Branding is about the effect you have on people and can make a massive difference in how your offering takes root in the market. A good product or service needs a great story to go with it. An impactful brand story stimulates emotion and empathy, resonating with the audience in such a way that it takes them on a journey and makes them believe that they are part of the story.
1. Know your audience
To tell your brand story, first and foremost, you must know who your audience really is. The more detail you can get, the better. Pretend you are having a conversation with your potential customer. What do you know about their daily lives? What are their hobbies? How do they consume media? What situations will they relate to? Continue to ask these kinds of questions until you can envision your ideal customer in your mind. Be specific when it comes to describing this ideal person. Ultimately you want to know how your brand can be a solution to their problems or simplify their lives.
2. Positioning is everything
Once you have your ideal customer in mind, learn how to position your brand. The following formula can help you construct a positioning statement that will be the heart of your brand story. Fill in the blanks to start your very own positioning statement:
- For (your target customer)
- Who (statement of their need or opportunity)
- (Your product name) is a (product category)
- That (statement of key benefit)
- Unlike (your competing alternative)
- (Your product name) (its primary differentiation)
Once you feel like you have a strong positioning statement, use it to create a mindmap, starting with one word that represents your brand and freely associates the images and words that come to mind until you hit a word that conveys emotion and sentiment. Once you evoke that emotion that represents your brand you’ll know it and so will your customers.
3. Find your brand hero
People will take action when they feel a unique connection with a person. Your brand hero should prove that your product works. Turn to your current customer base and see how you can include them in telling your story alongside you.
4. Be Human
In order to connect, brands must also choose and embrace personas how you would describe your brand as a person—would it be liberal or conservative, wise and experienced or young and bold? Think of your brand as a social being, a human that is connected via constant real-life interaction with potential and current users, stories, symbols and different aspects of society. Taking time to consider these questions to build a persona or align your brand with an existing human archetype will enhance your brand story. Once you establish a clear brand persona, you can maintain it through your branding and communication, and it will help you understand how your brand should behave, what stories to tell and what causes and brands to align with.
5. Don’t Evangelise Without Your Brand Story
Without a brand story, brand messaging and marketing content is typically vague, confusing and inconsistent. There must be no doubt in people’s minds what your story is and how they play a part in it. Remember, it’s not about getting people to join you, it’s about using your story to join the customer’s life.