Building A Brand Story
Selling Your Story, Not A Product
Humans, by nature, are storytellers. We live for the stories told in movies, books, and television shows, and even for the stories that play out in our day-to-day lives. What we don’t realize, however, is just how much those stories influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Think of any commercial or ad poster that you find memorable. Why do you think that specific promotion came to mind?
Most likely, you thought of an advertisement with a cute puppy, a trademark spokesperson, or a funny plotline. You didn’t just think of the product or service by itself; the product or service you thought of was directly connected to the story that sells it.
That’s because that brand’s advertisement helped you to relate to their product or service on an emotional level. The story of their advertisement is the link between their brand and your heart, making it easier for you to justify making a purchase or clicking their “Book Now!” button.
So, to make your product or service stand out from the rest, you have to create a memorable brand story. You have to write a narrative that both proves your product or service’s worth, and humanizes your brand, so that potential customers can emotionally justify going with your brand over someone else’s.
Strategies for Building Your Brand Story
The question becomes: How Do You Build A Brand Story?
It can be daunting to sit down and make decisions about how your brand is going to be presented to the world. The story you produce will be associated with your brand permanently, so you have to be careful when selecting plotlines or mascots.
But building your Brand Story doesn’t have to be hard! Here are a few strategies you can use to create a story that benefits your brand, your product/service, and your prospective customer:
Plan Your Messaging
It’s impossible to create a believable, cohesive brand story if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish with it. Before you even start thinking about your story arc, write down your main goals surrounding your product or service. Think about:
Who you want your product or service to reach
How your product or service can help prospective buyers
How your product or service can resonate with your target market
What your product or service offers that competitors don’t
Pinpointing your message goal is the first step towards creating your best brand story, as it will allow you to craft a narrative that resonates with your target audience.
If you’re not sure where to start, our expert team at Noetic Marketer can help you figure out your best digital marketing strategy! Visit our digital marketing page to see more about how we develop your online presence.
2. Write Your Story
Once you have settled on your target audience and message, it’s time to create your story arc. A story arc “is a literary term for the path a story follows. It provides a backbone by providing a clear beginning, middle, and end of the story”. While this term is more commonly used within literature, the idea of the story arc aligns with the way a copywriter writes a promotional narrative.
Your audience will be more likely to engage with your work if they feel as though they are a part of your brand story. In order to make that happen, the story you craft should center around three main aspects:
A. The Problem:
Every story has a basis within conflict. If television shows were only about perfect families with perfect lives, and nothing ever went wrong, we would get bored and stop watching. The same concept applies to the promotional narrative arc.
However, your story outline will differ from the typical fictitious story arc, as a promotional narrative does not start at the beginning of the action. Don’t bore your audience with unnecessary scene-setting. Instead, jump right into the exciting part of the story: the problem. Following the “problem first” format will ensure that your customer is engaged right from the beginning.
B. The Hero:
The part of the hero in your story needs to be played by your prospective customer. In order to convince your audience that your product or service is what they need, you’ll have to show them how your brand fits into their life.
The prospective customer has to be able to feel as though your promotion speaks to them, and to accomplish this, you’re going to have to do some research. Learn about your audience’s needs and wants, and decide what emotions best suit your story. Use these emotions to choose what kind of problem your hero is facing within your story. That way, your customer is emotionally connected to the issue at hand and will want to know more about your solution.
C. The Solution:
This is the section where you introduce your product or service and show your audience why they need it. Remember not to paint your brand as being the hero of the story; your product or service is merely the tool that your customer (the hero) will use to solve the problem.
Ultimately, the end of your story should act as a sort of “moral-of-the-story” reminder, showing your audience that if they engage with your brand, all their problems will be solved.
3. Draw From Real Life Experience
The point of creating your promotional narrative is to place your reader at the center of the action. What that means is that your story should be based on what already exists.
A story that is pulled completely out of thin air can come off as unrealistic, and therefore, unrelatable. You should be targeting to change the customer’s existing story in a way that shows them that your product or service is the solution to their already existing problem. Doing this will demonstrate to your audience that their want for your product or service is justifiable, as the solution it provides is applicable to their day-to-day lives.
4. Make It Unique
Your brand won’t be the first to associate its product or service with a story. Thousands of commercials and advertisements use stories to make themselves memorable. The effective ones, however, approach this story from an angle that hasn’t been seen before.
The goal of your story arc is to create something unique, setting your product or service apart from every other similar advertisement out there. You also have to remember that what works for someone else’s promotion may not work for yours. That’s because each product or service aims to get their audience to view their product in a certain way, depending on what type of emotion would benefit them the most.
5. Remember Your Audience
Ultimately, your audience is the most important aspect of your brand story. The people reading or watching your promotions are the people that are going to make that purchase or click that “Book Now!” button.
In order to resonate with this prospective audience, you have to maintain a relatable, authentic voice within your promotion. Here are a couple of ways that you can create a credible persona through your story:
Every brand story, in order to maximize its effectiveness, will need to utilize a different set of emotions. Consider the way you want your audience to feel when they think about your product or service.
Something else to think about is the tone in which you talk about your product or service. It’s important to tailor your language, images, and punctuation to craft an appropriate tone for your brand. Try not to use too many exclamation points, or over-exaggerate your punctuation, as it will cheapen the message behind your story.
When you’re really passionate about your product or service, it can be easy to focus too much on how the brand is presented, rather than how it’s being received. The way your customer interacts with your brand is dependent on how you interact with them.
To establish a good customer-brand relationship:
Don’t overexplain - Your customer will get bored if you try to tell them every little detail that you think is relevant. Make your story snappy and to the point, so that your customer can walk away with an easy, memorable message.
Allow your story to be accessible - no one is going to resonate with something that feels out of touch, or if it feels as though the end result isn’t attainable for them. Overall, you have to write for your prospective customer, not for your product. Focus less on the “selling” aspect of your story, and more on the “relating” aspect. Never fabricate where you can relate.
Want to make sure your brand story reaches a wider audience? Check out Noetic’s Guide to Writing Content That Ranks on Google here.
With these 5 steps, you’ll be able to build a cohesive, effective brand story. This narrative will be the reason that audiences remember your brand, which will result in more customer engagement, and hopefully, more leads.
For more information on crafting the perfect brand story, and for help in creating one, reach out to the Noetic Marketer team!