An attractive brand story is more than just words on a web page. A brand story is what lets your customers know exactly what you’re all about, and the steps you took to get to where you are today. It’s about telling a story; your story.
Now more than ever, people are attracted towards brands with an authentic brand story. Because of this, it’s important that you learn to tell your brand’s story in the most attractive way possible. In this article, we’ll go over why brand stories are so important, and even how you can create a killer story of your own.
First, let’s start with why they work:
A good brand story creates trust
It’s easy to think about how a good brand story can create trust when you think about the people closest to you. Think about how much you know about the people you trust the most.
If you’re like most people, then you have to know a great deal about someone in order to trust them completely. At least with most things.
So now, let’s say that you’re selling a product or service, and you have absolutely no information displayed about your brand. It’s easy for people to click your site, sure, but if it lacks content, it can gravely affect sales.
All this to say that a brand story helps connect people to your brand. Giving them information about who you are, what you do, and why you do it draws them in because they feel like they’re a part of the brand as well. It’s no longer a simple transaction; it’s a meaningful purchase.
Now that we’ve made that connection, let’s start talking about what the ideal brand story should be:
Brand stories should be personal
Snowballing right off of the details above, your brand story needs to be personal. In addition to all the details anyone would ever need to know about your brand, your brand story should provide personal details to make your brand unique.
Some stories aim to educate, some aim to entertain, but your story should aim to impact and relate. In a way, a good brand story does all of the above, but the main purpose should always be to be impactful.
Brand stories should be simple
Now don’t get me wrong, no two brand stories are the same. Each brand has had its own journey, and therefore deserves its own story.
What “simple” means in this case is “purposefully written”. Often times, people confuse senserity with detail. And while it’s true that you want to be as up-front with your customers as much as possible, you also don’t want to bore them with an extreme amount of detail.
There’s a simple guideline to the layout of a brand story:
These three points should allow you to layout your brand story in an easy and understandable way. There really isn’t a word count tied to this formula. In fact, if it’s necessary, your brand story could be up to a couple thousand words.
Remember that your brand story isn’t the plot of an M Night Shyamalan film, so it doesn’t need to be complicated. Guide the reader to the truth, and don’t add any hot air. State a problem that you had, how you fixed it, and the outcome.
Make a statement
Based on all the information you’ve gathered above, it’s time to create your mission statement. This statement is one of the first things anyone will ever hear about your brand, so it should be well thought out.
I might be so bold as to say that your entire brand story should be summarized in this one statement. It should aim to give people a quick understanding of what you and your brand are all about. A catchphrase, if you will.
Alternatively, a lot of brands will create their mission statement and then build their brand story around it. Truthfully, there aren’t really any advantages to doing it one way over the other. It all comes down to the words that come to mind first.
You have to have a relatable personality
Personality plays a huge role in the way people think of each other. The science behind it is simple: a warming personality attracts attention, and a cold one pushes it away.
Your personality should always be warm and inviting. The same passion that you feel towards your brand story should shine in the written content. People will find it very hard to relate to anything you do or sell otherwise.
The best practice here is to write it as you would speak it. Of course, not everyone has a nag for writing in such a way, but it’s well worth finding someone who is good at content marketing to get the right tone of voice.
Take it slow and be sincere. Those are the two main ingredients for any good story.
Examples of great brand storytelling
As we’ve discussed above, there are many factors you have to think about when you create your brand story. Personally, I always get a better understanding through examples, so let’s look at some:
Let’s be honest here, nobody is unclear about Nike’s mission statement. ‘Just do it’ is one of the most well known statements in history. But, it’s not the statement that makes Nike so good at brand storytelling. It’s what they do with their voice that makes them so popular.
From the beginning, Nike has been about empowering athletes from all walks of life. It’s not about what the person looks like or where they come from, it’s all about what they’re capable of. Nike has a rich history of giving athletes the platform they need to set examples for their fans, and their brand story reflects that perfectly.
GoPro hasn’t been around that long. You can basically say that they hit the ground running with a product that allowed people to capture pretty much any shot they wanted.
What makes GoPro’s brand story so unique is the way they involve the community. Whether you’re visiting their main site, or scrolling through their Instagram, you’ll always see cool videos from users all around the world. GoPro has helped unite a community of adrenaline junkies by giving them the means to share their adventures.
With Airbnb, the customer is the brand story. Just in case you don’t know, Airbnb is a service that allows property owners to rent out their home, apartment, or anything related. With Airbnb, both the customers and the renters are just everyday people, looking to either make a quick buck, or have a nice vacation.
Because of the audience’s involvement in the foundation of Airbnb, anyone that uses the service is immediately impacted.
Building a brand story that matters
Since the whole idea behind a brand story is to make it matter to the people reading it, we’ll end on this point.
All of the points and examples above have one very important thing in common: they’re built around the audience. Sure, it’s your brand story, but it has to impact your audience in a positive way. Otherwise, it’s all useless.
A great brand story is a powerful tool. It’s able to draw emotion from whomever is reading it with ease. It allows the audience to make a connection to your brand, other than the credit card numbers they put in at check out. It gives people a reason to buy your product over everyone else’s. Most importantly, it makes your brand unique.