Building a Brand Story: Everything You Need to know

You know how important it is to have a great story. After all, stories are what connect us. They're what make us human. And when it comes to marketing, a good story can be the difference between someone engaging with your brand and someone scrolling right past it.


Consider the following top brand storytellers: Which ones spring to mind?

Apple? Ferrari? CocaCola? Disney? Airbnb?

And what makes a good story? And how can you make sure your brand's story is being told in the most effective way possible?

In this post, we'll answer those questions and give you a free template to help you craft a brand story that will resonate with your audience.

What Is a Brand Story? What Is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling is the practice of using stories to connect with your audience and communicate your brand values. A good brand story will do more than just sell your product or service - it will also give people a reason to connect with you emotionally.

It's important to note that brand storytelling is not the same as content marketing. While both strategies aim to build relationships with customers, content marketing focuses on creating helpful or interesting content that speaks to the needs of your target audience. On the other hand, brand storytelling is all about weaving a tale that aligns with your company's values and mission.

Of course, a good story does not need to be long or complicated. Some of the most memorable brand stories are actually quite simple. For example, the "I'm lovin' it" tagline from McDonald's is just four words - but it tells a story of happiness and satisfaction that is hard to forget.

Why Is Brand Storytelling Important?

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with marketing messages, it's more important than ever to cut through the noise and connect with your audience deeper. And that's exactly what brand storytelling can do.

A good story will make your brand more relatable and more likely to be remembered. It will also help you build trust with potential customers, which is essential if you want them to do business.

And while content marketing can be a helpful way to generate leads and drive sales, brand storytelling can create an emotional connection between your customer and your product that goes beyond the transaction. This is what will inspire customers to become lifelong fans of your brand.

Brand storytelling matters because it is one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience emotionally. And when people have an emotional attachment to your brand, they are more likely to become loyal customers.

Think about it this way: When you watch a movie or read a book, you are more likely to remember the characters and the plot than the product placement. The same is true for brands. People are more likely to remember a story that they can relate to than remember a list of features or benefits.

In addition, brand storytelling can help you stand out from the competition. It is more important than ever to differentiate your brand in today's noisy and crowded marketplace.

The Elements of Powerful Brand Storytelling

Now that we've answered the question, "what is brand storytelling?" Let's look at a powerful brand story.

Empathetic Characters

The best brand stories have characters that your audience can empathize with. These characters should be relatable and relatable. Ideally, they will also be aspirational - someone that your audience looks up to or wants to be like.

A character that grabs the empathy of your audience is someone that your audience wants to follow on their journey. For example, one of the most famous brand success stories is Nike's "Just Do It" campaign. The campaign features real-life athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, who overcome obstacles to achieve their goals.

This story speaks to our natural desire to be inspired by others and overcome challenges. It also gives us a sense of what it means to be a Nike customer-driven and determined to succeed.

building a brand story is the most effective way

A Compelling Plot

Every good story has a plot - and your brand story should be no different. A compelling plot will keep your audience engaged and wanting more.

Your brand story should have a beginning, middle, and end. It should also have a conflict or obstacle that your characters must overcome. This will make your story more relatable and more likely to be remembered.

For example, the popular detergent Tide has a brand story that follows a mother trying to remove a stain from her child's clothes. The mother is unsuccessful in her first few attempts, but she doesn't give up. Instead, she keeps trying different methods until she finally gets the stain out.

This story is relatable because we've all been in a situation where we've tried to remove a stain and failed. But, it's also inspiring because it shows us that Tide is a product that never gives up - just like the mom in the story.

A Memorable Ending

When your website is designed with clarity in mind, it will also be designed for search engines. This means that your site will be easy for them to crawl and index, which will improve your SEO rankings.

Better SEO means that more people will find your site when searching for keywords related to your business. And since StoryBrand websites are designed to be persuasive, those visitors are more likely to take action once they've found your site.

This increased visibility and improved conversion rates can significantly increase sales and revenue for your business. If you're not happy with your current SEO rankings, a StoryBrand website makeover can help you improve them.

