There’s nothing as powerful and impacting as stories for humanity. All our knowledge, culture, and understanding of our world have been passed down as stories.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that stories are what makes humans more human. Maybe this is why it was humans that evolved into the top species of Earth. All because we could tell stories.
The world of business is no stranger to brand storytelling. Marketers have dreamt of creating brand stories that ferry brands through decades.
A good brand story will always drive more growth than any marketing campaign. The only difficulty is that good brand storytelling isn’t easy. Sure social media listening tools can help you learn what your peers have been cooking up, but that isn’t enough.
Most don’t know the formula to building a good brand story. A few understand, and even fewer succeed at it. Why so? Stories are not driven by data but by storytelling and emotions.
In this blog, I shall introduce you to the formula of good brand storytelling. You can then have a fair shot at creating a good brand story for yourself.
But first, let’s get to the basics!
Table of Contents
What is a Brand Story?
A brand story is a comprehensive narrative that tells your audience why your brand exists, how it came to be, what it aspires to become, and what all it is doing to achieve it.
The main objective of brand storytelling is to establish a connection with the audience that runs deeper than just a customer-vendor relationship. A good brand story is what gets people emotionally invested in a brand. Without it, we wouldn’t have people who were loyal to brands and advocated for them.
It allows brands to build communities around themselves. These communities bring multiple types and levels of benefits to a brand.
Let’s discuss all the benefits of having a Brand Storytelling then, shall we?
Why Do You Need Brand Storytelling?
To put it simply, every existence is backed by a story. Be it a business or a person, everyone has a story and without it, your existence loses its meaning.
Telling your brand story to the world has many benefits, which is why it is one of the top content marketing trends. Let’s check the benefits of brand storytelling then, shall we?
1. Let’s You Stand Out
A lot of people have turned to entrepreneurship in recent years. While that is a good thing, it means you’re competing with more people now.
If you want to grow, you need to stand out from the competition. Good brand storytelling helps you achieve that. You will be able to be more appealing to your audience.
The level of distinction and uniqueness that brand storytelling can get you is simply not possible with anything else. If you want to stand out, create a compelling brand story!
2. Humanizes Your Brand
It’s not uncommon for businesses to completely forget about being a human. Many businesses end up being driven by profits and growth figures only.
This approach is never feasible for the long term. Brands such as Omega, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Disney, etc., wouldn’t exist today if they followed this approach.
Good brand storytelling adds human qualities to your brand. Every time we think of Disney and how it made our childhood happy. It’s almost as if Disney is some childhood friend of ours.
3. Let’s You Establish Trust
Thanks to all the rampant malpractices, consumers find it difficult to trust brands. This can become a major hindrance to your business growth.
Good brand storytelling can help you overcome this hurdle. How? A brand story will help your audiences get to know and understand your brand better. It adds a personal touch and knowing someone trustworthy further amps up credibility.
When your audience knows what you do, why you do it, and what values drive you, it becomes easy for them to trust you and buy from you.
4. Communicates Your Values
Be it an individual or a brand, one’s value defines who one is. Communicating values is difficult to do directly. You can mention values such as sustainability, empathy, social responsibility, etc., but it won’t have much effect.
Conveying your brand values through a story is quite effective though. People read and watch stories to learn values and morals. Thus, you can put forth your brand values through your brand storytelling and people will automatically associate those with your brand.
Look at what Apple does. It’s very easy to associate minimalism, ease of use, premium products, and a seamless user experience with them. Thanks to their powerful brand storytelling.
5. Create an Emotional Connect
The digital age has made the world a more connected place, but that’s just on the surface. Let alone brands, even people are having trouble connecting to one another.
A good brand story will help a business put forth its values and itself. When a story resonates with the audience, they find it easier to connect emotionally with a brand.
Consider Apple, Sony’s Playstation, or Nintendo. They were able to connect with their audience emotionally. You’ve seen the long queues for PlayStation 5, the latest iPhones, and Nintendo Switch, right? That’s what good brand storytelling earns you!
I’m sure I have you convinced about the need for a brand story by now. So let’s get to the part where I guide you about developing a brand story!
7 Proven Ways to Develop a Brand Story
Storytelling might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, no one knows your business better than you. In fact, that makes you the best person to narrate a brand story for your business.
Here are 7 ways that will make it easy for you to develop a good brand story:
1. Understand Why Your Brand Exists
I know many of us have a question mark on our own existences. However, it shouldn’t be so for your business at least. Most businesses primarily exist to earn profits and wealth for the business owners, but then everyone knows this, don’t they?
The reason for your business’s existence should be something substantial. It should add value to the world and the lives of its customers.
