5 steps to building a better brand story

Written by Louise Sansom

What is a brand story?

Human beings are wired for stories. 

Brand stories are key for telling the world about your business: who you are, what you do, why you do it, and why people should care. They are an essential part of any business marketing toolkit.

A good brand story will be simple and concise, using just a few short words to captivate an audience, and then communicate the unique selling points of your business.

Told in a personal and authentic way, a good brand story will let your audience into the values behind your business. What sparked inspiration? What does your business stand for? Who is it designed for, and how will they feel if they use your product?

A brand story is your key to communicating what matters with the rest of the world.

Why you need a brand story 

The best and most effective marketing tool is storytelling. By using a story to tell an audience about your business, you can bring them along the journey of why your brand exists. Personal and authentic storytelling is more effective and more memorable than facts and figures alone and will help to create deeper and longer-lasting emotional ties.

A brand story is a more personable way to communicate with people and is highly valuable in setting your brand apart from others. 

The Science of Storytelling 

There’s a science behind the reason that stories resonate. Stories bring the little details to life. By describing the journey behind your brand, you can ignite the imagination, and bring your audience along that journey with you.

When customers can imagine for themselves, how frustrating life was before your product, or how something was missing, it creates empathy in readers.  By then describing the feeling of having your product as a solution, you allow readers to feel the same sense of satisfaction – and enjoy the feel-good moment – that your product brings.

Our brains process the emotions behind the story, creating a shared human experience of having overcome something together, leading to and forging real human connections. Research has shown that emotional connection is important to customers, and that creates all-important customer loyalty.

Sharing stories about your business and the people behind the scenes help to give your brand personality, making it easier for potential customers to know who you are, and understand your values and reasons to trust your product. Further strengthening that bond.

The power of storytelling is all about connection.

Brand stories build trust, trust leads to loyalty  

So storytelling creates connections – and brand stories form the foundations of relationships that develop into a desire to connect with your brand.

As we know, the power of stories is in building trust and connection. It’s this bond and connection that will help your brand stand out over others. Done well and people will know, like and trust your business, product or service.

Without a good brand story, you risk not standing out from the crowd and missing out on brand appeal.
Through stories, you are more likely to influence the minds and hearts of people.

So, now you understand the importance of storytelling, but what makes a good story?

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a brand story, complete with step-by-step examples :

5 steps to creating a strong brand story

A good brand story will be authentic, unique and personal to your business, and will tell the narrative of events that led to your brand. Before you start, you might find it a good exercise to think of the “FOUR Ws”: 

Who, What, Why, and When. This will help you to pinpoint the story you want to tell about your brand and then follow our 5 steps to creating your brand story: 

1. Start with ‘why’ 

Go all the way back to the beginning. Why did you start your business? What sparked the idea? What issue or problem were you solving, or, what solution did you want to bring into the world?  Why does your brand exist? 
As a business owner, you will likely have a real-life story as to why you started your business, and people will want to know!

2. What is your brand? 

It sounds like a simple question, but your brand may be many things. What happens if you try to sum it up in a sentence? Keep it simple, otherwise, you’ll dilute the message. What are one, two, or three things you’d like your customers to remember?
The best brand stories are full of personality, so don’t be afraid to allow your brand personality to shine through. Think about how this might shape your brand story.

3. Who is your audience?

Picture your ideal customer. Do you have a clear idea of who they are, their needs, wants and likes? How about their age, how they talk and what matters to them? Identify these things, and test whether your brand story feels relevant to them.

4. Connect with your customer by thinking about ‘when’

Your brand story should be both relevant and relatable to your target audience. Connect with customers by communicating shared experiences: think about those times when your product is most useful, and use it to find the common ground between your brand and how this fits into your customers’ lives. Connect and build trust by showing that you know and care about what they need when they need it.

5. Now spread the word 

Now that you have your brand story – make sure everyone knows about it! 
People love to share a story, and if yours resonates and has a ring to it, people will want to talk about it. Shout it from the rooftops on your website, share it via social media, or use it as the basis for your first influencer campaign.

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