Four States Small Business Blog

How to Identify Your Brand's Story

Posted by Mark Zimmer on September 10, 2020 at 8:00 AM
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Brand storyIn today's over-saturated market, your business can no longer afford to throw statistics, testimonials, or facts at your audience. Your company needs to pull at your consumer's heartstrings and engage on a much deeper level. Brand storytelling can help make this happen. Research shows that 55% of consumers are more likely to buy the product in the future if they love a brand’s story. Forty-four percent will end up sharing the information, and 15% will buy the product immediately. 

So, how do you identify your brand's story? Read on to learn more. 

What is a Brand Story?

A company's brand story is a cohesive narrative that combines feelings with facts. In comparison, where traditional advertising uses techniques of showing and telling consumers about your product or service, a story inspires an emotional reaction. Through your brand's story, you can connect with your consumer making your brand real and thoughtful. Research shows that storytelling is 22 times more memorable than statistics or facts alone. 

Humans are wired to tell stories. For as long as humans have communicated, be it through language, cooking, or dance, we have created stories. In a marketing context, the degree of storytelling - and the ability to embrace it -  is often the differentiator of success. 

The best part about a brand story is that it answers the critical question many consumers want to know - why does your brand exist? Take TOMS shoes, for example. They use their story to explain to the world that they are here to improve lives. Their tagline, "One for One," signifies that for every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, they give a pair to someone in need. Their storyline builds trust and helps customers understand why they should buy from them. 

Start With the Why.

When you can figure out why your brand exists, you can figure out your company's mission and create a story to drive that point home. However, before you can figure out the "why," you need to define your core values, which are the beliefs your company stands for. They help guide your brand's story, behaviors, actions, and overall decision-making process. 

Once you define your core values, be sure to keep your vision top-of-mind in everything you do. Communicating your values through storytelling can give your brand an important and influential voice that your customers will relate to. When customers relate to you, they’re more likely to make a purchase. In truth, 44% of top market leaders recognize that dynamic storytelling is mandatory for success.

Who's Listening, Anyway?

One of the most important rules of storytelling is "know your audience." Anyone can tell a great story, but if the right people aren’t listening, then you’re wasting a lot of money, energy, and time. You want to make sure you reach the target audience that connects with your story, shares your core values, and wants to take action after hearing your story. When you can connect with your target audience, you can position your brand to increase sales and attract more customers in the process.

Swiss shoe brand On Running knew its target audience consisted of those who wanted to run smarter, run differently, and use science to get a competitive edge. As a result, the company came up with a brand story using their tagline, "Running on Clouds." Every touchpoint their consumers interact with tells a story of accuracy, comfort, engineering, high-level performance, and speed, resulting in impressive sales, gains, and consumer reviews. 

What Sets You Apart?

Finally, to really showcase your brand's story, you need to figure out what sets you apart from the competition. To do this, you want to explain the reasoning behind these questions:

  • What does your business do that no one else does? No matter what specific industry you are in, most likely, it is a crowded marketplace. You want to focus on what aspects make you unique among your competition. For example, try to create content around your company's history and how it changed over time. Your consumers can get to know your individual story and what makes you different.
  • How is your product or service different from the competition? When you can hone in on your company's differences concerning your services and products, you can provide your customers with the knowledge that you offer superior value at an affordable price, helping you boost viability and overall profitability.
  • How is it a reflection of your vision and core values? When you can show your consumers how your brand is a reflection of your vision and core values, you can show them the heart of what your company is and does. This, in turn, not only resonates with your target consumers but helps influence how they view your brand. Considering nearly two-thirds of consumers boycott or buy a brand based on their social or political positions, this is extremely important. 
  • How does your product or service solve your customer's pain points? A pain point is a specific issue your prospective customer is experiencing. You want your brand story to show these consumers how your product or service can solve this problem and how you can keep them happy.

Storytelling is an essential element of your company's branding, and it can truly help you stand out from the competition. It just takes some understanding of your target audience and core beliefs while figuring out how to execute a creative and straightforward storyline. The best part about storytelling is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider working with an experienced media partner who can not only identify your brand's story, but help bring your vision to life.

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Topics: Branding

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