Authentic Voice

Your brand story should be told in your own voice. In other words, it should sound like something you would say. This is important because it will help ensure that your story is believable and relatable.

Your story should also be consistent with the overall voice of your brand. For example, if your brand is edgy and rebellious, your story should reflect that.

However, you don't want to force your brand voice - it should come naturally. The best way to find your authentic voice is to start telling your story and see what comes out simply.



your guide toward building a brand story

Visually Appealing

Your brand story should be visually appealing. This means using high-quality images and videos that capture your audience's attention.

In addition, your visuals should be relevant to your story. They should help illustrate the characters and events in your story and make them more relatable.

For example, the popular fashion brand Bonobos uses visuals that are both stylish and relevant to its story. Their pictures feature well-dressed men in various settings, which helps illustrate the Bonobos' lifestyle.

A Clear Message

Your brand story should have a clear message that speaks to your audience. In addition, this brand message should be consistent with your brand's overall mission.

The message should not be too heavy-handed - it should be subtle and implied throughout the story. For example, the famous travel brand Airbnb has a brand story that implies "belonging anywhere."

This brand message is consistent with Airbnb's mission to make people feel at home worldwide. It's also a subtle message that speaks to our natural desire for connection and belonging.

Another example is the popular skincare brand Dove has a message of "Real beauty" that speaks to its audience of women. This brand message is consistent with Dove's mission to celebrate natural beauty and help women feel confident in their own skin.

Consistent Branding

Your brand story should be consistent with the overall branding of your company culture. This includes everything from the colors and fonts you use to the tone of your story.

Erratic branding will confuse your audience and make them less likely to remember your story.

For example, Skittles's widespread candy company has a brand story consistent with its overall branding. The colors in the story match the colors of Skittles' packaging, and the story's tone is lighthearted and fun - just like the candy itself.

This consistency makes it easier for audiences to remember Skittles' story and associate it with the brand.

In line with the Business Objectives

Your brand's narrative should be consistent with your company's objectives. For example, if you, as the business owner, are trying to increase brand awareness, your story should be about someone who discovers your brand and has a positive experience.

This alignment is important because it ensures that your story will achieve your business goals. For example, if you are trying to increase sales, your story should be about someone who buys your product and has a positive experience.

For example, the favored car company Tesla has a brand story aligned with increasing sales. The story is about buying a Tesla and having a positive experience. This helps increase Tesla's sales because it shows potential customers that they can have a positive experience with the brand.

Provokes Action

Your brand story should provoke your audience to take action. This could be as simple as signing up for your newsletter or following you on social media.

The goal is to get your audience engaged with your story and encourage them to take the next step with your brand.

For example, the popular online retailer Amazon has a brand story that provokes its audience to take action. The story is about buying a product on Amazon and having a positive experience. This encourages people to purchase products on Amazon and have a positive experience with the brand.

building a brand story using StoryBrand

6 Steps to Roll Out the Brand Story of Your Business

Now that we've covered the basics of brand storytelling, it's time to get started on your own story. To help you get started, we've created a free template that you can use to map out your brand story.

Step 1: Make a list of your brand's goals and the intended meaning behind the narrative.

The first step to mapping out your brand story is to define your goals. What do you want to achieve with your story? For example, are you trying to increase brand awareness, build customer loyalty, or increase followers?

This step is vital because it will help you determine the overall message of your story. Most brands fail to achieve their goals because their story doesn't have a clear purpose.

Once you have defined your goals, think about the purpose of your story. What is the main message that you want to communicate?

Step 2: Consider the background of your business.

What is the history of your brand? How did you get started? What are your core values? These are all essential elements to consider when creating your brand story.

Take some time to define your personal ambitions, values, and how particular events have brought you to where you are now. This stage will aid in the understanding of how your own experiences may influence your company's objectives and aim. It's also a useful exercise for determining which personal experiences to incorporate into your brand storytelling to connect emotionally with your target audience.

