How to Write a Brand Story – Part 2

In order to demonstrate the alchemy that is turning a brand strategy into a brand story, I have constructed a mini-case study. Our gracious and awesome clients at Westminster Bakers Co. have agreed to pull back the curtain on the work we did for them a few years ago.

This brand strategy is still going strong and the brand continues to grow and expand. Here’s how we did it for them.

Step 1: Take your brand strategy and create the elements of a positioning statement.

Brand Essence: Yankee Goodness
Target Audience: Retail grocery buyers in the midwest, southwest and west regions of the US.
Context: Snacks and crackers.
RTB (Reason to Believe): Westminster’s crackers are all-natural and made of soft winter wheat.
POD (Point of Differentiation): Westminster’s crackers have been made the same way with the same 7 simple ingredients since 1828.

For retail grocery buyers and snack lovers everywhere, Westminster Bakers Co. has been baking crackers since 1828 using the same 7 simple ingredients. All natural and made from soft winter wheat, Westminster Bakers Co. snacks and crackers are simply the best.

Step 2: This yields a functional statement, but it’s completely devoid of personality or the ability to compel a person to buy some crackers. It lacks story!

We’re a New England tradition… we stand for consistency, constancy, dedication to craft. We stubbornly stick with what works, and we won’t compromise on the things that matter.

Steps 3-6: We now have more personality and an authentic voice, but it doesn’t have a strong beginning, middle and end.  The story doesn’t develop. So we look to add more of the backstory – especially since the history is a part of the brand strategy.

Not so many years after the American Revolution, at the hearth of a colonial house in Westminster, Massachusetts, our first Master Baker pulled a batch of warm crackers from the oven, and a New England tradition was born. Back then, the bakery’s power came from a horse and treadmill; dough was mixed and rolled by hand, then individually stamped into crackers and baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Neighbors and passers-by delighted in the fresh-baked, hearty goodness of our breads and crackers.

Times have changed, but at Westminster Bakers, we haven’t. Leastways, not insofar as things that matter. The treadmill is gone, and the ovens aren’t wood-fired any longer, but we still take the time and effort to bake the crackers right. We stick with the same basic, wholesome ingredients that our first Master Baker used nearly 200 years ago…ingredients that everyone can pronounce. The “bake” is still long and slow, for crackers that are simply delicious. 

We show our history by weaving a story about how the baking process has changed – used to be horse-powered and wood-fired. Gone is the language of “since 1828” and “7 simple ingredients”.

Step 7: Make the customer the hero of your brand story.

Not so many years after the American Revolution, at the hearth of a colonial house in Westminster, Massachusetts, our first Master Baker pulled a batch of warm crackers from the oven, and a New England tradition was born. Back then, the bakery’s power came from a horse and treadmill; dough was mixed and rolled by hand, then individually stamped into crackers and baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Neighbors and passers-by delighted in the fresh-baked, hearty goodness of our breads and crackers.

Times have changed, but at Westminster Bakers, we haven’t. Leastways, not insofar as things that matter. The treadmill is gone, and the ovens aren’t wood-fired any longer, but we still take the time and effort to bake the crackers right. We stick with the same basic, wholesome ingredients that our first Master Baker used nearly 200 years ago…ingredients that everyone can pronounce. The “bake” is still long and slow, for crackers that are simply delicious. Bringing the natural goodness home to your hearth.

See how the brand story played out in the package design and Westminster’s new site designed by Orbit Media.

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