Branding 101: 5 Steps to a Compelling Brand Story

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Ever wonder what makes a brand truly unforgettable? 

Building a memorable brand identity starts with forming a connection with your audience. How? 

Simple. Your brand story! Brand storytelling is about weaving a tale that tugs at heartstrings and creates a bond between your brand and your audience.

So, how exactly do you tell a brand story? 

According to marketing expert Ashley Friedlein, “Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organization. Branding is about shaping that perception.” 

Think of it like this: Your brand story is the juicy backstory, the mission, the values – all wrapped up in a narrative package that brings it to life. It’s like turning your brand into a character in an epic adventure and bringing your audience along for the ride.

Slapping some facts on a page and calling it a day is so yesterday. Today’s marketing focuses on building genuine connections. Ready to turn your brand into a narrative powerhouse and make it unforgettable for your audience? 

We’ve come up with a simple step-by-step guide below with some brand story examples to inspire you. 

✨Understanding Your Audience

First things first – get to know your audience like your BFF. Get up close and personal with your ideal client and really dive into their world. That means learning what makes them tick, understanding their quirks, and figuring out what hits them in the feels. Your story’s got to speak their language, so let’s make sure we’re on the same page. 

Take Nike for example – they know their audience craves inspiration and motivation. So, they tell stories of everyday athletes overcoming challenges, resonating deeply with their target market.

✨Defining Your Core Message

What is your “why”, a.k.a. the beating heart of your brand? Pinpointing that core message – are you all about innovation, eco-friendliness, or making your customers jump for joy? – will be the North Star guiding your story. 

Remember when Apple rebranded from Macintosh to Apple? They summed up their why neatly in two powerful words: Think different. These two words permeated everything they did and told their story of innovation and leadership throughout the years and their products ever since.

✨Developing Characters and Plot

Time to add some flair – let’s give your brand a cast of characters and a killer plot. Characters could be your founders, employees, or even those delighted customers. And the plot? Well, that’s the journey, the challenges faced, and the triumphant victories. A little drama (the good kind) goes a long way in making your brand more relatable.

Look at Wendy’s – they’ve turned their social media into a snarky, sassy character. It’s like having a witty friend who roasts competitors and keeps things spicy. This brand story example shows us how our characters and plot can be as engaging and dynamic as a binge-worthy TV series.

✨Incorporating Emotional Appeal

Now, let’s spice things up with emotions! Joy, nostalgia, empathy – pick your flavor. Share experiences that pull at heartstrings, turning your audience from passive observers to active participants in your brand story. Remember, emotions are the secret sauce that transforms a brand into a memorable story.

Let’s take a page from Google’s “Year in Search” campaigns. They don’t just list events; they tell a story of humanity, resilience, and hope. It’s tear-jerking and heartwarming, making us all feel a little more connected. Injecting genuine emotions into your brand story is like adding extra flavor to your favorite dish – it becomes unforgettable.

✨Consistency Across Channels

Last but not least, let’s keep it real across the board. Your story should sound the same whether it’s on your website, social media, or that cool billboard downtown. Consistency builds trust and makes your brand identity rock-solid. No matter where they encounter your brand, your audience gets a seamless and compelling story.

Notice how Coca-Cola feels the same whether you see it on TV, on a billboard, or across social media. That’s because they nail consistency. The red, the happiness, the “Open Happiness” tagline – it’s everywhere. Consistency builds trust, making your brand a reliable friend. So, sprinkle your brand story consistently across all channels, just like Coca-Cola does.

Are you ready to unleash your brand’s narrative magic with your ?brand story? If you need a sounding board – or an entire community of them – join Selfmade today and start working on your story, stat. 

February 6, 2024

Emily Oberman