Step 3: Your hero's journey matters.

Now it's time to start thinking about your story's plot. A good way to do this is to map out your hero's journey. This narrative structure was developed by educator and prolific author Joseph Campbell, who structured fantasy, science fiction, and horror stories.

To map out your hero's journey, think about the main character in your story (this could be you, a customer, or even a fictional character). Then, consider the challenges they face and how they overcome them.

Step 4: Your brand personality should reflect.

This step will think about how your brand is portrayed in your story. What are its values? What is its tone? Defining your brand personality is about interpreting human qualities in your brand. It's usually based on the characters and preferences of your consumers. A well-established personality will assist you in communicating more effectively with your clients.

Your brand personality should be consistent with the overall branding of your company. For example, if your brand is all about innovation, your story should be told in a creative and forward-thinking voice.

Step 5: Brand purpose and values define your business.

You will need to think about what your brand represents in this step. What are its core values? What is its mission? Once you have defined your brand purpose, ensure it is reflected in your story.

A. Brand Purpose:

To help businesses increase brand awareness and build customer loyalty. This "one-liner" reflects your client's value to your life. It should be consistent with your brand's story. 

A few examples:

  • Crayola: Encouraging children to be creative and enabling parents to inspire them.
  • Apple: To empower creative exploration and self-expression.
  • Muji: Promoting simplicity and moderation, humility and self-restraint, and supporting the serenity and natural state of the environment.

B. Brand Values:

Select 3-5 adjectives that you feel best reflect your brand. These should be qualities evident in your story and your company's overall branding. Avoid writing too much and make sure that everything you say is easy to understand. 

Some examples include:

  • Zara: Beauty, Clarity, Functionality, Sustainability
  • Cars. com: Convenience, Accessibility, Risk Reduction, Brand/Status
  • Adidas: Performance, Passion, Integrity, Diversity

Step 6: Your brand story in Black & White

It's finally time to start writing your brand story! Remember to keep your audience, goals, and brand personality in mind. Ensure that it addresses important concerns about your customers' needs and problems, why your brand exists, and what you're trying to accomplish. Here's a brief guide on how to tell a brand story.

It should be about 250-350 words long and include the following information::

  • What is the situation of your consumers (the hero) now? Consider their difficulties and requirements.
  • What is your brand's purpose, and what does it hope to achieve? What efforts are you making to improve the life of your hero?
  • What is there in the future for your brand? 
  • What is your company's one thing that no other firm can provide?
building a brand though storytelling

Share and Grow Your Brand Story

Now that you have your brand story, it's time to start sharing it with the world! Here are some ways to get started:

Share your brand story across the company

Ensure that everyone in your company knows and understands the story. This will help create a more cohesive environment and make it easier for employees to communicate its message to customers.

Storytelling can guide everything you do in your business, from marketing to sales and public relations initiatives to HR. You will see the benefits of a well-developed brand story in your company.

Include your story on your website

Your website is one of the best places to share your brand story. You can include it in the About Us section or create a separate landing page.

Your website is often the first point of contact between you and a potential customer, so make sure your story is engaging and easy to find.

Use social media

Social media marketing is a great way to connect with potential customers and build relationships. Share your brand story on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Get creative and think about using your story to connect with your target audience emotionally. Remember, people are more likely to remember stories than facts and figures.

Create video content

Video is a powerful medium that can help you engagingly tell your story. You can post videos on your website, social media channels, or YouTube.

Your brand story through video doesn't have to be long. A short, simple video can be as effective as a longer one. Think about using video to bring your story to life and connect with your audience emotionally.

Tell your story at events

Events are an excellent opportunity to connect with potential customers and tell them about your brand. Your story is included in your event planning, from initial to on-site activations.

Think about using your story to create an experience that will resonate with attendees long after the event is over. This way, you can turn one-time customers into lifelong fans.

What is an Example of a Brand Story?

