Build A Great Brand Story and Engage With Customers

Stories have always had a great power to influence, lead, sell and engage with your customers. In times past, people used to gather every night to share their experiences and exchange information through storytelling. Those stories would develop engagement between the narrator, audience and the characters in the story. Similarly, the books we read or the movies we watch have a unique and compelling story which stimulates curiosity and interest in the reader/viewer. Our connection to the characters in these stories lets us decide whether to love them or hate them. We then decide whether we trust the characters or not.

Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool as it can breathe life into your business and highlight your brand’s personality and reputation. Stories can make your message more memorable and easier to share. Even brands which focus on serious topics such as health or education have a unique brand story to tell.  This can serve to impress and engage their target audience.

However, many businesses fail to embrace what makes them unique or incorporate it into their marketing campaigns. Here is how you can build your brand story to engage with customers, reinforce your brand’s image, brand personality, and reputation.

The Basics of Brand Story

It is important for every brand to have a brand story to engage with their customers. Your story starts from why you started the business and includes why you feel passionate about it.  Express your desire to build something enduring and the overall vision you’re working towards.  In other words, your brand story includes where you started from, what you do, where you are right now and what you aim to do in the future. A brand story explains how a customers life will improve by engaging with your brand.

Since a good story has more to do with the way a brand connects with the target audience, finding the right tone and narrative is a crucial aspect of building your brand story.

Finding Your Brand Story

Simply put, your brand story is how your brand identifies a problem faced by the target audience and comes up with a plan.  This tells the customer how you resolve this problem through your product or service. It is also important to include your aims, objectives, mission, and vision to create an effective narrative.

The Power of Brand Promise and Personality

Here is what most brands don’t understand about marketing. Consumers want to know the reason they need to connect with your brand. Creating this connection is the essential component of successful marketing.

Brand promise refers to what customers can consistently expect from your business. The brand promise is an integral part of your brand story. For example, Volvo’s brand personality and promise are to ‘understand people, protect what’s important to them and make them feel special.’

Consistently enforce your brand promise through your marketing channels to develop brand recognition and align it with the overall marketing strategy. Deviation from the brand promise could result in confusion and mistrust. Always ensure that you use the same tone and message in all your marketing campaigns. Every new advertisement or marketing campaign by Volvo revolves around their promise to ‘design around you.’

Focus on Branding Not Marketing

While writing your brand story, you must not think like a marketer. As counterintuitive as it may sound, this is the best way to create a narrative your audience can trust. Think like a customer.

The first step is to focus on generating consumer interest. Why should people care or be interested in what you have to say? Is a portion of your sales allocated to solving an environmental story? If you are a B2B organization, focus on factors that would make other businesses want to deal with you.

The story and marketing strategy should come together in a broader sense, meaning that the brand promise needs to be relayed through your story.

Living By Your Story

Once you know what your brand story is, you need to make sure it reflects in every aspect of your business. For example, if you are a family owned business, then incorporate this into your brand story. Highlight your organizational culture and how employees and customers are treated like family. Including these details can personalize your brand story and marketing message. This is the key to building a brand story to engage with customers.

Other Considerations

A brand story should be interesting, unique, funny or thought-provoking. It should include the reason why your brand exists and its basic purpose. Also, your brand story does not always have to be told in words. Images, videos or even infographics as a way of telling your story. It is important to keep the message simple and positive, so it has the desired effect and is easily understood by your target audience.

Once you have developed your brand story, this will guide your marketing efforts. Your social media and influencer strategy will flow effortlessly out of this story. Once you begin telling your brand story, you will see quickly how this story is engaging marketing content. Follow up with market research to see how your brand is perceived by consumers. Failing to obtain feedback in real time can result in wasted opportunities.Finally, remember that a great brand story is fresh, dynamic and continuously evolving.