There is nothing more crucial to starting a relationship with your customers on the right note than sharing with them the true story of who you are and why it should matter to them.
In an earlier post, we’ve looked at the ingredients of a solid brand story:
- The history of your brand
- The challenges it has overcome
- The reason it exists
- The brand’s values and core beliefs
- What makes it unique
- The promises it makes to its customers and why
- The people pivotal to the brand’s existence
But your brand story is more than just the sum of these constituent parts. How you tell your story is just as important as its actual contents. The secret recipe for a compelling brand story has four ingredients: clarity, brevity, character and emotional resonance.
Before you can express it to anyone else, you need to be clear about the different elements that make up your brand story: why does your brand exist? What problem are you solving? How do the history, the people and its values all mesh with that?
Your brand’s character and how it is reflected in the way you express your brand story need just as much care and attention as the bones of the story itself: What sort of vocabulary is right for your brand? How can you convey your what, why and who in an authentic way? What tone of voice will resonate best with your audiences?
As an expert in your field, you should be able to communicate your brand story clearly and concisely. A good exercise is to edit it down to its barest elements. You should be able to sum it up in an elevator pitch.
When your story rings true and exposes something of the people who created it, audiences respond.
The importance of connecting emotionally with your audiences is best summed up in this pearl of wisdom for would-be storytellers popularly but mistakenly attributed to May Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Knowing your story inside out
Your brand story should also be crafted in such a way that it can communicate to your staff why the company exists and how its success will be measured. This is because your brand story isn’t only important for your customers – it’s important for your internal audiences and other stakeholders too. Brand identity starts from within.