Telling your brand’s story – why your brand’s message is important on all business levels
Humans love stories. It’s how we make sense of the world and your brand is no exception. Every aspect of your company and its image contributes to a story whether you’re aware of it or not. Images with words automatically trigger our storytelling capabilities. Creating an effective story for your brand that inspires your customers is another matter entirely. Good corporate storytelling requires a synchronized effort that combines every aspect of production, distribution and marketing. Brand story and brand message, as we will see, stretch much further than a traditional ‘about’ page.
It cannot be stated enough that businesses and brands do not just come out of nothing but have meaning, values and a clear purpose. Or at least they should. By understanding what is unique about your company, product or service you can better tell its story which, in turn, will better align it in the marketplace and so appeal to customers and clients more efficiently and effectively.
You must also come to understand that a ‘story’ in the narrowest sense of the word is not enough for modern brands and they must be fluid in their storytelling in order to succeed.
Creating a Narrative
What is your business all about? Good stories start at the beginning. Take a look at how your company was founded. Remember that original idea that caused you to go into business in the first place. How has it transformed in the years since and, more importantly, where is that idea headed? With these ideas in mind, try to whittle down your company’s story into one sentence. That statement should be powerful and eye-catching. The faster your customers are able to decipher the ideas behind your company the better.
This is often a way in which businesses develop their brand tagline, that concise few words which tell a customer all that there is to know about your business, the what you do and they why they need it. Of course, a tagline will not convey every aspect of your company’s product line but it will tell something clear about your company. A tagline and your company name itself are the first point of call a customer will have in connecting with your brand’s story. It is important to get it right.
Tell the right story
To beef up your company’s narrative, you need to fill it with insights into how your products and services are made. Look at Tropicana Orange Juice. Their message, “Grove to Glass,” uses three words to paint a clear picture of how the company makes their juice, what their company stands for, and why consumers should choose them above their competitors. Apple’s “Think Different” tagline doesn’t go into detail about the quality of its product, or even what its products are but it does tell us to expect something different, not ordinary, not like the rest.
Who you are as a business can be made or lost depending on the narrative you choose for your brand. This is especially true if your company has grown or expanded – are you telling the right kind of story for who you are as a brand right now? If the answer is ‘no’ then that has to change.
Making Your Story Palpable
Whatever story you choose, it has to match up with the customer’s experience. What are your customers seeing and feeling when they patronize your business for the first time? Your company’s story should be represented in everything your company does from the design of your logo to the marketing copy on your home page through to the photos on your Facebook page. Everything about your company should be working towards the same goal. Your company’s story should even trickle down to the staff members that serve your customers, the way you handle customer complaints, and even your refund policy. If your story is effective, every aspect of your business will be a powerful reminder to the consumer that they’ve come to the right place.
This is a shift in focus on the traditional sense of the word ‘story’ but this is what is true for brands in the modern marketplace. The ‘story’ is the real process that customers go through when dealing with all aspects of your brand. The brand vision and values must be reflected right throughout every engagement point within your brand, not just the initial idea stage. A brand ‘story’ does not end on the ‘about us’ page of a website but lives and breathes and is tangible.
The ‘about us’ page may well be used to tell information of a brand’s ‘story’ in the historical sense but a brand’s story is more than this narrow understanding of the word. As your brand grows so too does your story, because the story is a continuing saga, not a mini-series.
You need to be constantly thinking about the next chapter of your company. How can these ideas contribute to the story you’ve already built? As much as your customers love a good story, they might get bored after awhile. It’s important to keep things fresh by adding new elements to the narrative. One simple way to do this is to continue the brand ‘story’ in a practical sense. You can talk about new hires, new product offerings, new markets, and new consumer insights.
Or, if your company is outgrowing its initial ideas or direction then it is time to alter the story itself. Also, don’t forget to include your customers in the telling of your brand story. By giving customers a sense of purpose and value within the brand they can really add to the narrative. For example, by talking to your customers online, you can encourage your followers to offer up their own experiences. Ask them how they use your products. Has your company made a difference in someone’s life? Every answer can be used to strengthen your company’s story and its brand, from the boardroom to your customer’s living room.
It is important to consider the idea of a brand narrative in totally different ways that are not stagnant or static but are living and breathing entities. Your brand will be better off for it.
Struggling with your brand’s story? Need to re-fresh or re-invent your brand? Your brand’s name isn’t quite cutting it with your customers or with how you want to portray your business? Get in touch and we will see how we can be of help your brand.Tags: Brand Building, Brand Positioning, Brand Story, Brand values, Slogan, Tagline