Building a strong brand story: Chapter 3
What makes a strong brand story?
Now, if you’re going to tell a story, you want it to be a bestseller, right? So, how can you make sure yours is Booker Prize winning-worthy, and not a 1-star review on Good Reads?
Crafting a strong brand story is actually a tale of simplicity; your narrative doesn’t need to have more drama than a Shakespearian tragedy, or more plot twists than an Agatha Christie epic, to be effective.
What it does need, like any great read, is emotional connection; a stirring thread throughout the narrative which takes your readers through the story with you. A story humanises your brand so it’s more than just a product; the client feels like you have shared something of yourself, can understand your motivations and, like rooting for your favourite character in a book, they then want to see you get your happy ending.
Authenticity is at the heart of this; readers want to know the real you, not the Instagram-perfect version of your story. In a world of fake news and misinformation, clients are seeking honest relationships and genuine connections with businesses. So, let your personality shine through and give them a reason to come to you. Remember, you don’t have to have all the answers straight away, it’s okay to say you’re on a journey and that this is where you’re aiming for (by doing X, Y and Z) - your story doesn’t have to be perfect, clients don’t expect it to be, it just has to be real.
Your story also doesn’t need to be long, in fact, it shouldn’t be – in the wise words of the immortal Dr. Seuss, “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Your brand story should be short and simple with clear, coherent messaging and, most importantly, be backed up by evidence. The more complicated and, therefore, confusing a story is, the less memorable it will be.
The less memorable your story is, the more your competitors have an advantage. Grounding your brand story in truth, communicating honestly as opposed to “being creative” with the narrative builds trust with the reader, showing you are somebody with integrity who can be relied upon.
Now, pitching a rom-com to lovers of intense psychological thrillers is never going to work – likewise, you need to have a clear idea of who your audience if you’re going to create an effective brand story. Who are your readers? This is crucial because, quite simply, if you pitch to the wrong audience then nobody is going to buy what you are offering. In contrast, pitching to the right audience demonstrates that you both know and understand your audience, not just in relation to your product but also to their lifestyles, values, experiences and expectations. This enables you to be more tailored in your storytelling, resonating with your audience in a very targeted way (as you reflect their desires and aspirations), and leading to more sales.
Of course, you’ll also want your brand story to have the longevity of a much beloved and highly anticipated book series. Intrinsic to this is consistency; while the situation around the protagonists may change, the fundamentals of who those characters are always remains the same. It is the same with your brand story; while the specific messages you’re trying to convey will vary over time, the essence of who your company is and its values should remain the same. A consistent narrative will reinforce your brand identity, strengthen your identity with your target audience, and build trust with your readers as you develop a relationship based on stability, loyalty, mutual respect and understanding. Consistency also makes your brand more memorable and, therefore, more easily recognisable.
So, to sum up, stay true to who you are and write your story with heart. Returning to the iconic Dr. Seuss, I’ll leave you with this final thought from him…
“You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”