Classic Brand Story: Google's Parisian Love

Backrub was the brand's original name, changed in 1995 to Google. After a brief name change, it surpassed the competition, taking the popular jargon. Google is all about ads, yet it rarely promotes its search capabilities. It silences the sales pitch and focuses on human tales when it does. Google's campaigns are void of any branding and usually lack a call to action. The message that it may transform your life is constant with the brand.

The story of a French romance is told with the product it advertises in a three-act play in Parisian Love. We follow a young guy who goes online to search for his French adventure, beginning with studying abroad and ending with love. The protagonist isn't visible to us. Only their Google Search History is played over sound effects and calming piano music.

Success Secret: Emotional Influence

Why Did It Work:

In the Super Bowl ad that aired for 52 seconds, viewers see how the product will improve someone's life. It's a basic story with an immediate "ahh" appeal that encourages it to be quickly shared on social media. To live happily ever after, a hero must overcome adversity (not being with his or her beloved).

It's a love story. And what's more relatable and emotional than that?

The plot is also incredibly simple, focusing on the story, not product placement or action calls.

Following someone's Google search history is fascinating and makes you feel closer to the protagonist.

Takeaway:

An emotional brand story will resonate with your audience and help you connect with them. Keep it simple so that your story is the focus, not any other elements.

storytelling is the new branding

FAQs on Building a Brand Story of Your Own Business

What is included in a brand story?

A brand narrative is a unified tale that encompasses the facts and sentiments generated by your brand or business. As traditional advertising does, a story must elicit an emotional response rather than simply display or inform your brand.

What is the StoryBrand method?

Building a StoryBrand is a way to connect with customers and create loyalty by using memorable, emotional, and engaging stories. Stories are likewise patterned and keep individuals engaged for extended periods of time. Every narrative has a protagonist as its focal point.

What struggle do business leaders face with brand storytelling?

The biggest struggle business leaders face when telling their brand's story is that they often want to start. Leaders want to share where their company came from, how it started, and its mission. However, customers don't always want to know this information about the struggle business leaders face. Instead, they want to know what your company can do for them.

How can I make my brand story stand out?

Make your brand story stand out by being authentic, transparent, and vulnerable. Be sure to also focus on the emotional aspect of your universal story points rather than simply the facts. This will help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and explode your business.

What makes a great brand story?

A great brand story is relatable, emotional, and engaging. It should also be simple so that your audience can easily follow along.

What is a StoryBrand one-liner?

A StoryBrand one-liner is a brief statement that summarizes your brand's story. It should be memorable, emotional, and focus on the customer.

What is a BrandScript?

StoryBrand's BrandScript is a seven-part framework to clarify and deliver your message. It's designed to help you simplify your message to easily understand and engage with your universal story points.

How do I write my own brand story?

Several key elements should be included in your brand story. First, focus on the emotional aspect of your story. What will make your audience feel something? Second, keep it simple so that your audience can easily follow along. And finally, be sure to be authentic, transparent, and vulnerable to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

What is a brand narrative?

A brand narrative is a unified tale that encompasses the facts and sentiments generated by your brand or small business. In traditional advertising, universal story points must elicit an emotional response rather than simply display or inform your brand.

How ca I make my story more memorable?

There are a few ways to create your story more memorable. First, focus on the emotional aspect of your story. What will make your audience feel something? Second, keep it simple so that your audience can easily follow along. And finally, be sure to be authentic, transparent, and vulnerable to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

What is the best way to share my story?

The best way to share your story is through a brand narrative. A brand narrative is a unified tale that encompasses the facts and sentiments generated by your brand or small business. As traditional advertising does, a story must elicit an emotional response rather than simply display or inform your brand.

Final Words

A brand story is a narrative that communicates the values and mission of a company to its consumers. It should be interesting, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. Using the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily create a brand story that will help increase brand awareness and build customer loyalty.

If you want to build a StoryBrand to expand your small business, working with a StoryBrand-certified marketing agency is the most effective approach. To learn more about how we can help you with StoryBrand Strategy, visit www.reddoordesigns.com today.

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