How to Create the Story of Your Brand

The story of your brand is much more than the copy on your About page. The story of your brand encompasses every part of the content you produce, every product, every package, every font and colour you use. It is the essence of your company and its mission.

customer service

That’s why it’s important to have a solid understanding of what your brand is all about, and how to tell that story in an effective way. Here are some essential steps to tell the story of your brand, and to tell it well:

1. Nail down who you are.

Ask yourself the following questions about your brand:

  • Who are you? How did your brand come to exist? Who created it, and why? What was the problem they wanted to solve? Who are the people who make up your company?
  • What do you do? What is the product or service you provide?
  • Who do you make it for? Who is your clientele — how old are they, where do they live, how much money do they make, and most importantly, what’s the issue that they need solved? Why do they find value in your brand?
  • Why do you do it? On the deepest philosophical level, why is your work important? What makes you and your team get up in the morning? What’s the issue that you are solving to make life better for your customers?
  • What makes you different? What are you doing that no one else is doing?

2. Craft your Message Architecture

A message architecture is a set of communication goals that clarify what your brand is all about and guide all of your communication efforts. They make it easy for you – and everyone else at your company – to understand who you are and what you’re trying to achieve, and to consistently convey those ideas to the outside world. Making this really crystal clear and easy to understand will help guide all elements of telling your brand’s story.

Here’s how brand content strategist Margot Bloomstein imagines the messaging architecture for a company like Apple:

  1. Confident but Approachable
    • Market Leading
    • Accessible
  2. Simple
    • Clean
    • Streamlined
    • Unfussy
    • Minimally Detailed
  3. Inviting
    • Friendly
    • Supportive
    • Not Fawning

That’s just one example, but hopefully that gets your brain ticking on what the message architecture might be for your own brand. Think about the framework as an outline of your brand that will dictate how you express your message. This will especially help with planning different marketing initiatives and campaigns, and will keep them cohesive.

3. Think about your visual language

You visual language – the colour palettes you use, the fonts, how busy you make all your design – tells your potential customers a lot about who you are and what your brand’s story is. Some fonts, colours and design styles will appear more fun and energetic. Some will appear more calm and minimal. Some will feel more youthful, some more mature. At StickerYou, we chose a font family and color palette that supported our brand essence as a creative way for businesses to brand themselves with stickers, labels, decals and more. So give a lot of thought to what messages your visuals are sending about your brand and your product and whether they’re doing what you want them to do. If you’re having second thoughts, consult with a designer who may be able to suggest tweaks that can give you a visual facelift and get your design elements more inline with your brand story.

4. Consider the medium

Are you using all storytelling formats at your disposal to get your story out there? Video and photos can do a lot to pack an emotional punch and really help people to engage with your brand in new ways. Blog posts — written by your staff, CEO or even customers — are another method. In-person brand activations at festivals and events are another way to put a human face on your brand. Even annual reports can be a way to think outside the box, have fun and creatively tell your story. Make sure you’re using all the tools in the toolkit to put your brand on the map

5. Be authentic

This one cannot be stressed enough. Customers are tired of cold, impersonal corporations trying to sell things to them, and they distrust them. The only way to break through that is to be as genuine as possible.  Make sure you are showing the real you and the real story of your brand. Use conversational language. Don’t be afraid to tell stories of your own company’s failures, and how you overcame them. Think about what would make you trust in your OWN brand if you were on the outside looking in, and speak to people from that place. Authenticity is the only way to build trust and long-lasting relationships with customers.

Author: StickerYou Founder & President, Andrew Witkin

Andrew

As the founder of a global e-commerce leader in custom-printed, die-cut products, Andrew Witkin is widely recognized as a leading authority on e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy. Witkin has also served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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