Why you need to know who your brand is before you market it
Many companies think that their brand story is how their business came to be. While they’re not entirely wrong,—it could be an important part of it—your brand story actually encompasses something much bigger.
A brand story is a cohesive narrative that incorporates every element of your brand: your logo, colours, typeface, language, tone, and the emotions that your brand evokes are part of its story. Your products, price point, history, commitment to quality, in-store experience, purpose, values, location, and—most crucially—what other people say about you are all part of it too.
So, why is it important to have a brand story? Here are 3 major reasons:
1. It can set you apart from the competition
It takes less than two-tenths of a second for someone to form their initial opinion of your brand when they visit your company’s website, according to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Given how tight that timeframe is, making a good first impression should your first order of business. It should be the digital equivalent of a firm and friendly handshake, instilling confidence that you are the best person for the job, and that their interests are in safe hands.
Remember that you’re not selling products or services. The reason a customer will choose over others is because you’re actually selling solutions to their problems, and your brand story can help you share that with your audience in a way that resonates.
2. It can make you more memorable
A major reason why the world’s most successful companies got to be where they are today is because they tell the best brand stories, ones that tap into people’s emotions and genuinely connect with their readers to tell them what their company stands for and where they’ve come from. It permeates into everything they do, even right down to the paper their print their business cards on.
Even someone who has never worked for Coca Cola, for example, would know right away if something was inconsistent with their brand story because they have done such a consistent job of telling over the past 125+ years. There is nothing magic about Coca Cola as a product. Coke excels because people see themselves in the empathetic, and memorable, stories they tell.
Neurobiological research into storytelling has shown that character-driven stories with emotional content result in better comprehension and understanding and enables better recollection, even weeks later. You don’t need to invent the equivalency of Santa Claus to accomplish this, but If your brand story can tap into your audiences emotions, they’ll be more likely to think of you when they have a problem you can solve for them.
3. It should be the foundation on which future growth strategies are based
A real, true, and genuine brand story should sit right at the centre of your brand, inform your tactics, and drive your strategy.
If you’ve put in the effort to properly define your brand story, you’ll know what it is that your company stands for. And, if you know what your company stands for, you’ll be able to drive it forward in an authentic way by making choices that are in alignment with those principles.
For instance, if your company believes in preserving the environment for generations to come, the decisions that you make to further your growth should reflect that too. Maybe you’ll shift the focus of your capital spending on the most efficient and environmentally choices you can possibly make, switch to a solar energy provider, and go paperless. You’ll still do those things even if, at the end of the day, those choices will set your bottom line farther back than cheaper alternatives because that’s what your company genuinely stands for, and it aligns honestly with your brand story.
Trying to define your brand story for the first time can be really challenging. If you think you may need some help putting words down on paper that’ll tie things all together and pave a clear path forward for your future growth, get in touch.