5 Things to Consider When You Create a Brand Story
Your client has given you a new task: create a brand story. This brand story has to represent everything that your client provides, from their core values to the product or service they sell. While you may know some information about your client, there is a lot that you’re going to have to decipher yourself. This lack of a clear direction for the brand story can feel overwhelming.
The pressure starts to sink in. You’re in charge of shaping an entire brand. Relax. Breathe… and let’s learn how to create an awesome brand story that resonates with your audience!
1. Understand Your Client’s Background
In order to create a brand story for your client, you should understand their values and what they take pride in. This should be incorporated as a main component of the brand story.
An effective brand story is crafted around the background of the client. Their audience needs a hero they attach themselves to. Think of your favorite brands. Got them? Good. What you may realize is that your love for them centered around the values they represent, not just what they produce.
The perfect brand story isn’t one that’s built on a road paved by success and success alone. Make sure you highlight your client’s struggles as much as you highlight their success. No human is perfect. Highlighting their humanity and their purpose when crafting their story is something their target audience will appreciate. Building a relationship with a brand requires a sense of connection, and knowing that relatable humans are behind the brand makes it easier to build that bond.
2. Understand Why Your Client Does What They Do
One of the first questions you should ask them is: “Why do you do what you do?”
“To make money” isn’t an acceptable answer.
Anyone with funding can identify a growing market and enter it with the intention of making money. There’s nothing special about that. Sure, making money is great. Making money is what puts dinner on the table, but it’s not what fuels a business.
In order to determine their why, sit down with your client and listen to their background. If you want to be able to create a brand story, you must be able to identify their passion and emulate it. This is because passion resonates. Substance resonates. These things are important if you want to create a brand story that impacts your target audience.
Therefore, make sure you understand the intent of your client and their business. What’s the root of their ambition? Maybe they created the business as a way to give back to others, or help those with a similar problem they are faced with. Whatever it may be, capture their passion in the story you craft and convey it though the brand itself.
3. Bridge the Gap Between Your Client and Their Target Audience
Although a brand story is shaped around a company, its purpose is to attract customers. You want to entice them, to draw them in. Your mantra must encompass all the nuances that make up your target audience. Let’s take Burt’s Bees for example.
At the root of Burt’s Bees’ story lies their philosophy: “What you put in your body should be made from the best nature has to offer.”
Through the adherence of their philosophy throughout their over 30 years of existence, Burt’s Bees has attracted an audience of holistic individuals who live and breathe the brand’s philosophy –– fans, if you will. Their philosophy is bolstered by their wide offering of over 350 natural body care products. These products resonate with their target audience. Their mantra is their target audience.
Through their story, Burt’s Bees has made it clear they are not in the business of natural body care just to make money. This is not surprising, as natural body care has become a growing trend recently.
Their audience understands their passion and it resonates with them. Their customers are happy to support a company that shares the same values as they do. There’s no superficiality in their delivery, Burt’s Bees is 100 percent authentic. Their authenticity is the tether between their brand and their target audience.
4. Create a Long-Term Story
When you are developing a brand, you have to think about the long term goals. Sure, rebranding might be an option down the road, but why not put the effort into it now? Especially when you stop and consider all of the risk that comes with trying to rebrand.
Just like any friendship, the relationship doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort and clear communication. So, when you go to create a brand story for your client, find ways that it can be developed over time. This helps build your relationship with them. As your time goes on and your story develops, your audience will get to know you on a more personal and relatable level, which will keep them coming back for more of what your business has to offer.
5. Be Consistent
Consistency is key when you create a brand story. If there are any inconsistencies in your story, your target audience will pick up on it. Not only that, but it can also cause confusion as to who you are as a business. Building a relationship with your audience requires trust, and staying consistent long-term helps build that.
Remember, branding is to marketing like air is to your lungs. Without the presence of the former, the latter would cease to exist. The most successful business ventures are ones that not only create a brand story, but continue to develop their branding efforts, consistently.
One of the most effective ways to expand the awareness of your brand is to use social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and even Pinterest are all fundamental pieces of any successful inbound marketing strategy. These platforms help create conversations and allow you to interact on a personal level with your audience.
If you want to learn more about how to properly communicate with your target audience on social media, Pinckney Marketing can help! We have created a social media handbook that helps clients better understand their audience and engage with them on all social media platforms. Download our interactive handbook and continue to create a brand story across all areas of your business.
This post was originally written on May 10th, 2018 and refreshed on July 1st, 2020.