Storytelling is all the rage now. Every brand is trying to get their story out, one that helps them define their identity, connect with their audience, and establish their presence. With a rapidly changing business demographics, the biggest demographic for most brands, millennials are making things tougher by the day. Defined by their need to identify with brands that resonate similar ideologies, there is an increasing pressure on brands to redefine what their story is. The problem comes in when a brand needs to define that story. With a sea of similar brands, how do you differentiate yourself from others and more importantly how do you create an authentic brand story? Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when wondering how to write a brand story that your customers would love and appreciate.
Forever brands such as Disney and Coca Cola have long realized this and have used the power of stories to create their own. Apple, Microsoft, Nike will forever be known to have built empires using the power of stories.
In the words of the great Seth Godin,
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that taken together account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another – Seth Godin
As a brand what you need to create is this authentic story about who you are what you believe in and what you exist. And most importantly stand by it. Every story creates a personality that defines the brand. And every brand has this unique personality. Some have that well defined, many are still exploring what that is.
- Your Brand, Your Story
Be authentic. Don’t copy from Nike, Apple, Uber or anybody else. You can’t be them because you are you. In fact, several research studies confirm what we’ve long known to be true: human beings are hardwired for stories. They lead to better understanding, trust, and comprehension. And as such, we look for stories in others too. Peloton, Gary Vaynerchuk, Soulcycle are all modern-day brands that are killing it with their brand stories. Be it a person, company, business, charity, enterprise, brands need an authentic story.
If you look at some of the other known brand stories, you would notice that most of them have a similar straightforward outline:
- A problem statement customers care about,
- A carefully crafted Solution
- Proof of success
- Create a Story that customers can connect with
There’s hardly anyone in the world who has not heard about Nike. While the world may fight it out over which brand is better, Nike takes the cake hands down on being way ahead in the sneaker market. And rightly so. Michael Jordan X Nike collaboration was the first ever collaboration that went beyond and far to ensure fans were able to truly get something that they could cherish for life. Similarly, North Face has also done extremely well in connecting with the brand with their ‘Never Stop Exploring’ mantra and backstory.
Such authentic stories allow customers to buy a part of the brand’s story and not just the product. So tell your stories in a way that shows that you understand your customers and that you are like them. When customers purchase your services/ products, with authentic stories, they will truly feel as if they are buying a part of the story. This is why Nike even today builds stories in everything they do.
- Focus on a story that helps you build a community
The ultimate goal of building your brand story is to create a community of like-minded customers who believe in you and your brand. And this takes time. But consistency is key. In every story you create, share with your customer’s key information such as:
- How did you come up with the product/ business idea
- Offer insights into the culture and ethics of your company that establish trust
- Detail ideologies and practices that you and your team believe in.
- Invest in activities and programs that you relate with
- Directly address why customers should use your business or services
Customers love information like this. Several studies have shown that more than 80% of millennials connect with a brand that shares similar values about climate change, sustainability, fair trade practices, and human upliftment. Supporting similar causes can enable building a stronger community faster.
So here are the key elements that you need to keep in mind while creating your own brand story:
- Create your origin story an authentic one
- Focus on the value you deliver
- Your brand tagline must share similar values
- Your actions as part of the brand and away from it must live the same value systems.
- Build a customer experience around the same story ensuring consistency
- Build your community. Customers love to rally behind brands with purpose.
Remember, customers want to know about your vision, mission, and purpose. Put simply, customers want to know why does your business exist.