Why All Brands Are Backed By Stories

Brand-StoryHave you ever stopped to think about what a brand is?

A brand defines what a company is about: its values and beliefs.

A good brand communicates a company’s unique selling proposition. Why it is special. Why it matters.

Every successful company has a brand, a why, a unique selling proposition. They are all rooted in stories.

Why All Brands Are Backed By Stories

Your brand story is the most powerful marketing tool you have. That power lies in a single idea, anchored in shared values between you and your audience. This is your “Why”.

Your brand story will outlive any other marketing campaign. It is perceived as authentic and trustworthy by your audience.

Without a story, you can’t portray all the information you want to. And even if you do, it won’t be memorable.

Every brand has a story, including yours. Even if it’s not perfect yet. You story is the foundation that your brand grows on. Over time, your brand story can be nuanced for different audiences, but there must be a unifying idea.

5 Types of Brand Stories

1.  Founding Stories

Your founding story explains how you got started. Often there is a David and Goliath element to it as you take on the giants of your industry. The early struggles, the lessons learned, and all the small wins along the way are part of your founding story. It describes what brought you to where you are today.

Sharing your founding story is important because it will humanize your company. Founding stories show off the people behind the brand. and the core beliefs that drive them.

 2. Employee Stories

Employee stories are just like they sound: stories about your employees. Sometimes you might be the one telling the story, other times your employee will be. Employee stories show the personal side of a brand in the same way that founding stories do. They also illustrate why employees have connected with your brand, and the ways that your employees make the brand even better.

 3. Customer Hero Stories

Stories that turn your customer into a hero are very powerful — especially for sales.  Your customers can solve a problem with your help, or by using your product. That makes a great story. Especially if it’s something remarkable. By sharing stories like this with your customers, you can create an emotional connection as they become attached to the outcome.

 4. Community Stories

Does your brand have an amazing community? Is it heavily involved with a particular charity or neighbourhood. If so, tell that story. It will act as proof that you have shared values with your customers.

 5. Culture Stories

Culture stories demonstrate your company’s culture. Similar to community stories, culture stories communicate your core values very well. When Medium openly discusses that it embraces holacracy, it tells the reader something about how they work and what they care about. When Buffer shares a story about their books program and which books employees request most, they are letting us know they have a culture that values personal development.

10 Questions to Help You Find Your Business’s Story

Answering these questions will get you thinking about your own brand’s stories.

1. Why do you do what you do?
2. What problem does your business solve?
3. What is your history?
4. Where did you start this journey?
5. Who are the main characters in your business?
6. What is your mission?
7. Where is your company going?
8. How have you failed?
9. What are your weaknesses?
10. What makes you different from the competition?

These questions are open-ended for a reason. There is no right or wrong answer. Instead, they are designed to get you thinking. After you’ve worked through all of them, reread your answers and see what stands out. You might be surprised by what you learn.

Through recording your answers to these questions, and logging your development, your story will start to show itself.

There’s no doubt about it. The best way into the mind is through stories. This is why storytelling is so important. Stories create conversations between brands and consumers through various marketing vehicles — packaging, ads, social media, etc. A brand’s story should shine through everything it does and every interaction it has.

Stories provide a consistent and clear picture upon which to build a brand. So what are you waiting for? Start writing your brand story today!

What’s your favourite brand story? Tell me in the comments below.

Image Credit: captcreate