Thursday, September 28, 2023

Three reasons why your business should have a brand story

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Natalie Lowe is Managing Partner of The Orange Blow Fishan award-winning creative agency that does cool things and adds value for brands.

Once upon a time, companies helped their customers get to know them simply by sharing their company’s mission, vision and values. They wrote beautiful paragraphs with beautiful words, such as ‘innovation’, ‘responsibility’, ‘inspiration’ and ‘productivity’.

The problem is, with so many companies using so many of the same words, it became difficult for customers to tell them apart. This, in turn, forced many companies to ask themselves, “How can we help our customers get to know us? How do we tell them who we are?”

But one day, organizations realized that instead of telling customers who they are, they could make them feel who they are and tell them a story. And so I believe the concept of the ‘brand story’ was born.

What is a brand story?

As you’ve probably noticed, the previous paragraphs tell a story (even if it’s just a simple story). There is a plot, characters and a problem that needed to be solved. A brand story is no different; it contains facts about your brand, including who the most important people are, how they got started and what they are trying to do.

Why do you need one?

A brand story isn’t just about telling people facts. It helps your audience get to know you on a deeper level, and it can make them feel something. Here are three reasons why you need a brand story:

1. It connects your brand with your customers. The most powerful brand stories are those in which customers feel they are connected to the company, perhaps because they are inspired by its purpose or by its history. Perhaps the origin of the brand reflects something the customer has experienced or wants to experience. My team has worked with many clients who want their logos to reflect their brand story and values. Your brand story should be reflected in your marketing collateral because it’s a great way to build that connection.

2. It inspires customers to feel something. Whether your brand story reminds the customer of something they’ve been through or an adventure they’ve yet to experience, your story should make your customers feel something. It can be joy, happiness, hope, excitement – anything you want your clients and clients to feel when they think of you. Arousing emotions among consumers can lead to greater brand awareness, greater affinity and, ultimately, more sales. Appeal to the emotional side of your consumers and you won’t be disappointed.

3. It makes your brand feel human. Even as adults, we all like to hear a good story. Storytelling is a crucial part of human nature because it stimulates our imagination, connects us with others and makes us feel alive. I believe we remember stories because they appeal to who we are as people, and if a person can have a story, why can’t a brand?

How do you write a brand story?

1. Think about your brand’s history. This step is about the facts: the who, what, when, where, why and how. How did your brand originate? What problem is it trying to solve? Who are the characters? Now that you’ve got the zest of a story, it’s time to add the magical ingredients.

2. Make it meaningful. Now think about how you can tell your story in a way that means something to your audience. This is where you can get personal. What emotions or feelings drive your brand? Is it the excitement of making the impossible possible, like Apple? The love to feel happy, like Disney? The pride to stand out from the crowd, like Chanel or another luxury brand? These are all different features of human nature that brands can embody; a brand can stir something in us.

3. Be authentic. People know when a brand is pretending to be something it isn’t, so be true to who your brand is. Be jovial and direct. If your story comes from the heart, you don’t need to embellish it.

What mistakes should you avoid?

1. Not Giving Your Brand Personality: People are behind brands. Increasingly, consumers want to see the ‘face’ of the brand and that the brand they support has the same values, ethics and to some extent a similar personality. Brands that talk only about themselves — and less about how they relate to others or add value to others — may not gain consumer support. Instead, write with a personality in mind. Whether fun, humorous or serious, you need personality. In addition, make sure that your story is recognizable and as if you are talking to another human being in person. Don’t use expensive language that people won’t understand. Keep it simple and easy to digest.

2. Treating Your Brand Story Like A History Timeline: Your brand story is not a documentary; it still needs to be told as a story. Make it interesting. It must have a climax. What were the highs and lows, why is your story interesting for others and what can they learn from it? Furthermore, keep in mind that a brand story can come in the form of videos, infographics, music or poems. It doesn’t have to be a history timeline. Use different media to tell your story.

For example, The Orangeblowfish, where I am a managing partner, told the story of our founder in the first person. This was the beginning of our agency’s journey. Our founder wrote it with emotion and made it recognizable. After telling his story, he had many people approaching him to tell him that they felt the same.

At the end of the day, a brand story should leave everyone who hears it inspired, but especially those who tell it. If your brand’s story doesn’t inspire something deep inside you, it won’t inspire anyone else. With some detective work and imagination, you can create a beautifully compelling story for your brand. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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