If you had a digital marketing planning tool that:
- provides a foundation for all your content creation,
- provides focus for your strategic planning in a competitive marketplace, and
- builds alignment with your employees,
you would agree that it’s worth the time to create it, right? This swiss army knife of marketing planning is the brand story.
A brand story tells the story of how your brand came to be, and what it seeks to accomplish in the world. Instead of using facts and data to appeal to the brain, the brand story is expresses motivation, mission and passion to appeal to the heart. In an era focused on cranking out content piece after content piece, it can be easy to lose sight of compelling storytelling. Instead just talking at your prospects, clients and employees, a brand story helps you connect with them.
Storytelling Builds Trust
The foundation of every relationship, whether personal or professional, is trust. As many researchers have shown, storytelling activates more areas of the brain than a recitation of facts. A good story captures the attention of the user, and can transport the user into a detailed world full of nuance and emotion. These details build trust. As the minds at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley summed it up: “Emotional simulation is the foundation for empathy”.
What’s important in a brand story?
When writing your brand story, it’s important to keep in mind that it should be: authentic to who you are, honest about what got you to this point, and distinctive enough to remember. It can tell the story a central founder of the organization, but don’t have it overly focus on a single individual. This is an important time to use your brand voice, telling your brand’s story with a personality and vibe that runs through all your digital marketing.
While you don’t want to write a novel, your brand story should be long enough to highlight important crossroads in the story. By showing examples of when adversity was overcome, users will be encouraged to connect at a deeper level.
How to craft your brand story
To help you begin your brand story, Bombastic created this free planning guide to help you know where to begin. Here are the 3 key question to answer:
- Start with why your organization was founded. Was there a clarifying event that inspired the founders? Or did the organization evolve from another venture? The first pillar of a great brand story is the core mission that ignited the founders to begin their work. And a tip: tell the authentic story. No business clichés like “synergy” or “disruption” allowed.
- After that first inspiration, reality will always quickly set in. What challenges arose, and how were they overcome? They could have been technical, or logistical, or personal. These challenges act as a magnifying glass, clarifying the original mission. They help organizations zero in on which part of their mission was so valuable that it needed to fought for.
- As you reflect on the core mission, and what challenges were overcome, next think about how that makes you unique. How have these experiences differentiated you from similar organizations? Your brand story should include insights into your unique personality as a brand.
When to put your brand story to work
Your brand story does not have to stay isolated in the About Us section of your website. Use it in your content marketing on your business anniversary (through stories in social media or an email newsletter). Another idea is using it as a natural foundation for a branding video. Also, it is perfect in B2B materials as corporation background. And don’t forget: you can use it in new employee orientation materials and company events.
In all, you will use your brand story more often that you think. It’s the universal tool for any company.