Are building a brand and writing your company story two subjects that go together?" Absolutely. In fact, all of the foundational elements of your brand strategy - target audience, purpose, positioning, point of difference, personality, and values - inspire your story. Language from these elements should be weaved throughout.
How do you craft this narrative?
First and foremost, it’s important to reframe how you think about this copy. Your story is much more than just a history lesson on how your company came to be. It’s sharing why you exist, what problem you solve for your target audience and how you uniquely solve it along with the values you hold true for your customers, employees, partners, and community. “Brand Story” is a more appropriate title for this tool and it should be a key element in your brand playbook.
The objective of a brand story is to inspire and connect with both your team and your customer. Communicating how your brand (or company) fits within, and enhances, their lives is critical. This holds true no matter what business you’re in. People connect with a brand when it aligns with their motivations and helps them fulfill needs and desires. All decisions are emotionally based.
If you haven’t defined your target audience and brand strategy or feel they need a refresh, it’s imperative to ensure both are in place before writing copy. Your story and messages will lack authenticity and clarity if you don’t have these foundational elements as a guide. Infusing your brand’s tone of voice in the story will also help the narrative stand out and bring to life your organization in a more human, relatable way.
Gather stories you admire to use as inspiration and be mindful of how competitors are framing up who they are to drive distinction.
What brands have embraced the power of story?
Storytelling engages people because it appeals to emotions, it aligns with motivations and desires. When you communicate your passion, you connect to people’s emotions, which in turn inspires them to move. Successful brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Warby Parker, and Salesforce are doing this exceptionally well. They make people want to know the why behind their business and learn more about the difference they are trying to make. Each one draws you in by speaking to the heart & mind and overtly shares how they help people live better.
Story is important and impactful no matter what industry or size of business. The two examples below from Ted and Apptopia are examples of organizations empathizing with their audience's desires and pain points and offering their unique POV on how things can be different.
As a nonprofit “devoted to spreading ideas,” TED describes itself in context of its mission and the community it seeks to serve. It’s straightforward, but evocative in what it strives to accomplish.
Apptopia specializes in mobile, specifically app store data insights. Their story structure is simple, straightforward and sincere, acknowledging the struggle businesses in the digital ecosystem have with mobile data.
What's the ROI of investing in storytelling?
A relevant and meaningful brand story helps build brand equity, which builds brand reputation. When customers buy into an organization's purpose and mission, their loyalty exponentially increases. According to a research report from Temken Group, "promoters (customers who are highly likely to recommend the company) are more than five times as likely to repurchase from companies, more than seven times as likely to forgive companies if they make a mistake, and almost nine times as likely to try new offerings from companies."
Consistently articulating this narrative across your website, social media, and marketing collateral helps customers playback your essence in their own user-generated content. And when they start to do this, then you know your brand story has meaning and influence.
The Brand Evaluator is a joint venture of independent brand builders – Michelle Thompson, BrandSpark Design LLC and Christine Sech, Brave Oak Brand Building LLC. We work with emerging businesses to help them clearly and meaningfully convey their organization’s value through brand building strategy, design and content that drives results.