Your brand is a class all its own. Along with a product and/or service that solves a problem for your customers, you’ve built a team that sees things differently; does things differently. You’ve also developed a culture that incorporates diversity and integrity. Your brand has a strong foundation that over time, has been built to carry the momentum of success.
That’s what you tell yourself. That’s what you believe. And yet when you try to explain this to consumers, it’s difficult to put into words.
“Different? Different, how?”
A simple question yet the stumbling block of authenticity.
This is where your brand story comes in. Of all the elements that drive a consumer to buy, your brand story has the most lasting power. Why? Because your brand story is the bridge between connecting with customers and building trust. And as we’re all aware, no one buys from someone that they don’t have a rapport with. Said another way, you can’t trust someone (or in this case, a company) if there’s no connection. We’re not just making this up; there’s even science to back it up.
The science behind stories and building trust
Scientists call it neural coupling, which is a pretty good description once you understand what it means. Basically neural coupling takes place through communication. When consumers read or hear a story, they feel an experience causing a synchronization between the story-teller and their audience. In turn, this shared experience creates empathy and, you guessed it, trust.
Now that you understand the power behind storytelling, or more specifically, the importance of your brand story and its purpose, let’s look at some of the ingredients required for creating a successful brand story.
Like all narratives, your brand story needs a protagonist, or hero, and in this case your brand should stand front and centre. In novels and movies, what does the hero do? S/he saves people from a problem (or villain, although your brand story doesn’t have to be that dramatic).
Whether you’re building some sort of widget that keeps floors safe from getting scratched, or providing a service, keep in mind that your business offering has to be about more than “making money”. Perhaps the very problem that you’re solving is one that you encountered personally. This can be part of your brand story.
As mentioned, the goal of your brand story is to connect with your target audience or potential customers. And what better way to do that than through emotions? This is because shared emotions create empathy.
As we like to say, you can’t fake real, and when it comes to your brand story, authenticity is key. How do you achieve authenticity? Through voice, continuity, and being bold about what’s important to you/your brand, including your values.
When developing your brand story you can still follow the three-part model we’re so used to in novels and movies. You know, the beginning, middle, and end arc.
The end in your brand story differs in that it’s not really an end but a beginning. Can you guess what that beginning is for your brand story?
If you said the solution to your customer’s problem, you guessed right!