Building A Brand Story: Share Your Story With The World

June 2, 2022
Authored by:
Aakash Shewakaramani
Featuring:

Building a brand story is crucial to creating an emotional connection with your audience. A good brand story evokes empathy for your brand and adds a human touch to an otherwise economically motivated organization.

The biggest businesses have done well for themselves by capitalizing on their brand stories. For example, Facebook’s story is so impactful that it led to the creation of the blockbuster movie The Social Network. Facebook has done such a good job that the idea of people connecting is almost synonymous with the company.

What Are The Steps To Building A Brand Story?  

Building a brand story isn’t as simple as relying on your brand identity to come up with a narrative. Even that is a gargantuan task because your point A might be your business partner's point B. Because you’re taking your readers through a journey, you need to be certain about what message your brand story needs to convey.

Take the following steps while building it, and you’ll be on your way to acing your brand story:

Step 1: Get Everyone On The Same Page

People have biased memories and recall things selectively. Our perceptions of memories also change based on various internal and external factors. This is why you’ll need to get everyone on board with one narrative before you build a brand story. You can begin your discussions with:

  • The Beginning: Did it start in your garage or when you got your first office? Or was it even before that?
  • The Initial Goal: Why was the company created in the first place? There can be subtle differences between you, your partners, and your audience.
  • The Mission And Vision: If you don’t have mission and vision statements yet, now would be the perfect time to start. Like with a brand story, these statements are projects on their own.
  • Brainstorm with your primary stakeholders to get your key points in place. Once you and your partners are on the same page, it’s time to move on to the next steps.

    Step 2: Follow The Rules Of Classic Storytelling

    Building a brand story can be as simple as recalling your favorite film, book, or story. Most narratives often have a few things in common. They have a protagonist, an antagonist, and a conflict that needs resolution. Finally, there’s a journey that gets our protagonist from Point A to Point B and beyond.

    1. The Antagonist

    Often the villain, the antagonist is vital to your every narrative, including your brand story. In this case, the antagonist is the problem in your industry or market. Because every startup or product begins by trying to solve a problem, you need to specify what that problem is.

    For example, Steve Jobs hated classic phones’ plastic keypads, confusing menus, and limited usability. The iPhone was born to solve the problem of the not-so-smart smartphones of the past. Identifying and explaining the antagonist of your brand story is vital to establishing the protagonist, your startup.

    2. The Protagonist

    The protagonist is the hero or the central character in the story, and they are often the ones that the audience roots for to succeed. Think Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, or Peter Parker.

    The protagonist of your brand story is your startup, product, or service. Your ‘hero’ serves as the solution to the problems created by the antagonist, the existing problems in the market.

    3. The Differing Qualities

    To weave a compelling narrative, you’ll have to list down the qualities of your small business or startup and the market problem.

    When building a brand story, ask yourself what the root of the problem is. If existing products in the market have cause for concern, what specifically makes them problematic? Are they difficult to use? Are they overpriced? The core of what makes consumers unhappy is what you should highlight as a solution for your product.

    List down the qualities and features that make your hero the solution to an ongoing problem. For example, among other issues, Amazon solves the problem of customers having to go to a billion marketplaces to shop by bringing every type of product to one place.

    4. The Three-Act Structure

    The three-act structure is most commonly used in filmmaking. You don’t have to use this structure, but it can be a great place to start when building a brand story.

    Act 1:

    The first act is the exposition, or the beginning. Start by establishing what motivated you to create your company, product, or service. A fun way to approach this is to compare it to the beginning of every Star Wars movie. Drama aside, the starting text gives context to the events that will take place in the film.

    Act 2:

    The second act dives into your startup’s journey. You can talk about your challenges, accomplishments, hiccups, and growth. Your company has evolved since its inception, and you can take this opportunity to discuss the ups and downs that come with trying to make your dreams come true.

    Act 3:

    The third and final act is the end and beyond. Think about the ‌impact you’ve made on your business. How did you defeat the antagonist? Talk about your ‘sequels’ or your goals with the company moving forward.

    5. The Story Tonality

    Every story, written or otherwise, has a voice; your brand story also needs to have a consistent tonality.

    ‌Include developing a voice in your brainstorming sessions if you haven’t done that yet. A brand voice carries over to all forms of communication your company releases, like your website and social media posts. Pay attention to these points when developing a brand voice, and you’ll be golden:

    • Your Target Audience: Your target audience influences your word choice and rhetoric. For example, soccer moms have different priorities compared to single millionaires. Study your audience’s income, age, geographic location, and preferences.
    • Your Product: Your product determines how interested your audience is in knowing about its development and history. For example, you’ll probably use different terms when describing a gaming console versus when you talk about a yoga mat.
    • Your Marketing Plan: Wendy’s and McDonald’s both serve burgers, but one tone is sarcastic, whereas the other is professional and warm. Research your audience and learn what works with them to get this right.

    Stay consistent with these three points, and you’ll lock your tonality down in no time! And if you need some inspiration along with these helpful tips, worry not! Check out this video on brand storytelling examples:

    How Do I Communicate My Brand Story?  

    Websites and social media accounts have very little to no restrictions on the ‌form of media you can work with. There’s an audience for every kind of storytelling, and you can even share your brand story through multiple outlets.

    These are just a few of the many ways you can communicate your brand story:

    1. Long-Form Writing  

    One of the most common ways to communicate a brand story is by writing it down. Reading written posts may take time, but you can make that process easier for your readers by dividing your post into segments.

    Also, follow the rules of storytelling and your readers will surprise you by showing how willing they are to read your entire brand story.    

    2. Brand Film

    Once you have the core elements of your brand narrative down, you can weave them into a script that can be produced into a moving brand film. For example, Bulgari released a short video that expresses its style and charisma as a brand, and the film received 430,000 views in less than two weeks. Check it out:

    Your brand film doesn’t need to be non-fiction to seem real. Along with classic interviews, you can make music videos and animated short films to convey your message.

    3. Podcasts

    57% of Americans have listened to a podcast at some point in their lives. You don’t have to narrate a story directly into a mic. Instead, create valuable and insightful content via interviews that could disseminate your brand story.

    Your brand story doesn’t need to be a one-episode release. You can make a series and narrate it episode by episode.

    You can mix and merge these mediums to distribute your brand story to as many people as possible.

    Conclusion

    Building an extensive brand story that talks about your company’s motivations, plans, and vision will take a lot of introspection and planning.

    It is a bible and introduction to your organization. Therefore, a quick and unsubstantial story will not suffice in this day and age. To create an emotional connection with your audience, you’ll need to create a few drafts to get your brand story just right.

    But put in the work and you’ll have a narrative that you can share for years to come!

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