People are hardwired to connect with stories. Storytelling gets attention, creates empathy and fosters a sense of belonging and alignment. And importantly for brands, it's humanizing.
If your business is doing well but no one really knows your story, now is the time to change that. Storytelling is the secret sauce that can take you from good to great.
Here's how to use storytelling to drive brand success.
Create a Cohesive Brand Narrative
A brand narrative is a strategic tool you can use to convey the value of your brand and the benefits you can bring to your potential customers. It's not just about the products you sell or the industry you're in. Rather it's about where you came from, what you stand for and where you're going. Done well, it'll position you in the market, set you apart from competitors, and shape the direction of your business. A brand narrative typically runs between 300-500 words and sums up your essence in a succinct, engaging, straightforward manner.
Know What to Include
Your brand narrative should incorporate the following:
- Brand history. How did the brand begin, and why? Who started it?
- Brand evolution. How has your brand changed or shifted direction?
- Goals for the future. Where do you see the brand going? What does success look like?
- Key offerings. What's at the heart of what you deliver?
- Values and beliefs. What do you stand for? How are you making the world a better place?
- USP. What sets you apart from all the others - it's all about what makes you - YOU.
Know Your Target Audience
Your brand narrative isn't just about you: it's also a promise to your audience. When you're telling your story, focus on what you can deliver to your audience, and on telling your story in a way that resonates with them. Brands who can do this are able to elevate themselves from the aspirational to the inspirational.
Examples of companies with strong brand narratives include:
- Nike. Powerfully inspirational, innovative and inclusive, Nike's brand story is powerfully built around the idea that everyone is an athlete.
- Airbnb. Inclusive and consumer-first, AirBnB presents itself as a platform for bringing people and places together, using storytelling that foregrounds the voices and stories of its customers to do so.
- Warby Parker. Eyewear company Warby Parker offers top-quality specs while leading the way in socially conscious business practices, two promises that ring true in everything they do and say.
- Burt's Bees. Body care company Burt's Bees has stayed true to its mission of delivering products direct from nature - while also being considerate of nature. With its environmental advocacy and eco-friendly products, Burt has a strong story it never fails to stand by.
To get a sense of what your brand's storytelling approach should be, explore what your competitors are doing, and also look further afield to some of the brands you admire more generally. Chances are you admire them because they've got their storytelling down to a fine art.
From there, it's time to set pen to paper. If that's too daunting, or if you need someone to help you refine what you have, now's a great time to bring in a branding firm. Stellapop can help you pinpoint your brand's essence, figure out what you stand for and craft a story that will help you stand apart in all the right ways. The results will take your brand from successful to standout.