A good story is complete, captivating, and relatable. Everywhere you look and everything you see and interact with has a story behind it. Studies have even found stories are an effective tool for persuasion, perhaps more so than any other method. As such, when it comes to increasing brand awareness and stimulating interest in your business, a brand story can be a valuable tool. The right brand story can help not only explain to customers why your brand exists, but why they can help solve their problems and why the brand deserves their business.
What is a Brand Story?
Your brand story isn’t as simple as how your business started, why you exist, or who your customers are. A brand story encapsulates everything behind your brand in a relatable, exciting way. It doesn’t have to be factual, or even plausible. It just has to resonate with your audience and answer the simple question: “who are you?”
So, who are you? Who is your brand? If your brand was a person, what would he or she look like? What would their interests be and where would they spend their time? The more of a complete picture you can paint, the more words you can apply to it to complete your brand story.
The quintessential components of a brand story are:
- It must be a narrative
- It must evoke emotion
Whether you set out to write it or not, your brand story is a narrative. It’s everything your brand has encountered since its inception. It’s your failures, your successes, your aspirations, your dreams, and everything in between. Most importantly, however, since emotion drives purchasing behaviors, it must evoke an emotional reaction from your audience. If your audience can’t see your brand story, it’s one thing. However, if your audience can’t relate to your brand story, that’s a bigger issue.
Why Does it Matter?
In a nutshell, your brand story matters because your customers buy on emotion. That’s not to say they buy on knee-jerk, impulse reactions. Today’s customers are shrewd, calculated, and meticulous; more than 80% of customers research a brand online before purchasing a product or service. In researching your brand, customers will stumble across your brand story.
If it resonates with their life, you’ve got your foot in the door. Importantly, that means it needs to relate to their interests, activities, behaviors, goals, and most importantly, their emotions. Be honest; your customers can sniff out deception from a mile away, and misleading people won’t get you anywhere.
It’s even been argued that brand storytelling is the future of marketing. Simply having a stellar product or service doesn’t cut it anymore. Your brand has to be memorable-and convincing. Since narrative can be up to 22 times more memorable than fact, a compelling brand story can keep your brand in the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Finally, your brand story shows your human side. Your customers are looking for more than just a transactional experience; they want fulfillment on a number of different levels. It’s human nature to crave stories, so the right brand story will captivate, attract, and ultimately satisfy your customers.
Start Telling Your Brand Story Today!
Again, whether you like it or not, you already have a brand story. However, as a business owner, you have the ability to continue the narrative as is-or rewrite it entirely. That means, as a first step, review your brand. What do you stand for and what do your customers think you stand for? Address any disconnect and focus your communications towards altering that perception.
Make your brand story part of your communications strategy, from social media to website design to the physical representation of your brand. Choose your color scheme, graphics, and copy carefully; it’s all part of your story. Settle in your point of differentiation and allow your customers to come to their own conclusions rather than trying to make their decisions for them.
Let your content tell your brand story. Your customers will ascertain their own stories from what they see and how they interact with you. The rest, as they say, is history.