Every business has a story to share. From origin stories to market entry goals and missions, successful brand storytelling depends on your ability to disseminate information about your brand that forever resonates with your target audience.
As humans, we were created with the cognitive capacity to consume both stories and the emotions that accompany them. This capacity of ours enables the entire humankind to empathize with other people’s stories and to build genuine emotional connections that ultimately result in trust in your brand’s intentions—as well as willingness to invest financial resources in your service/product offering.
But how do you tell a good brand story from a bad one?
A good business story reveals your brand identity to the readers and tells them what your values are. It sets the limits of their expectations about your value proposition, and the reason you exist in the first place.
Contemporary consumers, especially Millennials and the iGen, are no longer exclusively interested in product functionality or price points. To capture their attention and influence their purchasing decisions, you need a truly compelling brand story.
For instance, last year, Gillette launched a revolutionary, viral campaign dubbed #TheBestMenCanBe. Gillette’s marketing team realized that their brand story is what will determine if consumers will rely on them or on competitors like Bic Razor. The commercial was a success, for it challenged long-standing toxic masculinity traits like violence and sexual harassment and thus managed to win over the younger generation of consumers.
Storytelling is therefore a low-cost marketing strategy that small and medium-sized companies can leverage to gain competitive edges over international corporations with huge marketing budgets. Storytelling also allows SMEs to tell fascinating stories to influence consumer behavior, because when the consumption of your brand’s story makes the audience feel good, they begin to imagine just how much value the products/services you are selling could add to their lives.
If you intend to create a successful brand story, here’s how you can get started:
1. Begin at the source and the roots of your business:
Start by explaining why you started the business, and what you intend to achieve. You should articulate the brand’s value proposition clearly and succinctly, using a few sentences. This will help you define the scope and depth of any future content. Relate to your target consumer’s aspirations, values, needs, and interests to align your brand identity with what makes them tick.
To get started, you can write down a short description of your business’ main goal using the following format inspired by Google’s mission statement: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.
The second step involves identifying a number of keywords that define your value proposition and the ideal tone of your brand’s personality.
Finally, juggle the identified keywords around until you come up with a brief and compelling mission statement that is in touch with your business model and goals.
2. Be human:
After outlining the brand’s mission, the next step requires you to formulate story ideas.
Even though logos and ethos (facts and statistics) are important rhetorical devices, emotional appeals will help you establish lasting connections with core consumer demographics.
You could focus on origin stories, describing what the founders went through during the business ideation and development phase.
Community and employee accounts together with case studies and customer stories tend to gain substantial traction and increase engagement as reported by successful brands like Hubspot, Fluor and VMware. You can ask old employees to describe their experiences and what drove them to work with your brand.
The sales team can also ask customers to submit reviews about their consumer experiences. Are there case studies you may be willing to share, or can you conduct and publish research detailing the challenges for which your business exists to provide solutions?
The more personal you get with your brand’s story, the higher the likelihood that your audience will empathize with your struggles and make significant efforts to support the cause.
3. Incorporate storytelling components:
You do not have to share epic or thrilling tales to leave a mark. Memorable and engaging stories with rudimentary storytelling components such as descriptive words and internal conflicts will do just fine.
A good example is how REI Co-Op publishes brand stories that begin with the introduction of main characters and then describe the conflict between its founders as they sought to develop the most convenient strategy.
You could start by identifying a topic from draft content ideas or any crucial information you gathered from desktop research and face-to-face interviews. Which main characters would you like to focus your attention on, and are there any turning points or internal conflicts that consumers would find relatable? Do not forget to break down how these storytelling elements relate to your brand personality and its value proposition.
After elaborating all these components, confirm if the tale will read well. Conversational tones are highly likely to boost engagement and readership.
4. Identify your star witnesses:
Picking star witnesses will help you establish a creative, care-free and welcoming space for your consumers.
For example, a company that specializes in the sale of baby products could pick an influencer mother figure in society and have her become the brand’s star witness or ambassador, showcasing how their products leave positive impacts on her lives. This strategy is especially valuable to newly launched brands or rebranding initiatives.
To pick a star witness, deliberate on the business’ mission and identify which brand storytelling aspects you want to magnify. What feelings would you like to evoke when people read your content, or hear your brand’s name? Use the responses to these questions to find a star witness who embodies all the important components of your company’s identity.
5. Rely on visual content:
Empirical evidence suggests that social media users are highly responsive to stories accompanied by visual content. Writing is a new concept because humankind has relied on visual communication for the most part of its evolutionary history.
Other than increasing engagement and memorability, visual content like images, illustrations, and videos are also commonly shared online—meaning that you will not have to spend a lot of money on content distribution through online or offline advertising.
The bottom line is that successful brand stories will expand your bottom line…
Global and local markets are highly competitive in nature, so brands have to be creative enough to grab people’s attention and boost engagement. When you open up to your consumers in a way that leaves them no choice but to find your content useful and relatable, nothing else will be able to stop your brand from growing.
If you need help drafting a successful brand story with the right tone of voice that matches the overall feel of your company, hire instantly from Ureed.com vast network of freelance writers and content experts hired on-demand!