Having a great product is important, but if you don’t know how to brand it properly, you’re not going to get very far. That’s where brand storytelling comes in and can be a differentiation. But how to tell your brand story effectively? Let’s dive in.
Telling your brand story will allow customers to make a memorable and emotional connection with your brand.
What is a brand story?
Your brand story needs to balance being informative and emotive. It also needs to be simple enough to understand quickly and stick in people’s minds.
The best brand stories can motivate audiences to take action and cause them to feel great about themselves. Something you can’t do by simply saying, “We’re the best, join us!”.
Emeritus Gerald Zaltman, a Harvard Business School professor, details in his book that 95% of purchasing decisions are made in our subconscious minds. A place where emotion rather than logic is in control of the steering wheel.
With this handy piece of information in mind, it’s no wonder that brands who want to influence buyers create well-thought-out brand stories.
Uncover your brand’s vision and share it through brand storytelling
You don’t want your story to be puzzling and erratic. It needs to be crystal clear and consistent from the beginning. Otherwise, you may end up diluting the power of your story.
So, before turning into a publishing house, make sure you have a distinct brand vision.
Your brand vision informs the brand story and how it’s being shared in the market.
It doesn’t matter what your business does. Whether it’s painting fences or developing software, it’s the purpose of your brand beyond what you produce for customers.
When outlining your brand vision, don’t be afraid to dream big! Show your audience you want to change the world for the better. It could be you want to empower women in the workplace, advocate for increased remote work opportunities in companies, or help people in impoverished areas by donating some of your profits to charities.
There’s a simple formula you can use to help put your brand vision together:
- Action – use an action word to describe what you want to do, such as empower.
- Target audience – who are you speaking to? Try to be specific and identify who your target audience is
- Value – this is the most important word of all. What value does your audience receive for being part of your brand story?
Create a persona of your target audience with artificial intelligence
Creating a customer persona of your audience lets you know who you’re speaking to. You can create more than one if you think it’s relevant.
The idea behind creating a customer persona is to produce an avatar that you can use when crafting your story. With Google Bard AI, you can now get started.
For example, I went to Google Bard and said:
I want to reach marketers on my blog at ChristophTrappe.com that are struggling to drive long term results and want to do so through content strategy. Please create a persona for me.
Then Bard, came up with this persona for me:
Job Title: Content Marketing Manager
Company: Small SaaS company
Location: San Francisco, CA
- Age: 30
- Gender: Female
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in marketing
- Experience: 5 years in content marketing
- Sarah is frustrated with her current content marketing strategy. She’s not seeing the long-term results she wants, and she’s not sure how to improve.
- She’s tried a variety of tactics, but nothing seems to be working. She’s feeling stuck and discouraged.
- She’s worried that her boss is going to start asking questions about her performance.
- Sarah wants to develop a content marketing strategy that will drive long-term results for her company.
- She wants to create content that will attract new customers, generate leads, and boost sales.
- She wants to improve her visibility in the industry and establish her company as a thought leader.
- Sarah is limited by her budget. She doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on content marketing.
- She’s also limited by her time. She’s the only content marketer at her company, so she has to wear a lot of hats.
- Sarah needs help developing a content marketing strategy that is realistic and achievable given her budget and time constraints.
- She needs help creating content that is high-quality and engaging.
- She needs help measuring the results of her content marketing efforts so she can track her progress and make necessary adjustments.
How can I help Sarah?
- I can provide Sarah with resources and tools to help her develop a content marketing strategy.
- I can share tips and best practices on how to create high-quality and engaging content.
- I can help Sarah measure the results of her content marketing efforts so she can track her progress and make necessary adjustments.
From there, I can even ask: Give me ideas that Sarah would find interesting. Bard responded with:
- A case study on how a specific content marketing tactic drove results for a particular company.
- An interview with a successful content marketer about their best tips and advice.
- A roundup of the latest trends in content marketing.
- A guide to creating high-quality and engaging content.
Your main goal when creating your customer personas is to identify that particular ‘itch’ other brands can’t scratch. Once you’ve uncovered what that is, you can set yourself up as the one to ‘scratch’ it. What better way to connect with your customers?
In your brand story, focus on addressing the challenges faced by your audience and show how you can resolve them.
But don’t promise something you can’t fulfill. Keep your promises grounded in reality. Otherwise, your brand story is going to be nothing but fiction.
Layout your core values
Your brand values are actually the heart and soul of your brand. It’s the base of everything you believe in. Ideally, they should be values shared by your target audience.
Nike’s core values are inspiration, innovation, empowerment, inclusivity, and creating sustainable products.
These are values shared by many of their audience and help Nike humanize itself as a brand.
If you can, identify 3-5 of your own core values to use as your brand’s foundation. Incorporate them into your brand story and dig deep into connecting with your audience around them. If they’re honest values with real meaning behind them, your customers will forge a deeper connection with you.
How to tell your brand story, and where
This is why it’s essential to have your brand vision, customer personas, and values written down beforehand so that each piece of content you create is already instilled with the ingredients that make up your story.
Otherwise, you end up with an inconsistent story spread out all over the place.
- Why formulas work in business storytelling
- What should be included
- How to use storytelling formulas
Why do teams struggle with brand storytelling?
Sometimes team members overthink it. They want the content to be perfect. Other times it’s inefficient workflows. For example, the less time I have to focus on content creation, the more likely, it is that I won’t create any content. Other times, we think we don’t have time.
Time certainly can be a problem, but the real issue might be that we aren’t prioritizing tasks correctly.
Somebody has to get the brand story out of the founders, CEOs, and leaders:
- Why did you start this company?
- What problem is it solving?
- How is it more unique than the competition, etc?
“You will see that some of the most successful brands have been created by people who are very passionate about the culture they have created,” said Cory Bergeron of Pitch Media. “They have a deeper purpose behind what they’re doing.”
It’s not easy to create a brand story that can make a powerful impact on audiences. If you’re unsure where to begin, start by exploring your closest competitors. What values do they have? What’s their vision? And what type of personas are they targeting?
The best advice anyone can give you about your brand story is to be strategic and authentic. There’s no need to rush and put together a random assortment of action words and cool-sounding ideals. You won’t be able to create consistent content this way, and people will see right through it.
Take your time. Create an emotionally charged brand story that’s relevant and packs a punch with your target audience.