So what exactly is a Brand Story (and why you should care)
In simple terms, a Brand Story is a revolution in how we choose to engage with our customers. It's about inviting them into a story that is theirs, and not a story that belongs to the business. It involves an experience that they can own, thrive in and share with others. In this way, when you create a Brand Story that is relevant to your market, it has the potential to do all your marketing work for you. Saving you time and money.
Examples include the infamous Red Bull giving their customers wings, through adventure, bravery and extreme sports. Think of Nike's aim to nourish every sportsmen, at any level, to reach their next best. And think about the storyline that StarBucks has instilled, which is to create a space that inspires ideas and networking.
Oh by the way, we sell energy drinks. Oh by the way, we sell sports gear. Oh by the way, we sell coffee. This is what makes a great Brand Story. When you're remembered for the greater mission that you aim to provide the world.
Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but about the stories you tell – Seth Godin
How do I create a Brand Story?
To create a brand story, one must first deeply understand the market you're targeting. If you have more than one market, you'll have a better result if you create a different Brand Story p/market. Understanding your market will help you decipher what their needs are, what their fears are and what they need in order to thrive.
It's then important to clarify what your brand stands for as it relates to your customer. Best way to do this, is to unpack what has gone wrong in the life of your customer that is keeping them from thriving, and why is this absolutely wrong in moral makings of a good society? This becomes your brand's 'philosophical problem' to solve, e.g. Love should always win, or the underdog should always be given equal opportunity.
Build your story around this philosophical problem, as a way to solve this for your customer. It creates immediate trust, but more than that, it creates raving fans. It shows that your brand stands for something greater than profit and product.
Activate your Brand Story
Once you know what problem you're solving for your market and what their lives would look like if they were to thrive, as it relates to your product, it's time to activate your story. You'll start to notice that if you have a clear and effective Brand Story, that it makes all your marketing efforts simple and cost-effective.
You'll no longer be selling a product. You'll be inviting your market into a shared purpose. They will no longer be buying products. They will be buying the end-game, the ultimate experience that you're challenging them to begin. When we speak of a User Journey, this is how I see it. The story they experience from the very first touchpoint with your brand, to beyond the moment they have won their day.
So to activate your Brand Story, you review each touchpoint and ensure it speaks the same story, and has a consistent thread. You review your marketing message to speak about the end-game and what's at stake if they don't join. And you create experiences and bonuses that prove they made the right choice by buying into your brand.
People think in stories, not statistics, and marketers need to be master storytellers. – Arianna Huffington
Make the customer the hero in their own story and you'll never have to sell again. We're always here if you need a helping hand or even a good shove. Contact us here.