve their bathrooms and bedrooms for a chance to win $50.
Their community managers responded to each comment using shelf help guru fun memes and recommended certain products as they inserted a link to Ikea’s products page.
Ikea has linked its online campaigns with a moderation strategy to form a complete and successful story which created an emotional connection with their customers.
4. Old Spice
Old Spice is a company that sells Antiperspirant.
Despite being somehow shameful product, it had succeeded in crafting its interactive story.
To make a connection with their audience, it made downloadable ringtone for men.
It also has used the power of content marketing, to provide helpful and educational content for moms who have sons in the adolescence stage.
“A good story makes you feel something and is universal. They want to grasp your values and your commitment to excellence; be inspired and intrigued. Storytelling is the most powerful way to convey these ideas.”
–Mark Truby, Vice President of Communications, Ford Motor Company.
Behind every sustaining and successful brand, there is an entrepreneur or business owner who has an empowering story that worth spreading.
The clever marketer should search for the elements and factors that form that brand.
Because it is not just about the logo or the slogan, it is a great mix of beliefs and values flavored by struggles that made the why of the company.
Hold your company’s brief and stick to it to get the recipe, the connection between the customers and your brand, to form your powerful brand story.