How to create a brand story that people love

How to create a brand story that people love-blog post-Natsumi Nishizumi

Does your company have a brand story? You’re probably familiar with some large, well-established companies with brand stories such as Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s, Apple, and Disney to name a few. Maybe as a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’ve heard about brand stories, but you’re not exactly sure how to create one or if you even need one at all. In this post, I’ll go over why brand stories help you connect with your audience, how to build one, as well as how to get others to tell your story.

Why brand stories are effective

People have been telling and listening to stories for thousands of years. Our brains are programmed to enjoy and remember the stories we hear. Recent research even shows that our brains are deeply affected by the experience. So much so, that the brain activity of the listener synchronizes with the brain activity of the storyteller in a process known as neural coupling. Stories affect both the sensory and motor cortex of both the storyteller and the listener. In essence, hearing a story is equivalent to feeling the experience. Neural coupling results in greater understanding, anticipation, and receptivity for the listener. It is through this process of neural coupling, that the storyteller establishes trust with the listener.

But to establish this trust, the story must have the right features to appeal to the right audience. First, it can’t be boring. It needs to use emotion to engage your audience. Likewise, your story should allow your brand personality to shine through. So the first step to building your brand story is to establish your brand’s personality (see my previous post for a detailed guide on establishing your brand personality). Once your brand personality is crystal clear to you, you are ready to work on your brand story.

Your brand story is driven by your brand personality. It is inspired by the people within the company who are involved in creating, supporting, and developing your product or service, as well as your clients and like-minded individuals. In other words, your brand story involves your team and the users of your product along with your personality to guide the content.

How to Build Your Brand Story

Every good story has an arc that takes your audience on a relatable journey.

Here’s a simple 3-step method to create an effective brand story:

1 – The Dilemma: Start by explaining the frustrating situation that your client is experiencing.

2 – The Resolution: Describe the actions your company took to help and eventually solve the problem.

3 – The Happy Ending: Describe the happy ending to your story and get excited about the difference you just made.

It may be tempting to add more to your story. But the most successful (and memorable) stories are always the most simple ones. Don’t make it complicated.

Every story follows a predictable three-part model. The three-part model is created in a natural, chronological order:

· Beginning: In the beginning, we are introduced to our very relatable character who is experiencing a frustrating problem.

· Middle: In the middle, our hero, your company, comes to the rescue. Here, you’ll describe how your company solved the vexing problem.

· End: The ending is where we emphasize how solving this problem helped your client and how this is only the beginning. This is where show some excitement!

This is the form of a story that people expect. Everything has a beginning, right?

The language you choose to tell your story should be a clear reflection of your brand. If your personality is fun and playful, your writing should be as well. If your brand is rugged and adventurous, then so is your writing. This is a crucial step to maintain the story’s authenticity.

At its core, your story should tell your audience why your company exists. What problem are you solving for them? Ultimately, your brand story needs to let your audience know that you get them.

Remember, your story isn’t really about you or your business. It’s about your relationship with your customers. The outcome that you hope your brand story creates is a connection with your audience. If you can create that connection, your target audience will trust your company.

The key takeaway is that through your brand story, you are showing your target customers that your goals align with their goals. They have problems and you’re providing the solutions. Consistently.

How to Get Others to Share Your Story

When your story successfully connects with your audience, it’s time to encourage them to tell others about your story. To do that, make sure that you’re highly active on social media. Encourage your customers to retweet and share your posts. Also, ask clients to share their experience with your brand on social media. Testimonials are a powerful way to build trust. You could even encourage customers to share their enthusiasm for your brand online. This can be done through campaigns such as asking customers to take a picture with your product and post it online along with a particular hashtag.

What does a brand story look like?

One of the brand stories that I like is the brand, Warby Parker. My husband wears Warby Parker’s eyeglasses and have a few of them. I asked him why he likes this brand? He told me that he loses glasses all the time. So, he decided not to buy expensive eyeglasses. So, what’s a brand story of Warby Parker?

What do you think of when you hear the name Warby Parker? For most people, Warby Parker means good quality, inexpensive glasses. Others love the convenience of getting to pick out 5 frames online and try them all on before choosing one. Now they can get their friend’s opinions without having to drag them to the store. Warby Parker created an entirely new way of shopping for eyeglass wearers – one that was designed specifically around the customer’s needs.

The Dilemma: Where it all began

The Warby Parker brand story started with a problem. Four friends were attending business school together back in 2009 when one of them lost their glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high, that he went through his entire first semester of grad school without them.

Why do glasses cost so much?

The four friends decided to find out why glasses were so expensive. They discovered that one company owned 60-80% of the eyewear market and there were a lot of middlemen between the manufacturer and the consumer. By the time a pair of glasses arrived in the hands of the end- user, it had been marked up several times.

Why aren’t glasses available online?

When the four friends approached potential investors, most dismissed the idea of selling glasses online as crazy. Everyone knows you need to try them on to see how they look before you decide.

The resolution of the problem

Warby Parker decided to bypass the traditional channels, design glasses in-house, and engage with customers directly. They revolutionized the way we buy glasses. It’s fun, it’s easy, and you look stylish without spending a fortune. It’s exactly what consumers needed.

The Happy Ending

Warby Parker is in the business of helping people to see. People who may not have been able to afford glasses before could now purchase them and feel great about the way they look. They believe that everyone has a right to see and they stand by that core value by donating a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of glasses sold.

The company created a memorable brand story that tells us it’s not just about making money, it’s about something much bigger. Their customers know exactly why Warby Parker exists and how the company helps to solve their problems. What they communicate to us is that they get it. They understand our frustrations and they’ve given customers an alternative that was needed. Warby Parker’s goals align with their customer’s goals.

Your brand story creates the foundation for your marketing campaigns and marketing materials. You will greatly enhance your brand’s presence and long-term prospects if all of your efforts stay consistent and true to your story.

I would love to hear what your brand story is like. Please leave a comment and let me know or send me an email if you have any questions about how to create it.