As soon as you start researching anything about branding, you will see the phrase, brand story, pop up. Great phrase, but was does it mean exactly and why do you need one? Here is a great definition that I think sums up the term beautifully;
"A brand story is a cohesive narrative that encompasses the facts and feelings that are created by your brand (or business, if you prefer). Unlike traditional advertising, which is about showing and telling about your brand, a story must inspire an emotional reaction. Things that can influence your brand include your product, price, history, quality, marketing, in-store experience, purpose, values, location and–most crucially–what other people say about you." Jane Pope -
I believe that a brand's story is what connects the brand with the consumer in an authentic way and that is where relationships are built and why as consumers we fall in love with certain brands; Apple for example. The question is, how do you create one, especially when you are just starting out?
Creating a Brand Story in 3 Steps
- Write the story of your business so far; how it came to be, where you are right now and where you envisage your business being in 2,3, 5 years. Go deep into this so you can fully appreciate where you have come from and why, what achievements you have made so far and what challenges you are facing and where you intend heading.
- Now with what you have written before you, write a power statement that sums up why your business exists and what it stands for. Don't be tempted to write something that just sounds great for the sake of it. This statement should reflect the story you wrote in step 1. Seek to go deep and answer the question of why the business exists and what its purpose is, not just for you as the owner, or your employees, but the consumers you seek to serve.
- Now you are going to write your brand story. Essentially what you are going to do here is bring part one and two together in a one page document. You are going to tell the story of where you have come from and where you are going in a succinct way and include a paragraph or two on exactly what it is your business stands for and how you are making the world around you better through what you do.
Now you have a brand story, what do you do with it? Your story can be used in any number of ways, but before you do anything with it, review all of the touch-points of your brand to ensure that at every point a consumer comes into contact with it (or employee for that matter), your brand story is reflected. If this isn't the case, spend time on changing this. This means reviewing your website and style of presentation, your services or products, how you promote yourself on social media and in email marketing, even how you answer the phone, or reply to customer enquiries and complaints.
You should also ensure anyone working for your brand is familiar with your story and it should be part of your induction of new team members. As an employer it is your responsibility to also ensure that your brand story flows down to your team and informs the culture of your workplace and how you treat your staff too.
If you need help telling your brand story or designing an online presence that reflects it, Styled Images offers a Custom Brand Styling Service. Our Styled Image Library is also full of images you can use to help you tell your brand story online. In adding graphics and text to our images we share our tips for designing unique images from our library images.