In my previous posts, we have looked at various aspects of building a brand including brand attributes, brand values, and internal branding. In this article, we discuss how you can build your “brand story”.
What is a Brand Story?
A “brand story” is a way to tell your audience about your brand using “storytelling”. Stories are an essential part of marketing because they make people feel something by connecting you to your audience. The way in which you tell your brand story is important because it will convey who you are, who you want to be, how you interact with others, and where you have come from, i.e. the motivation behind starting your brand.
“Your brand story is a collection of many stories, each one contributing
to the overarching story that defines the brand.”
Your brand story should define your brand; it should be comprehensive and memorable. Your brand stories will shape the relationship between your stakeholders and your customers. Remember – your brand story is different to your brand identity. For example, your logo and visual identity represent your brand rather than defining it. Therefore, it should be:
Easy to understand
The article What is a Brand Story? from Reimagine PR gives you a good overview of this topic.
What needs to be included in a brand story?
Although an essential ingredient in creating your brand story starts with your background and heritage, this should not be the whole focus. A brand story should comprise of the feelings and facts conveyed by your brand, and it should evoke an emotive reaction. Due to the rise of social media, brand storytelling has become increasingly more important as people react emotionally on channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, your brand story needs to embrace emotional responses, as well as combining these reactions with other elements, which include:
Interesting and useful points have been highlighted in the artcile How to Build Brand Stories that Build Emotional Connections.
Another important factor is to consider what others believe when it comes to your brand - your customers, industries, societies, etc. You may have little control over this, but it will help you shape your brand stories.
“Your story isn’t just what you tell people. It’s what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. The story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings, and interpretations, which means that part of your story isn’t even told by you.”
The Story of Telling
Ultimately, the best way to begin your brand story is to go back and look at your brand attributes. Start with focusing on the character and personality behind your brand – read our previous article for more information on this.
Why do you need a brand story?
For your brand to be compelling to others, you need a way to connect and engage with your audience. An inspiring brand story will enable you to build trust, as well as showcase the personality of your brand. This is more of a personal approach, as opposed to a bold statement. It’s about how you add value to people’s lives, how you can ease their troubles and how you meet their needs.
How do you create a brand story?
There are many aspects of a brand story because it is usually a collection of stories, rather than just one perspective. However, we have listed a few tips below to start you off:
Why do you exist? Explain your inspiration and the motivations behind your brand.
Keep it simple – the clearer your story, the clearer your message will be.
Be human – how do you connect to your customers? Touch others’ lives?
Be passionate – try to create powerful, emotional connections.
Be original – what’s different and ‘fresh’ about your brand?
To conclude, there are so many ways to tell your brand story - be creative, use visuals, record a video etc. For example, parts of my own brand story are summarised below:
As a Chinese person living abroad… no matter how much I enjoy living in another country, my roots are still and will always be in China. I want to see China do well, and I want everyone around the world to look up to China, and to look up to Chinese people.
I often say to people that "I am Made in China" because I am proud - I want people to know that "Made in China" can mean high quality.
China has set its mission to change from "Made in China" to "Created in China", and I want to be part of this change; to share my knowledge, experience and my creativity to help Chinese businesses to achieve greatness.
Read my full brand story - see About Siyuan or visit my All About Branding pages.
If you need advice on how to build your own brand story, or any other aspect of branding, please feel free to contact me.