How to write a brand story – Part 1

Let’s start at the beginning.  Why do you need a Brand Story?  The simple answer is – because this is how we as humans connect to our world.  Creating a story around your brand allows your users or customers (or humans) to connect to what your brand has to offer.  We are storytelling animals.  If you are interested in reading more about this, Jonathan Gottschall has written a compelling book on the matter.  Check it out here. Or watch his TED talk.

We talk a lot internally about how to bridge the gap between the strategy and design process.  The brand story does a pretty good job of bridging this divide.  It helps to paint a picture in the mind – giving life to the Brand’s Identity and Big Idea.

And there’s good news!  Below are some simple guidelines you can follow to start your brand story.

1. Start by identifying and naming the elements of a positioning statement.

• Who are your people (aka customers)? (Target Audience)
• In what context do people find you? (Frame of Reference)
• What’s the benefit you offer? (Reason to Believe)
• How does it differ from what else is out there? (Point of Differentiation)
• Should follow the rough shape of this:

For [Target Audience], [Brand] is the [Point of Differentiation] among all [Frame of Reference] because [Reason to Believe].

*Make sure the above elements are authentic and deliverable.*

2. Weave these elements together to tell a story. If you have a compelling founding story, add it into the mix.

3. A story should have a strong beginning, middle and end.

4. Show. Don’t tell.  You heard it over and over again in school, but it’s truer now than ever. No one wants to be sold.

5. Talk to your audience in your authentic brand voice. We’re free to be you and me. So let’s be ourselves. Try imagining a specific friend and write/talk to them.

6. Keep it short and sweet. Think three short paragraphs. Edit again and again.

7. The hero of the story is your customer! Not the brand. To read more about this check out Winning The Story Wars.

I’ll post again soon with a concrete example of how to take a Brand Strategy and develop it into a Brand Story. In the meantime, you can check out our full Brand Identity process.

Let us know if you have tips or tricks to writing a good story. And get in touch if you need help writing your story.


Additional resources to check out:
The Beginners Guide to Online Marketing Chapter 3
How to Write Market Positioning Statements

 

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