Your brand story is your secret ingredient that will set you apart from your competition. They can get new clients through your door and ensure that current clients stay loyal. The clearer and more compelling your brand story, the more it will power business success. So the question is – are you telling a compelling brand story?
Your brand story is based on who you are as a brand and your purpose – or as Simon Sinek so eloquently put it – your ‘WHY’. This is a concept that will change the way people see and experience your business. It needs to be a story that is inspiring and captivates the listener. It needs to honest and real, giving meaning and weight to a brand that comes from the heart. To a large degree, writing a good brand story is about drawing from the lessons we’ve always known. Remember the fairytales we used to love as children? There was always a moral to the story at the end of them. The moral of a story is the core idea or truth that the story expresses. Your brand story works in a similar way; it defines and expresses the core values about who you are as an enterprise.
It’s a story that not only your clients need to believe in, but one that your employees believe, trust and can honestly back up through their behaviours and actions. Your systems and processes will reveal the story and your customers will believe the story because you live it.
Too often we experience brands that are good at spruiking a story; what they think they believe in and stand for, only to find that the story is backed by processes that don’t work, unhappy employees and empty promises. This is extremely dangerous for a brand as it damages the brand at every customer touch-point. It creates mistrust and clients will choose to walk away.
Genuine brands live and breathe their story. It can be seen in their core values. Clients can trust their story because they can experience it first hand through every area of dealing with the business. The story is embedded in their business behaviour, the way the team work together, how they communicate amongst each other as well as with the client and the consistency in the delivery of the promises they make.
So, how do you craft a story that can drive key customer decisions and staff engagement in a believable and engaging way and know that you have it right? You’ll know that you have the right story when it consistently guides your client and staff behaviours and actions, and engages them to want to be a part of your brand.
The key points of a strong brand story are Clarity, Consistency and Character.
Firstly, make sure you know what your core values are. Take time to structure what you want to say and how you want to say it. This is the mainframe of your brand story; who you are, what you do, who you help, why it matters to them, and most importantly – how it’s different from anyone else in the marketplace.
To ensure that the message comes across effectively, you need to make sure you say it (and show it) in the same way ALL the time. By being consistent in all of your communications and actions your message will start to come together, creating a brand presence for you in the marketplace.
The final step, which is the fun bit, is for you to give it your own spin and add character and personality to the brand. This is what brings your story to life at an emotional level. It’s what makes people want to connect with you and turns their necessity into desire. It’s what makes people want an iPhone over a regular mobile phone, it’s what make people buy Nike sneakers over other sneakers. They buy into the story as it resonates with them.
Essentially, it is your brand story that helps you answer the most basic of all questions: “Why?” Why did you decide to buy a certain service or product over someone else’s? Why is it that you full fill their needs better than anyone else? Why does your logo look this way? Why do your press releases, brochure and website read the way they do? And most importantly, why would someone make the critical decision to use your products or services over your competitors?
This can be a very powerful tool for a business. So don your creative hat, put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and start crafting your brand story. When it’s done, let us know as we’d love to hear them!