What is Brand Storytelling?
Brand storytelling is defined as the art of shaping a company’s identity through the use of narratives and storytelling techniques that facilitate an emotional response and establish meaningful connections.
When done correctly, research shows the powerful impact storytelling can have on us:
- Stories are 22 times more memorable than facts & figures alone
- Our neural activity increases 5X when listening to a story
- Storytelling lights up the sensory cortex in the brain, allowing the listener to feel, hear, taste, and even smell the story
Brand storytelling includes your brand identity:
- Who you are
- Who and why your company came to be
- What motivates you and your team to engage in your work
- How your product came to be
- What audiences find value in your brand and what you offer
A brand story outlines the how and why of your company’s beginnings and in what ways those elements drive your brand mission today.
Your brand storytelling is a key relationship-building tool and can be subtle while still powerfully guiding the concept of your overarching web presence. Your story should be a look into who you are as a business and be something that you — and your entire team — embrace passionately.
Now, let’s dig into the nuts and bolts — that ever-important how of telling your brand story. How can you craft a narrative that resonates? Start with the basics.
Define Your Core Values
1. Who Are You?
It might seem silly to wax philosophical, but it’s crucial to think about the foundational tenets of your brand, starting with who you are. As the visionary behind your business, you are an essential part of your brand story. Infusing yourself — your beliefs, talents, gifts, skills, qualifications, dreams, and personality — into your narrative will help you identify and attract target audiences, and allow you to craft an authentic and powerful message.
2. What Do You Do?
What goods or services do you offer? What purpose does your business serve? Knowing what your brand does is necessary for understanding the value you can provide for audiences.
3. Who Do You Do It For?
Who does your brand serve? Think about those who most benefit from your products or services, and why you create or make for them specifically.
4. Why Do You Do It?
The why behind what you do is HUGE. What gets you up in the morning? What motivates and inspires you? Why is your business so important to you? Why is it significant to the world? Go ahead, get sentimental.
5. How Do You Do It?
How do you accomplish your purpose? This can include the logistics of operations, but also the looking-forward plans of your business’ visions and goals.
6. What Does Your Future Look Like?
What does the future growth of your brand look like? Where would you like your business to be? How will you continue to offer value over time? How might your what, why, and how adjust as you grow? Consider your future as a core value of your brand.
Know Your Target Audience
Knowing who you’re trying to talk with is critical for crafting an effective and powerful brand message.
If you widely cast a net, you might gather fish, but they might not be the quality catches that lead to a bountiful harvest. On the other hand, if you cast an intentional net that is focused on catching the right kind of fish, you’ll be much better off.
Pescatarian analogies aside, it’s obvious that you need to attract people to your goods and services to build your brand. But with your brand story, you want to attract the right audiences — those targets that will engage, buy, and most importantly — stick around.
You need to be smart and intentional about your messaging so that you can identify the right kind of customer to target.
Take some time to map out who you’re going after. It might be helpful to establish some buyer personas to imagine precisely who your audiences are. With a fleshed-out idea of your target audience, you can better craft your content to be meaningful and powerful.