Storytelling is as ancient as the human race. The aborigines were, and still are, amazing story tellers.
Fast forward to today's world of big brands, and brand storytelling is booming. As humans we still love to hear stories – they help us make sense of the world around us. There's often a romance to stories, an energy we get from them. They can make us laugh and feel happy. We engage with stories.
Create a compelling and powerful brand story and, so the story goes, it will transform your presence and identity, captivate your audience, and create trust and a firm bond.
If your business wants to attract people, if you want to create or change perceptions, or persuade people to act in a particular way, you need a compelling story.
Central to your marketing strategy and using the most persuasive argument possible to resonate with potential customers, your brand story should describe why your business exists, why you do things the way you do and what you offer that helps to solve the challenges faced by potential customers. Your story needs to connect with your audience and differentiate you from the competition.
If you're looking to develop a brand story, here are three quick pointers to get you started:
Keep it simple
We all know the traditional structure of a story: beginning, middle, end. As humans we know this structure. It appeals to us as we understand how it works. So use a similar structure for your brand story but with a slight twist:
Problem, solution, success.
Tell your audience how your brand addresses the business problems they face and provides solutions that deliver success. This will help your audience to see how your business could become intertwined with theirs and the world in which they operate.
Understand your audience
In order to address your audience's problems, you have to be clear about what these are first.
One way to delve into your audience and scope out the challenges they face is to develop buyer personas – pen portraits of audience segments. These will help build a clearer picture of the people you're targeting, as well as their priorities and challenges, so you can better build a website and create content that convinces and help them decide to buy from you.
To get started, download our buyer persona template ›
Don't forget, the telling is as important as the story itself
It's important to thread your story through everything you do, so how and where you tell your story is as important as the story itself.
This needs to be strategic as the 'telling' should be done consistently and coherently across all sales and marketing activities. Your website, for example, will obviously be a major shop window but your brand narrative should thread through every possible buyer touch-point with your business – from your inbound marketing to all of your content, to name just two major areas you should focus on.
“If your business wants to attract people, if you want to create or change perceptions, or persuade people to act in a particular way, you need a compelling story”