Before you dive deep into developing the authentic brand story, it is essential to determine the potential here.
Through a plethora of studies and researches, it has been seen how the human brain is wired to extremely great in responding to well-crafted stories.
Neuroscientists prove the fact that storytelling is the best way to capture the attention of the people, and that too with much more effectiveness.
It is also highly effective to bake information into people’s memories, create personal bonds and connect with them.
Image Source: Dr. P Rutledge
The people are biologically, psychologically, and neurologically programmed to crave stories and seek out them.
So it is evident to utilize stories in the retail market and branding to really sell people something, you need to connect with them.
And that’s your business requires an authentic brand story.
So, getting on, What is a Brand Story?
Before you understand what a brand story is, you must be clarified on what is brand in the first place.
First of all, How do you call a business a brand?
What is a brand?
Well, to begin with, a brand can be described in many ways and definitions.
But to make it very specific here with the required perspective, you can say – a brand is the promise of value and identity in itself.
What differentiates a brand from a business is its inclination to make a promise and reflect some kind of authentic identity.
Their promise is about delivering the benefit to their target audience through their products or services.
This promise that brands speak of can be :
- Resolve a particular problem
- Generating and fulfilling the desire
Apart from the promise and identity aspect, a brand is also an experience that gets associated with people’s minds.
There is some kind of message that the audience consciously and subconsciously gets from a brand.
Like when you engage with a brand, you absorb what they stand for, their values, their positioning, and their imagery.
A brand also needs to position itself as an expert in the industry or they must offer the ‘best value’ in the industry or even something completely innovative.
But having said that, you also need to remember what a brand is not! It is definitely not just a logo, a particular product, or your website.
In one word, it is an experience that one feels when engaging with the brand.
What is a Brand Story?
Now, when you know what the brand is, exactly! Understanding the brand story won’t be very difficult either.
A brand story is the core essence, the expression, and the values communicated through building brand narratives, design, story, and content.
This communication helps evoke an emotional reaction in your target consumers further to connect them to your brand.
The brand story is the narrative of a brand that communicated across multiple media avenues to connect its target consumers.
Why Brand Storytelling Is Important For Your Business?
Brand Storytelling Help You Build Awareness
The brand you develop is a promise to a target consumer about offering them a value and experience that has an impact on their lives.
It helps you reach out to the people with a unique voice, and with a set of purpose, a message, and a set of values and beliefs.
Brand storytelling builds this awareness into the world so the right consumer with similar beliefs, needs, values, and requirements can reach out to you.
Not just awareness, but more targetted and unique positioning your get as well, to connect emotionally with the audience.
Brand Stories Connect To Audience Emotionally
Brand stories don’t only evoke emotional reactions or responses from your target consumer but also connect them to your brand as well.
This emotional connection is stronger than anything where products are promised to offer value and functional benefits.
You connect with people over their problems, relativity, and desire to change their life.
According to various researches and studies, it is proven that most buyers make their purchases based on their emotions and rationalize them or use rational justification for their emotional behavior.
So, developing your brand story isn’t just a branding practice but also a long-term sales strategy.
It is about positioning the message of your product and how it connects or even approaches your target consumers.
Brand Story Makes Brand More Credible
In a way, a brand story is a brand itself! Without a brand story, you will be left with a logo, a website, and your product, which is not a ‘brand’ as mentioned earlier.
Clients, customers, and media attract the brands with a clear vision and an emotional positioning of the product towards the market.
Your brand must mean something larger than just selling your product. It should reflect in your branding and marketing practices.
The brand story has the ability to gain the trust and confidence of potential buyers, and so the investors, clients, and media as well.
Brand Story Promises Repeat Purchases
People like to buy from the brand which they like, sometimes they go way further with this.
Sometimes you like a brand so much that you feel inspired to buy their products just for the sake of how well you connect with them.
Also, if you like one product of a brand and the brand story itself, you build a relationship with the brand and have a higher chance to buy again.
In fact, you will be excited about your next purchase!
It is like you believe in the brand and now you just want to retain the loyalty towards it.
Not just you will buy it again and again but also recommend it to your friends and families how their products changed your life.
Nike and Apple is a great example of such inspiring and adored brands in the world with a separate fan base.
What Are The Essential Elements Of A Brand?
Even by definition, a brand story has to be unique. It needs to stand out. Otherwise, how would it be able to connect with a targetted audience?
The unique and differentiated positioning of your products and brand makes you set apart from the competition.
This is something at your own hand irrespective of all other factors. Uniqueness even beats the competition and large brands when it comes down to it.
Make sure there must be some unique perspective, a specific value you are bridging to a niche audience or target consumer.
A brand is authentic when it is true to its purpose, the value it wants to provide and the positioning is set to.
Authenticity is even more important than uniqueness.
You can also be derivative with your ideas, strategies, and overall branding story but it needs to be authentic always.
It instills trust and reliability within the customer and connects with the audience in the most natural and realistic way.
Authenticity comes from honesty, so make sure you have an honest approach to your brand story. Be transparent with your audience and share the values that you truly mean.
You need to remember that a brand is for customers, as clear as the crystal!
A brand story, their objective always serves the customer, their core requirements, preferences, desires, and problems.
What you are offering must align with their needs. And you also need to specify those audiences.
This assures that customers are and always will be the center of everything that your brand does or aspires to.
Your brand story must be convincing and has reasons to believe in it. Whatever you are proposing must be backed by proof and authentic statements.
Credibility comes from the fact how well you can convince the audience about your expertise, your promises, and past experiences.
It also comes from honesty and transparency as people will believe if you are clear about how you come up with the product? What’s the process etc.
