The earliest cave paintings depict powerful stories of survival. Storytelling has always been deeply interwoven into human relationships. Stories capture our attention and contain hidden meanings that stay with us long after the last page has been turned.
For businesses looking to establish their place in society, writing a compelling brand story is essential. Your brand story represents who you are. It is the driving force for conversions. It is your venue for human connection.
But you can’t just make up a brand story. You must carefully craft your brand based on your heritage, your customers and your values.
Go Back To Your Roots
With any story, you start at the beginning. To build a brand story that reads well, you need to revisit your roots.
Think back on the dream that birthed your company, the spark that inspired your idea. This is the reason your company exists, your purpose — and it is the foundation for your brand story.
Often times, the most compelling brand stories started ‘when someone couldn’t find something and went out there to make it themselves’. Whatever your origin story is, remembering your values and the journey that brought you to today will help you define your brand.
Know Your Audience
Once you’ve defined your purpose, you need to consider your customer’s purpose. Why do they buy? What do people love about your product? How do they relate to your core vision and values?
Everyone wants to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, so invite customers into your world. Let them be a part of your story and make sure they know that they are critical to where you are going.
The most powerful brand stories are both relatable and transcendent. You want to build a relationship with customers that goes beyond product. This is what makes them willing to tell your story to others.
As your business grows, so will your audience. If a customer has never purchased from you before, they will be looking for a connection (in addition to a product). Your narrative will prompt them to take a chance on your brand.
Be Authentic & Build Trust
In order for customers to connect to your story and relate to your values, your brand must be authentic. Customers can sniff out inauthenticity in a heartbeat and will punish you for it.
Rather than fabricating an interesting narrative that is untrue, recall your vision. Balance the emotions that drive you with the product information that customers need. People want to know about your product, but they also want to see your heart — that’s what will ultimately get their attention.
If you can build customer trust in this way, your brand will start to mean something. Your value proposition will include more than just a great product — it will include a name that customers are familiar with and believe in.
In addition to authenticity, your brand message needs to be consistent.
For example, if your brand story is all about giving back to Mother Earth, but your products are made in a way that is destructive to the environment, you will quickly lose the trust of your customers. Such contradictions are confusing and off putting.
Consistency promotes honesty. Review your content and assets in order to consolidate your brand around your story. If you collect reviews through reputation management software, encourage customers to share the values that drew them to your company. Ideally, customer comments and your vision should align.
For business purposes, simple stories are better.
It’s About More Than Money
While building a compelling brand story will ultimately increase sales, it’s about more than the money. Yes, businesses exist to make profit, but you also have to believe in the value of your company.
Besides, customers are making purchases for themselves, not for you. They need a reason to believe in a product in order to buy in.
Brand story must go beyond ‘you buy, we sell’. In the end, it will renew your sense of purpose and reignite the entrepreneurial flame.
As Harrison Monarth stated: “A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.”