Stories have existed, in some form or another, for thousands of years. Stories are told for different reasons, and many of them have different purposes—some stories exist to educate, other stories will entertain. But the best stories have one simple thing in common: they connect to the audience. Stories that connect will have a lasting impact.
And that brings us to your brand. For your brand to succeed, it has to be memorable; for it to be memorable, it has to engage the audience.
One of the best ways to create an engaging brand is to use storytelling. A great story will make your brand more relatable and more believable. This will increase customer retention, while help you acquire new customers.
This is something that large corporations have known for years (think of companies like Nike, Apple), and it’s something that they have used to obliterate their competition and gain lifetime customers and brand ambassadors.
Storytelling is something that can be used by your company, whether you’re large or small.
The Pillars of Brand Storytelling
A successful brand story will usually follow these fundamentals. Use them as a guideline:
It’s a human story. Humanity itself is your best weapon. Use real people, actual events and common language. People tend to enjoy stories about other people because it’s relatable. And if you can construct your story in easy-to-understand language, avoid a salesy tone, and make it sound natural, people will be able to relate to whatever story that you’re telling. In addition to that, your story should never be corporate-centric; instead, it should be customer-centric.
It’s a simple story. Complexity is overrated, and it’s certainly not needed when you’re creating a brand story. The structure of your story should be simple. It needs a clarified beginning, middle and end.
It’s an original, unique story. This original story needs to illustrate exactly what makes your brand special. This is what makes it original. Show how your company is different from the competition.
It’s an exciting story. Stories that are snooze-fests will disconnect with your audience. Tell your story with some personality and some style. This will liven up your story, and it will help to make it more unique.
It’s a visual story. Your story needs visual cues to get people hooked. If the format of your story is video, this will be easy. If the format of your story is textual (like a blog post or some sort of content page), you will need to break up the content with photos, videos, etc. This makes your story easier to follow.
What Does Your Story Need to Tell?
These are the questions your story needs to answer:
What is your business and why does it exist? What does your business accomplish? What is the motivation behind your business? There should be a legitimate reason your business exists. There should be a problem that your business can solve. These questions are critical and should be answered completely.
Who are the characters in your story? There are different characters that you can have in your story. Whether it’s the founder of the company, or just a customer, you need to identify the protagonists of the story you want to tell.
What are your brand’s main values? What’s the philosophy behind your company? How has your company evolved over time?
What do your customers have to say? Your customers are your best ambassadors. One of the best type of stories to utilize is a customer story. What benefit do customers receive when they use your product? Has your product changed their life in some way? What causes them to return to your company?
What’s your journey? Almost every company wants to highlight their success, but few will want to talk about their failures. But that can be a mistake. Being honest about your past failures will help to highlight your success. This is especially the case if you detail the journey from that failure to where you are now.
One of the most difficult aspects of brand storytelling is discovering the actual story that you’re going to tell. The fundamentals that are listed above can help you quickly find that story. In part 2, we’ll talk about how to properly construct your brand story.
Are you ready to discuss how we can help you build your brand? If so, contact Zen Design Firm today! We are a group of branding experts.