Businesses need more than a website, logo, catchy tagline and social media blasts to attract customers. Businesses, whether big or small, need a brand story.
Without it, they are just another commodity on the market without anything to differentiate them from the competition. With it, the stories they tell help widen their customer base, increase their brand awareness and drive sales.
A brand story is more than what the business does and sells. It goes beyond price—because the competition can always slash theirs. It goes beyond the ad for a sale or deal that’s seen and forgotten to a much deeper level to something memorable and lasting.
Brand stories engage basic storytelling to convey the business’s history, values, purpose and reason for being. How was the business founded and why? What does it value such as being green or promoting social causes? Why is it in the marketplace besides the obvious of making money? And for BBB Accredited Businesses, it tells others why you commit to marketplace standards of trust, ethics, integrity and always doing the right thing.
Businesses can follow these tips to help them get started in creating a brand story.
- Brand stories begin with personality. The story is about where you came from and where you’re headed—this can be presented, in part, in a timeline of your company’s history. Be sure to include anecdotes, interesting facts and testimonials. Ask such things as: Why did you start the business in the first place? What purpose or dream did you want to fulfill?
- Brand stories are told simply. This keeps the message clear and concise, which also helps build trust. Why does your business exist, and what is the purpose of your business or brand? What problem is your business trying to solve? Why should customers buy from you? What sets you apart?
- Brand stories tell the BME. Branding engages the elements of storytelling of a beginning, middle and end, or of problem, solution and success. What is the problem your business set out to solve? What was missing or needed differentiation in the marketplace? How was this problem solved, or what did you do in the middle steps of your business? How are you successful today?
- Brand stories connect with customers. Customers who want to associate with and be part of your story will identify with your business and your brand. How can customers feel like they are buying part of your story when they buy your products and services? How do they become part owners of your story?
- Brand stories need to be true, authentic and honest. It must have a purpose. And it must be an invitation, inviting customers to share and continue telling stories from their own experiences with what you have to offer.