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Brand Story: Everything You Want To Know About It


May 17, 2021 (Updated: March 8, 2023)

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Do you still remember the bedtime stories that were read to you as a child? That is the power of storytelling — if a story is well told, it can stay with you forever. Hence, creating a brand story around your commercial enterprise is a powerful marketing tool. A brand story entails more than just the plot and the content. The narrative continues with the website copy, the information in a brochure, or the sales pitch to investors in a presentation.

Your story isn’t only about what you say about yourself — it’s also what people think about you based on the cues your brand gives out. The narrative is a full picture comprised of facts, emotions, and impressions, so a part of your that story isn’t shared by you directly is perceived by your consumers through the narrative built around your brand.

Whatever you do, comprising each detail of your company and your brand, including the discount offers, packaging design used, even the people you employ, is part of your brand tale. Each feature should represent the truth about your brand to your prospective consumers.

You must invest in your story if you want to create a profitable, long-term company and a brand that will inspire acceptance, loyalty, and admiration.

Why Does Your Brand Need a Story?

Image via Flickr by ajsanpedro

If you don’t have a compelling story to tell, you can be thought of as a replaceable product in a highly competitive marketplace. Your brand narrative and your business endeavors are by no means just an identity that can distinguish you from the others, rather, they are all about creating curiosity about something that consumers are interested in and want to associate themselves with.

SEO or search engine optimization was till very recently known as technical know-how to exploit the Google page ranking. But now, the focus has shifted to the audiences and endeavors to bring them to our website.

It is essentially about creating content that genuinely connects people as opposed to just manipulating the system.

SEO is still about gaining the relevant ranking for Google search, which is more and more accomplished by simply making your brand’s story more relevant and relatable, and hence commanding more space in consumer’s minds compared to your competitors.

Building a Story Brand

The gradual emergence of storytelling in digital marketing is a potentially promising prospect for content developers. According to neuroscience, our human brain is programmed to react to a well-spun tale. Storytelling is the most effective way to catch our audience’s attention and embed information into their subconscious, creating an intimate personal relationship. Our mind is wired to seek out exciting stories, and this fact is not changing.

But, the fact remains that since the emergence of content marketing, the primary concern of marketers has been to optimize the content for the SEO algorithms. Hence, this shift to the creative options to stir people emotionally or through humor and imprint one’s brand into their subconscious mind is gradual but steady.

Though storytelling has very recently come of age in the journey of branding and marketing, there are certain brands like Apple and Coca-Cola that have long understood the power of narrative to communicate with their viewers. The success story of Apple is carried forward by the struggle of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and how they never settled for less. It is, indeed, an appropriate example of how stories build a successful brand. So, it’s important to learn to be a good storyteller.

What Makes a Great Brand Story?

A great brand story isn’t about that clever tagline flashing on your neon signboard for months to get people’s attention. Rather, your brand story serves as both a cornerstone and a strategy for your potential development, activating the emotional connection and creating value.

Let’s see what goes into the making of a successful brand story.

  • Convey how your product or services can make the customer’s life better. It may not be a drastic change you bring to their experience; just a slight up-gradation will do.
  • Make an emotional connection. Our emotions primarily influence us, so we purchase a product either due to its utility or due to the emotional stimulus.
  • Identify with your audiences. Give them what they want to see.
  • Always tell the truth. The mission and vision of your story should be clearly projected.

How To Tell a Compelling Brand Story?

For a story to click and have an emotional journey with its readers, it must have a status quo, a conflict, and eventually a resolution. If your story lacks drama and an emotional arc, it will fail to hold people’s attention, forget about connecting and motivating them.

A powerful brand story is told when a brand:

