Storytelling has the incredible ability to connect people on a deep, emotional level. It brings us together as we feel empathy for one another, laugh together and relate to someone else. Figures and stats aren't emotionally charged and interesting. People want to hear stories that are relatable and trigger feelings within them. And, in the world of marketing, brand storytelling can have a massive impact on your company and the following you receive.
With so many competing brands out there, it's essential that you set yourself apart from the crowd, make yourself known and tell your brand story. A brand with a compelling story can connect with people in a way that draws them to you and gives you their loyalty. So many companies fail to see the importance in relating to their customer base this way. But, it's not that difficult to build strong emotional connections with your customers with a captivating history of your reason for being.
How to write a brand story
1. Why do you exist?
There's always a reason why you've made the decision to start your business. It could be something as simple as providing a high-quality product, because you had been disappointed by what was already available—or perhaps it's something with a deeper, more introspective meaning. Regardless of the reason for your existence, you've got to tell your story.
2. Explain your history
Although it may not seem so interesting to you, your customers want to hear the history of how you went from the idea of your company to what exists today. A hard-fought underdog story can be incredibly relatable to many people who have gone through hardships or struggle, and it can be inspirational for someone currently in the same position.
If there isn't much behind your history, a fun and fantastical story always makes for a memorable experience. As long as you aren't misleading your customers into thinking you are something that you're not, a fictional story is a great way to add some interest to your history.
When you're building a brand story, you'll also develop your own tone of voice and other assets. Make sure to keep those all in one place so they're easy for anyone to find. Create a brand style guide using this handy template from Lucidpress.
3. Who are the characters involved?
Every story needs to have some characters in it. Your brand story will have at least a few characters: those individuals who were involved in some way or another with the conception and development of the brand. Any number of people can be a character in the story of your brand, including:
When you're looking to dig deep into the core of your brand story, first identify who was at the heart of the creation of the brand. And, as the brand evolves and continues to grow, more characters may be added into the story as they emerge. Keep your story and characters updated as needed.
4. State your mission
Your mission statement is essentially your basic reason for being. It outlines several things for your customers to learn about your brand:
Why you're in business
What need you're fulfilling
The problem you're solving
In outlining your mission statement, you've got to remember to stay true to yourself. After all, you and your company must live and breathe this mission statement in order to stay true to the brand and protect your brand's reputation. If your mission statement includes environmentally friendly practices, but you drive a gas-guzzler or are found to be improperly disposing of your waste, you will significantly tarnish your brand and mission statement. But, when you live your mission statement, you show yourself and your brand to be more authentic and trustworthy.
5. What are your failures?
There are few stories of success that are without their fair share of obstacles, downturns and downright fails, so don't be afraid to share that part of your story with your customers. After all, conflict is what makes any story interesting.
Some of the most successful people you've heard of have been through their fair share of failures:
J.K. Rowling felt like the biggest failure she knew after a failed marriage, job loss and being on the verge of homelessness.
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and a business he co-owned went under.
Steven Spielberg was turned down by the University of California, not once, not twice, but three times.
Oftentimes, we feel the urge to skip over these failures and just leave a gap in our stories. But, it's generally within those gaps that the most change and development takes places. Don't sugarcoat the tough times, but instead be honest with your customers. You'll be shocked at how well honesty about failure and struggle is accepted and appreciated.
Brand story example
At Lucidpress, our mission is to help every person, business or brand present themselves, so they are understood. We developed our brand story as follows:
In two decades, the digital landscape has transformed the way brands present themselves — and the world now expects great design.
However, design isn’t a universal skill. Combine that with nearly everyone in an organization creating content and you get bad design and inconsistent branded content.
Due to this, many companies turn to strict brand controls, creating large content request backlogs for central creative teams, or else employees are allowed to create content in the wild with little direction.
We created a brand templating platform to offer a better way. Through Lucidpress, companies scale content creation while protecting their brand.
When brands stay consistent through brand templating they last longer, grow faster, and drive more revenue.
Creating a brand story using these steps can help solidify that emotional connection with your customers, to build a bond that is hard to break. Don't overlook the importance of writing your brand story and building that relationship.