Your brand is the public-facing identity of your business, and it can play a significant role in your chance for long-term success. 

Brands that resonate with audiences can benefit from continuing customer loyalty and offer much more than a product or service to new ones.

To build a brand that speaks to people, tell a story that relates to their values and compels them towards you. 

Social media allows businesses to communicate with audiences personally, so the importance of brand stories is particularly strong in recent years.

This guide answers “what is brand storytelling” along with other questions like:

  • Why do you need a story?
  • Who should hear your story?
  • How do you tell a brand’s story?

What is brand storytelling?

Brand storytelling is the use of a narrative to engage the public with your business’s identity. It’s a way to connect with people, in the hope that they make your brand a part of their lives.

For example, clothing brands present certain lifestyles, which lead customers to use those products to represent their own identity to others. A story makes the brand’s identity stand out and encourages people to embrace it.

There are likely many competitors in your market. Perhaps you even sell something similar. But with a unique brand story, you could still draw customers to you.

Brand stories could focus on the following:

  • Founder’s origins
  • Journey of the business
  • Challenges faced
  • Evolutions of products or services
  • Values and social objectives

An example of a great brand story could be KFC which uses the likeness of its founder Colonel Sanders in its logos and marketing. 

That’s what separates it from any other fast-food chicken shop, its brand and the story people associate with it.

Why do you need a story?

Consider why you need a story. To put it simply, people love them. Ancient humans would paint on cave walls or tell tales around fires.

Stories provide great ways to learn through anecdotes and transport people into fantasy worlds when they want to relax.

But most importantly, stories are increasingly prevalent, and social media is often a hub for them. Influencers engage people with their inspirational lives, and content creators with their entertaining videos.

So what is brand storytelling’s role for marketing? The best advertising tells a narrative that manages to sell something. So it’s essential to extend that out to your whole brand and make sure you have something worth telling.

Who should hear your story?

Just as not every person likes the same films, your story’s not likely to appeal to everyone. So when you think about what is brand storytelling, also consider who’d want to hear yours.

Branding decisions should be tailored toward your target audience. These are the groups of people who are most likely to buy what you sell, so align your brand with their values.

Conduct market research to find out who they are and what would resonate best with them. That can include surveys and interviews to ask the public for their opinions directly.

Brands that have stories that relate to their audiences are far more likely to gather a following. So think about the issues that your market cares about and their lifestyle choices.

The public is likely to respond well to brands who do the right things, but you could face a backlash if your actions don’t match your words

For example, if you use a lot of environmental concerns in your advertising but still harm the planet with your operations.

But if you have genuine values and messages in your brand storytelling, the rest of your business will likely follow suit. Which will shape how your brand is viewed, like Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream which is known for its activism.

How do you tell a brand’s story?

It’s vital to understand how you can tell your brand’s story. Think about what’s special about what you do or who you are. 

If there’s a specific aspect that no other company has, then that would be your USP (unique selling point).

To benefit the most from a brand story, find a way to incorporate your unique selling point into it. That can provide you with a great starting point, but it’s also crucial to realise the three aspects of a story.

All stories need a:

  • Beginning — origin or aim
  • Middle — problem or hurdle
  • End — solution or action

Every great story needs a struggle. That’s what makes it relatable and leads the finale to be more satisfying. That’s the same in two-hour films, just as much as in thirty-second clips.

So if your brand’s story can follow that and add your own twist, you’ll engage people quickly. You can use your story across your marketing channels, and encourage people to remember your business.

You can tell your whole story through videos, blogs and pages on your website. But most people will come across your short social media clip or post, so make sure that your brand’s values translate into everything you do.

For example, Coca Cola was the creation of a pharmacist with the intention to make medicine. The concoction initially struggled to find its feet but with its iconic approach to branding, it’s now one of the best-known products worldwide.

Track and manage your marketing costs with Countingup

To tell your brand’s epic tale, you need marketing that befits it, which could mean you use a variety of channels with different costs

It can be challenging to manage varied advertising activities. Still, if you stick to a budget, you can avoid an unhappy ending.

Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software that could be the hero of your financial management

Its cash flow insights feature will update you on the money that comes in and out of your business through the app.

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