  1. Connects with the audience: There is a valid reason why brands and people love stories to enhance human communication. According to the research, the narrative style of the stories has a profound effect on the human brain, stimulating the motor and the sensory cortex. When we read a novel, we are immersed in an experience, and our minds are synchronized with the story’s subject. This is called neural coupling, and this synchronization creates a synergy that allows the brands to communicate more engagingly and dynamically.
  2. Creates trust: Effective neural coupling leads to increased understanding, awareness, expectations, and acceptance of your brand story, and that builds trust. However, not just any story would suffice; it should be a story with the right elements – features that promote good neural coupling and those that uphold truth and honesty.
  3. Is personality-centric: The protagonist’s personality should guide the plot of your story. Real people and their struggles and conflicts connect most with the readers. The involvement of people motivates the connection and hence creates the journey of success and development. When the story is based on a hero of the saga, it resonates most with the readers, invoking empathy.
  4. Keeps it simple: Like the bedtime stories, we need to keep our brand stories simple and straightforward. The most popular stories are very uncomplicated and have strong emotional content. To begin with, all bestsellers have three things in common; a beginning, a conflict, and a resolution or triumph in the end.The idea is to keep the narrative simple and effective. Louise Gluck might have won the recent Nobel Prize for literature; however, Sydney Sheldon has probably sold the maximum number of best sellers. Hence, the message is clear, identify what sells with your audiences and deliver a brand story that touches them like their favorite novel.
  5. Describes their raison d’etre: Your brand story should be explaining your justification for existence. It should be the answer to why you are in this business. Make sure not to give money-making as your reason, as your honesty does not connect well with people’s sensibility. To illustrate, Nike’s recent advert with the tennis legend Serena Williams is just apt with  its swoosh symbol logo that stands for the Greek Goddess of Victory and its tagline: Just Do It, where Ms. Williams is telling women to arise by reciting another legend, Maya Angelou’s Poem ‘And Still I Rise.’
  6. Sells a story, not just a product: To explain this, in 1989, the United Colors of Benetton, a German luxury clothing company, took off its clothes completely from their adverts and, instead, gave out the disturbing facts about AIDS, terrorism, environmental degradation, etc. Hence, a thinking and mature consumer bought their clothes because he agreed with the brand’s ideology and wanted to align with it.
  7. Lets others share in their story: The most relatable and authentic medium of publicity from the early days of advertisement is word of mouth; nothing has changed now. Let people share their experiences with your brand through social media or backlinks, but be accessible by all. Once you connect with them on the emotional level, they will definitely spread the word.

How To Make Your Brand Story More Visible

Your brand story can be more effective if you:

  1. Represent your personality in your brand: As mentioned before, your brand story is not just the narrative of your business but about your personality also, so build your personal brand.
  2. Make proper use of social media: The best way to connect with the audience these days is through social media feeds. Videos and stories on Instagram and Facebook create curiosity. Your tweets and retweets can be such a propeller for your story to register in audiences’ minds and breathe in the social consciousness.
  3. Create content on a regular basis: Tell anything about yourself or your business, write a blog or a vlog, tweet, or maybe just put up a snippet of your regular day but let them expect a slice of your life and work almost every other day.
  4. Involve customers/clients: Clients’ testimonials are actually your best brand story endorsement. Your customers will be the first-hand narration of your brand experience for your target audience. Use these stories effectively on all of your physical and virtual platforms like social media, your website, or your publicity catalogs.
  5. Are all-pervasive: Once your story is out there in the public domain, do not shy away from invading every single possibility of spreading the word. If people hear your story from various platforms, it becomes more trustworthy. So spread the word in all directions.

Know how SEO can help share your brand.

Best Ways To Write a Brand Story?

Every day, we are bombarded with commercials, and it makes it really hard to get noticed. However, you can still advance if you would introduce your audience to your enterprise through the power of your brand storytelling. Create a long-term story curve, be persistent and draw them in through empathy; this is the most effective tool to capture and hold their attention.

Let us learn about the ways to tell a captivating story.

  • Show and not just tell: There is a very mighty tool in storytelling; it is called ‘show and not just tell.’ It is often preferable to focus on how your brand assisted a particular consumer in resolving his problem rather than just putting out abstract content about the relevancy of your brand. People are exposed to these hollow pitches every single day.Instead, your brand should be perceived to have made a tangible difference in their lives, making it very relatable. This is the difference between mass placement and niche placement. Whereas the earlier tries to cater to everyone, that makes the least impact, it is the latter that actually persuades a segment of the population to act. We can strive to do it through a variety of ways, such as emotional approach or humor.

    While writing your story, be aware of what emotion you are trying to elicit; the scripts should adhere to that angle. For Instance, Google is a brilliant example, as it never turns on the in-your-face sales pitch, rather it focuses on human stories that tell how Google changed their lives.

