The importance of brand storytelling
All our experiences are stories. Our memories, successes, and failures are all shaped like a one or even four-story act inside our minds.
Remember how many times you’ve thought: “Wow, my story is so interesting and weird, it should definitely be made into a movie!”
Yeah, we all did at some point.
Furthermore, our lives are intertwined and influenced by the stories of others. That’s why storytelling has been an integral part of mankind since we learned how to communicate.
Breaking down many important concepts into bite-sized, shareable tales were crucial for our development.
What does all this have to do with your brand?
In brand marketing today, we see an oversaturation of products and information. For every product category, there is an overwhelming offer of similar products.
All these brands and products are already blinking on our screens. Screaming for our attention. And lately, we pick them from the comfort of our home and buy them instantly, with no sense of touch, feel, smell or taste.
I call this the Uber Eats roulette.
So, how do we decide which ad to click on, what brand to interact with and finally, what products we buy?
This constant bombardment of information, limited time offers, and other over-zealous marketing schemes, desperate for that click-through rate, make us feel so jaded and left alone in our choice.
When left like this, we base our decision on the one remaining real variable: our emotions.
Price and quality are no longer at the forefront of decision-making when picking a product. Brand stories are.
What is a brand story?
Simply put, it’s the story behind your brand that focuses on your customer’s journey from your introduction to its desired conclusion.
… and it’s one of the main reasons why someone will choose your brand over someone else’s.
A brand story gives your audience insight into your business beyond your product or service. Great storytelling creates a connection between your audience and your brand, resulting in higher customer loyalty.
Wonderful stories inspire us, move us and stay with us long after we’ve experienced them. That is why a good brand story, that connects and empathizes, sets one brand apart in the sea of others.
But wait, you invested all that time, love, energy, and effort into providing a unique and high-quality service or product. How come that is not enough?
Don’t worry, if the previous statement is true, you already have a brand story.
How do you tell it?
The First (and the most important) thing to realize is that you’re not in the driver’s seat. Your customers are. They are the hero of your story if you will, and you’re there to guide them on their journey to success.
Understanding this basic principle, you’ll need to define your story and share it with your customers in a compelling and inspiring way.
To create a compelling brand story, here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Get to know your main character
Who are they? I’m sure you’ve already talked about defining your audience, so use this as a perfect time to do just that.
What do they want? Understand their needs, but try to be specific by focusing only on their primary desires.
Hint: desires driven by emotions are much more powerful than logical ones.
2. Understand their problem(s)
This one is important. You need to realize what issues are your customers facing and how your brand/product can help them overcome them.
There can be many facets of a single problem, be it external (something they need solving), internal (the feeling of overcoming a problem), or even philosophical (why should your customers be burdened with this problem?).
Hint: if you can personify the problem as a villain in their story, even better.
3. Define your authority
Your brands’ strongest value is how it presents itself to the customers.
Demonstrate a clear ability & competency to solve their issues. Also to not sound like a complete robot, showcase your authority by coming from a place of empathy and understanding.
Hint: in many facets of marketing, KISS is an invaluable tool
— Keep It Simple, Stupid.
4. Provide them with a clear plan
Construct a three or four-step plan on what actions your customers need to take in order to use your product or service (which in turn will help them overcome their problem).
Hint: understand their fears & pain points, and try to alleviate them through your plan. It’ll show you understand their worries and you know exactly how to solve them. You’re the guide, remember?
5. Help them avoid failure
List all the negative consequences your customer will face if they don’t follow their journey across the land of your brand.
Hint: The more the better. There are a lot of things your customers will miss if you don’t offer them a solution.
6. Finish with a resounding success (for them, silly)
This is it. They are at the finish line.
Show them what they can achieve by crossing it with the help of your brand. Be specific and be broad. Gather all the previous data and find one particular thing that will make their journey absolutely worth it.
Hint: Provide a path to success that resonates with their gushy insides.
Let’s take a look at a great example
At last, let’s look at a brand with great brand storytelling: GoPro.
This is a copy from the brands’ current “about us” page:
GoPro frees people to celebrate the moment, inspiring others to do the same. From cameras to apps and accessories, everything we do is geared to help you capture life as you live it, share the experience and pass on the stoke. We believe that sharing our experiences makes them more meaningful and way more fun.
GoPro was founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman — a surfer, skier and motorsports enthusiast in search of a better way to film himself and his friends surfing. What started with a 35mm camera and a wrist strap made from old wet suits and plastic scraps has grown into an international company that has sold over 26 million GoPro cameras in over 100 countries.
But it’s the millions of passionate GoPro users around the globe who bring the magic to life. They inspire us every day with incredible creativity that helps us see the world in an all-novel way — and fires us up to keep creating the most awesome, innovative products possible.
Right of the bat, who’s their main focus? Their amazing camera or super-active brand? Nope, you. And they want you to create and share your experiences, wherever you go. That’s your success (and theirs, as well).
Now let’s look at an old “about us” video they made a decade ago:
Still holds up, right?
If there’s one thing you should remember, it’s this:
If you want to have a successful brand, don’t just try to sell a product.
We all have 40-billion megapixel cameras on our phones, but having one that can capture and share your priceless moment of joy? Oh boy.
That’s the one I’m buying.
Thank you for reading. I decided to combine the nature of “sharing is caring” with the importance of this subject affecting us all into creating a 5-day free email course titled “How to Build Your Sustainable Brand”.
The course is currently in beta and will cover 5 different lessons that will help you better understand, grow, and attract clients to your sustainable brand.
Sign up and be the first to receive it here.