Consider Spotify, why does it exist? To make it simple for people to listen to and discover new songs. Their music suggestions and “There’s a playlist for that” campaign depict how well they do it.
Similarly, you should understand why your business exists. Use that reason as the foundation to build your brand story.
2. Understand How You Solve Problems and Create Value
At the end of the day, you’re still a business. Selling products, earning profits, and growing revenue matter. However, you don’t have to be in their face with it.
You can always tell a story about how you understood that your audience is facing a problem. Continue telling them how it inspired you to come up with a solution.
Help your audience understand what values they will gain by purchasing your products. Do all of this through a story.
Consider Netflix, they knew people didn’t want advertisements and wanted to watch what they felt like watching. So that’s what they offered, on-demand ad-free entertainment. For a price, of course, but look at how well that worked.
3. Understand Your Brand’s Vision
Similar to an individual’s aspirations and dreams, those of a brand matter too. People are easily invested in stories where the lead overcomes all the odds and archives his dream. It’s not so different for businesses as well.
You need to have a long-term vision. It needs to be realistic and grand. People will put faith in your vision and join you in your journey as customers.
Knowing where you want to take your brand and showing it to your audience through brand storytelling is rewarding.
Look at SpaceX, they wanted to create reusable rockets and put a man on Mars. Their brand story made people believe in them, and they’ve already made it halfway there.
4. Create a Relatable Premise
When it comes to stories, movies, or even jokes, people tend to remember the ones they relate the most to. A certain degree of familiarity reigns supreme when it comes to storytelling. People find familiarity comforting and tend to hesitate less when buying.
By creating a brand story that your target audience relates to, you’re increasing the chances of converting them into customers.
Look at this example from Slack. They took something relatable to their target audience and used it to tell a compelling story to market themselves.
You need to ensure that your brand story is grounded and doesn’t overdo it. You can create a relatable premise and showcase how your product solves or makes that situation even better.
5. Consider the Audience’s Perspective
It is the audience who will always matter at the end of the day when it comes to your brand story. With the business world moving towards customer-centric marketing, looking at things from their perspective has become necessary.
Make sure you’re not overdoing anything. Be it promises, optimism, ambitions, or anything else. It’s quite easy to get carried away when you’re narrating your brand story.
In this example by Airbnb, they are narrating an experience that a customer may have. Highlighting a customer’s perspective makes it easy for the customer to understand the value being offered.
Also, ensure you don’t sound too sales-focused. Remember that this is a brand story and not an advertisement. You can even use a social listening tool to understand what experiences people have with your brand,
6. Be Creative in Storytelling
Even though it’s a brand story, it still is a story of some kind. You have to entertain the readers a bit. Thus, take some liberty and spice things up a notch without going overboard.
Make sure you incorporate humor and stay grounded at all times. You can mention other brands and competitors but make sure you’re considerate with anything you say or claim about them.
Narrate the story in such a way that the readers are left visualizing the entire premise. Stories are meant to be lived through in our minds. So make sure you narrate a story that leaves a reader feeling positive in every way possible.
You can also use a social media collaboration tool so all the creative people in your firm can work on the brand story together.
7. Keep It Simple Yet Stimulating
This sounds easier than it is. Storytelling is an art form, and very few are actually good at it. If you follow all the 6 points stated above without keeping it simple, the brand story will simply not work.
Having an amazing story to tell will only work when all of your audience understands it. So try keeping it simple yet impressive. The story also needs to stimulate different emotions within the audience.
Intel did two things here, they took a page from history and told a story about computers and highlighted the contribution of women in the world of computer technology.
A story that has emotional depth and can stimulate a person mentally is very impactful. So try incorporating these elements in your brand story while keeping it simple.
So there you have it. Everything you need to get started with brand storytelling.
I know what you’re thinking. “Developing a Brand Story is too much work”. I wish it were as easy as finding the best website themes for your business, but it’s rewarding. Those of you who read a lot of books or have a knack for writing might have an easy time with brand storytelling.
A story can tell more about a brand than advertisements ever will. It gives marketing a solid foundation to build campaigns upon.
Brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe exist, but it’s only Omega that can say that they’ve been to the moon and back.
Having a story to tell is one of the most powerful assets a brand can have. People love stories, so make sure you tell one they would love to talk about.
Frequently Asked Questions
🌟 How do I make my brand story unique?
Consider your brand as an individual and that you’re narrating his tale. The brand story became more involving and unique in this manner.
🌟 What things should one avoid in brand storytelling?
Keep everything in check and avoid overdoing anything. Overly asserting some trait or story element makes the story less impactful.
🌟 How big should the brand story be?
Remember, you’re not writing a novel. Keep the story short yet detailed. It should not take more than 3 mins for anyone to read the brand story.