Writing Compelling Brand Stories That Captivate Your Audience: 5 Steps to Follow
Compelling brand stories are all about sharing and connection. Authenticity is derived from the very core of your organization. Your brand is the single most important investment you can make for the future of your business.
The more you connect with your audience the more you build trust and loyalty, the more you are establishing your business in your industry. It may sound simple, but it’s not. Below, you’ll find 5 steps that will help you write compelling stories for your brand.
What Is a Brand
First of all, many do not understand the definition of what a brand is. Many people believe that a brand is what a business produces and in what industry it is in. Seth Godin, an acclaimed marketing expert, has put it perfectly:
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.
Your brand is not only about what you sell. It’s the connection you have with your audience. How you are contributing to your audience’s life. Storytelling is a huge part of your brand, that you should take very seriously.
Connection Through Stories
Good stories have the ability to cause emotional reactions to the receiver. Just think of how any 30 seconds Coca-Cola commercials have made you feel. From joy to tears, good storytelling speaks to the basics of human connection and collective experience.
Compelling brand stories successfully connect what you do with why you do it. Most businesses are sharing what they make in hopes to make sales. This strategy is simply not enough. The competition is fierce, and a successful brand story is what will differentiate your business from your competitors in your industry.
For example, you could be a car manufacturer that makes racing cars. Your why is the reason you make fast cars. Is it the exhilaration of the race? The cheering of the crowd? Maybe it’s about the joy of invention and creativity. Or maybe you are an artist.
Think of why some great artists have become known – let’s say, Picasso. Instead of saying “this is a painting, please buy it, it’s pretty” Picasso tells the story of why he painted that painting. Why was Guernica created? What does it depict? Who are the heroes?
Every choice Picasso made when he painted that painting is completing the story he wants to tell. A brand story does not have to be long, it just needs to connect.
Step #1: Building a Brand, the Golden Circle
Before we indulge in how you can write compelling stories for your brand, it’s important to cover the basics and for you to have a clear idea of the why, the how, and what your business does.
Simon Sinek has developed a theory that can be applied when you are building your brand called The Golden Circle in his TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”.
First, Sinek starts with the Why. The why corresponds to the motivation behind any action, and he makes an example of Steve Jobs and Apple. Your why is not about making money. It’s about a purpose, a value, or a belief.
It’s a major part of your business and what differentiates you from your competitors. Starting with your why is the single most impactful thing you can do. It’s the reason behind your organization’s existence.
The Why “speaks” to the limbic part of our brain according to Sinek, which may cause an emotional reaction to the receiver and cultivates trust.
Some organizations stand out from the competition because of the How. This part may include methods, techniques, strengths that an organization may have over the other. The How also has the ability to connect with the limbic part of our brain if it is connected with the Why.
Every organization or business knows and is able to articulate What they do. Whether it’s a service or a product, the What corresponds to the rational and logical part of our brains, making it harder to cause an emotional reaction that motivates people. Think of the What as a result of the Why and the How.
Step #2: Communicating Your Brand
Needless to say, there are many ways in which you can communicate your brand’s message. The one thing you must be certain though is your message. You must be absolutely clear on what you want to communicate.
What makes your business unique is the Why, the How and the What combined. Below are listed 4 great ways in which you can communicate your brand:
Unique Value Proposition
Value Proposition is a short message that illuminates the reasons why customers should choose your product over the competition.
Deciding in which tone to write is crucial when creating your brand’s strategy. Honesty and consistency will build your brand authority over time.
Customer centricity is all about the customer experience with your business. From the website to customer support, to sellers and physical stores. All of the above combined create a customer’s experience and are also part of your image and brand as a business.
With digital campaigns and targeted ads, you can create brand authority while immediately reaching your audience.
A testimonial is all about a brand’s credibility and the most efficient ad you could ask for.
Step #3: Storytelling
All the above are united by the art of storytelling. Once you have a clear brand mission, you can start by creating your brand story. While figures and all of the rational components of your business are very important, connection derives from emotions. Below are some ideas that you may find useful when brainstorming:
Origin stories are the ones that tell the story of how your organization was founded. Who are the key people behind your business? What was it like in the beginning? What inspired them? Why are they still around?
These are all questions that you could answer when you tell an origin story. You could interview the founder or people that have been in your business since day one!
Customer stories and case studies
How does your product or services affect people’s lives? What is the impact? What’re your customer’s experiences? These are stories that could build loyalty around your brand and cultivate trust.
Employee and community stories
Highlighting the people who work at your business shows exceptional company culture. From project managers, volunteers, thanking your employees for their hard work brings the human factor behind your brand.
- Origin Stories: Find old footage to pair with your interviews. you could organize a social media campaign based on this material! Interviews are key, so prepare your questions thoughtfully.
- Case studies and customer profiles: Find customer success stories in collaboration with your sales team. Perhaps you could use Google Reviews!
- Employee and community stories: Talk to the employees. How are they feeling about working there? What are their jobs like? What is their joy? Ask the volunteers why they chose to volunteer, etc.
To help with the storytelling process, you’ll find listed below some basic questions that will help you tell your brand’s story:
- Who is telling the story?
- Why is the story being told?
- When and where is the story taking place?
- Who are the people in the story?
- What are the people trying to achieve?
- What challenges are faced?
Step #4: Visual Communication
Brand identity can be expressed in more than one channel of communication. Visual communication is how humans have communicated since the beginning of time.
Having said that, the images and colors that are accompanying your brand are extremely important for your brand identity, and they tell a story you don’t have to tell with words. From your logo to website design, to package design – every little imagery is what makes your brand unique and is completing customer experience.
Your visuals accentuate your brand identity, and they make it memorable. Hiring a graphic designer to help you with your visual identity will upgrade your business to another level and differentiate you from your competitors.
- Finding photographs is hard and may prove to be expensive. You could create an account in Pixabay or Pexels but be sure to check the license and requirements of the images you use.
- Nowadays, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create simple GIFs, videos, or infographics – especially for social media. Sites like Canva or Trello help you create tasteful and professional designs for free!
Step #5: Consistency
All of the above tips and steps will prove to be useless if you are not consistent. Success in establishing your brand identity is hiding in following your brand’s guidelines thoroughly in every aspect of your business.
To conclude, writing compelling brand stories is all about the essence behind your business. Think of what differentiates your business from your competitions, what are the values and the motivation behind your business existence. Most importantly, showcase how you are contributing to your customers’ everyday life.
About the Author!
Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at GetGoodGrade with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.