People do not owe you anything! They are not entitled to put themselves with the kind of time, effort, or money to learn about your brand.
Either you click with them in the first approach or more chances are you just don’t.
So, it becomes extremely important for your brand story to be as simplistic as possible.
Especially the core offer, the proposal needs to be simple and easy to understand. You can definitely bring a lot of layering to your brand message but it has to go through.
The best approach is to let your audience lean towards you gradually but always hit them with a simplistic pull that means something to them.
If a brand story is a lot about the promise you put in your core offer of the brand towards the targetted consumers, the fulfillments play a significant part too.
Whatever promise you offer through your brand story, comes back to you depending upon whether you were able to fulfill it or not.
So to truly gain more of the trust and retain it in your customers, you need to ensure how your brand was successful in fulfilling the promises.
And customers will also be able to see through how you are able to stand on your promises step-by-step.
Consistency in your brand storytelling is an essential component to maintain the credibility and authority of a brand.
It provides authentic brand storytelling across social media platforms and digital platforms as well.
How To Create A Brand Story?
Tell Your Story
You need to go back to the very start of your business journey.
Dig deep into how your business venture started and what were the intricate details of your brand story beginning.
That is going to reflect all those answers regarding why your brand came into existence and who exactly it caters to.
Tell about how your small business started helping its target market. What kind of problems it deals with.
To make your brand story that resonates with the people, you need to highlight the people themselves.
Talk about how your brand resolved problems or improved people’s lives through your offers and products.
When you tell this brand story, you don’t need to make it about how amazing your business is.
Focus on what was the thing that motivated you to start the business in the first place.
Remember, your business story cannot be about making tons of money as that’s not what connects people.
Understanding Your Audience
One of the most important steps to create an effective and working brand story is to understand your audience.
Your brand story must be revolving around your target audience, your potential customer, the ideal customer.
So whatever you do to tell your brand story, make sure it must serve your audience.
It needs to be the reason behind what you do and why you do.
Here are few tips to create a buyer persona for developing a better brand story :
- Start an email conversation with your existing subscribers
- Reply to the questions of your existing subscriber’s questions
- Look at the audiences of all your competitors in your niche & industry
- Send out customer surveys, questionnaires, and polls to gather more information.
Once you get the required information to sketch a picture of an ideal customer, you will be able to create a more targeted and personalized marketing strategy around it.
A brand story that identifies and understands the audience is much more accurate than others.
Developing Trust Through Your Brand Stories
Brand stories are capable of developing trust amongst their potential customers, clients, and media as well.
Since stories have always been a powerful and effective tool for human communication.
Researches showed how stories impacted the human brain and how responsive it towards influencing the motor cortex and sensory cortex as well.
When one reads the story or listens to a speaker, the mind connects to the subject of the story or the person, that is called neural coupling.
It connects the two people simultaneously through the brain activity that is affecting the same areas in the storytelling process.
Apparently researchers find this mirroring of this brain in storytelling assures more comprehension, greater understanding, and receptivity.
So that means, Stories develop trust.
And that’s how you can utilize the brand story to instill trust in your audiences through developing a successful neural coupling.
Highlighting The Conflict Of Your Story
Without a conflict, a story doesn’t work. Period!
A brand story is a story, after all, it needs the conflict to be engaging and connecting to the audience.
It is important that something valuable should be at stake in a story to lose for the character, so people can invest their emotion in it.
Stories have always been about overcoming adversities. That’s how people relate to a story when there is a drama or emotional journey.
So to make your brand story hold the attention of your targeted potential customer and connect to them, you need to highlight the conflict.
The Relectuancy of Brands Showcasing Conflict
Apparently, there are a lot of businesses in the world who are insecure to share the conflict and advertises their business.
They are keener to believe that their rosy and free from struggles story with a hockey-stick growth is what only can convince potential customers that they are the best in the industry.
Most of the brands do not prefer to showcase their imperfections or company history in regards to that while pitching.
This is most certainly a huge misconception in reality. Like everything, companies also have flaws.
Also, perfection is not something that people relate to. Rather they see it as a superficial and sale-sy attitude of a business.
Modern-age businesses are more personalized about their connection with audiences.
So the brand story becomes pivotal in connecting to the audience and conflict becomes an essential factor of a brand story.
Defining the Status Quo And Resolution
Apart from the conflict, another thing you can focus on is crafting the brand story. To craft a compelling story, there are two essential components :
- Status Quo
The status quo is the initial nature of a particular situation or just the way things have been.
The conflict disrupts the situation at hand and brings something at more stake encouraging the protagonist to actively look for the solution.
The same is what is expected from your brand in terms of the status quo. It is about how you resolve the existing problem giving them an emotional payoff after all the struggle.
So in totality, the story structure of your brand should be consecutively in this process :
- Status Quo
For Example: Drift
Drift is a conversational marketing platform where businesses can easily connect with prospective customers through creating genuine interactions and empathetic conversations.
Here’s how you can differentiate the business story structure into three different aspects.
Content marketing has always been about touching people through personalized content just like humans.
They created content that focuses on educating and helping their customers. And it is there to exchange the kind of value they are providing to their lives.
No matter how much brands talk about putting the customer first but it never gets practice it.
All the information required such as emails or the contact information asked in the exchange of a lead magnet.
The aim is still here to keep connecting to the potential customer until they buy the product.
And no one actually enjoys filling these forms or going through this grind until they want to do it.
So this certainly questions whether you are customer-centric or not.
So what brands can do is remove the necessity of all the forms for the prospective customers.
So if brands really want to put the customer first, they need to be more humanized and empathetic towards their customers.