It’s easy to think that your brand story is the history of your business, maybe the history of the founders, or something you came up within a marketing meeting and turned into a few social media posts. Those can be a part of it, but a brand story is much bigger than that.
Your brand story tells your audience who you are
Your story includes everything, from the type of paper you use to the voice on the other end of the phone when a client calls about a problem. It’s not just the things you put out into the world, it’s what other people say about you and, most importantly, how they feel about you. Good stories spark emotions and your brand story is no different.
Tell your story
Stories are a very powerful way to communicate. The human brain is designed to react to a good story, we’ve been doing it since cavemen gathered around a fire to gasp at tales of sabre-toothed tigers.
Connect with your clients
That emotional reaction means that people don’t just think of you as a commodity, buying from you isn’t just about buying a product or service. Instead, they are buying into your story, they become a part of the tale and it says something about who they are. The important thing is to make sure that your story is one that your customers will want to be part of.
What does your story say about you? If you’re trying to be something you aren’t then your story won’t fit, the cracks will soon show and your clients won’t trust you. For example, Susan is a one-man band operating from her kitchen table, but her website and social media is designed to look like a big organisation. She talks about “the office” and uses phrases like “here at Smiths we pride ourselves on finding you the perfect candidate.” She has some professional photos taken of her in her old corporate job, which she uses in her marketing. The problem is when clients phone her they are surprised to hear her children in the background. When candidates go to see her she either arranges to meet in a coffee shop or they come to her house and wonder what happened to the high-end office they had imagined. There’s a disconnect between the story she is trying to tell and the one others are telling about her, so people feel confused, lied to and don’t trust her.
Everyone loves a story
Nadine, in contrast, has a similar business but she uses her brand story to make being small an advantage. She talks about her story, how she used to work for a big organisation but has struck out on her own. She mentions that she can be flexible and act quickly because she isn’t tied to a big structure and how she cares about each of her clients. When people come to meet her they love being welcomed into her home and enjoying tea and biscuits at the kitchen table. Her clients know she’s happy to arrange late evening phone calls once the children are in bed, which suits those calling from different time zones or who can’t talk openly during working hours. Her story is complete, everything she puts out into the world and everything others say about her tell the same tale. As a result, she inspires trust, and those who resonate with her story are loyal fans.
What do you care about?
Your brand story tells your customers not just who you are and where you came from, but also what your values are as a company/. What is important to you. If you reinvest in your local community or run youth programmes or an environmental initiative this is important to include. Your audience will decide if your values are aligned to theirs and will use this to decide if they want to work with or for you.
Your brand story matters although it’s not always easy to put it together. It needs to be compelling, but not so long and intricate that you lose people, and it must be consistent with everything else in your business. If you need help putting your story together, we would be very happy to help. Just contact us today and we can get started.