  • Build up an endless story arc: Ever considered why these web series leave a trail after every season? Of course, so you come back to the next season with curiosity. That is exactly why you don’t want to engage with your audience for a short-term period only. If you want them to come to your brand, again and again, make your hero have newer challenges after a gap of every six months at least.This way, the consumer doesn’t lose interest and remains curious and comes back. To illustrate, the old spice brand, in order to stay relevant to the younger generation, appealed to the ladies instead of men. In the story, the women want their men to smell like a man and not like a lady.
  • Consistently tell the truth: Make every effort to ensure that your brand is aligned with the ideals with which it is associated. Consumers are subjected to multiple adverts and hence are pretty perceptive at recognizing a fake brand story. This might jeopardize your relationship with your customer. So, make them believe that the story they are telling is your authentic brand’s mission.Apple’s brand story is a classic example. Despite the exorbitant prices, people believe in the authentic mission of the brand, that it will give the best of the innovated technology.
  • Grab your viewer’s attention and don’t lose it: You must hold people’s attention long enough for them to become involved in your story. For this purpose, the most important aspect is to know the demography of your audience, identify your audience and know what drives them. Know what do they like and what do they despise. That way, you can build your whole brand story around what piques their interest.Be mindful of the tone and the language you use, else they might keep on scrolling down. Keep track of your social media posts, see where you get the maximum engagement. Talk to your followers or audiences to capture their imagination; you aim to go from piqued curiosity to emotional commitment as quickly as possible. Developing a distinguished style is the only way to stand out in this crowded ocean of advertisements.

    For example, the Dove social media campaign with the hashtag Project #ShowUs had created a sensation when they pitched to women everywhere and created a photo library where they could upload their pictures. It was so engaging, with the desire of every woman to feel represented and important enough, it was a big sell-out.

  • Keep track of the traffic on-site or the social media handles: It is crucial to keep checking whether your efforts are creating an impact or not? You have to make sure that everything is in place, from the blog or post’s theme to the correct grammar. Wrong grammar can be such a put-off. Make sure the content is well-written and proofread.

What Is Brand Story Marketing?

Have you ever found something so creative and ground-breaking in your professional growth that you are not quite aware of how to integrate it into your business strategy?

With the brand story marketing, the marketing landscape is shifting once again. We would be living in fool’s paradise if we don’t expect the change.

The term ‘storytelling marketing’ refers to the use of a narrative to convey a message. The objective is to move the audience enough to take action. This aids people in understanding why they should connect with your brand. This works at a level of human connection.

In marketing, storytelling doesn’t have to be limited to moving pictures or in written media like print or social media, or billboards. People have a very short memory, and the market is quite disruptive. Here, storytelling helps break the ice and create a brand that sticks out.

“Building a Story Brand”: The Book

In 2017, a well-known author and CEO, Donald Miller, published a book called “Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen.” He wrote this book using a tried and tested method, which he came up with at his firm, The Nashville Agency. This book instantly became the Wall Street Journal’s bestselling non-fiction book. These days he narrates the whole step-by-step procedure of building a story brand in his podcast. He also takes up many classes and gives away free templates and tools for brand story marketing.

He says that many corporations commit the mistake of not describing specifically what their organization does. Further, he mentions that the game-changing approach to communicating with consumers so they can understand and appreciate the advantages of using your goods, ideas, and services, gives the organization a competitive edge.

Story Brand marketing is guided by the idea that consumers don’t bother with you or your company. They are concerned with their needs and their stories and how your company can help them fix their problems so that their lives can be improved.

In a traditional marketing school, we are being told about a clear distinction between the characteristics and the advantages of a product or a service. While the characteristics are the truthful picture of what it is, advantages or benefits explain why the product or the service is essential to address your problems and maybe solve them. A consumer should get to know what’s there in store for him.

So, it’s not the characteristics of the product or service but the benefits that sell. Story Brand marketing takes a step beyond the benefits; it creates empathy.

Essentials of a Brand Story Template

Essentially, a storytelling template should consist of stories that are engrossing and unforgettable. They should also assist us in engagingly communicating the complicated concepts and circumstances. And this transforms everything ordinary into something extraordinary.

Let us summarize the story brand template in a few bullet points and how it compels the customers to earn you the revenue.

  • Making your customers feel like they are the hero of your story.
  • Explain the reason for your business.
  • Be approving enough of customers’ problems and showing empathy with their troubles.
  • Showing them a very lucid and convenient way to overcome their problems and emerge as a winner through the use of your product.
  • Defining their triumphs and highlighting the mistakes they avoided through the usage of your product.

If you plan to amplify your reach with your target audience through storytelling and content promotion, reach out to CopyPress; our 200 plus clients will vouch for our deliverables and quality.

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May 17, 2021 (Updated: March 8, 2023)

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