How to Build a Brand Story Through Marketing
As seen on Startup Nation.
With research suggesting that stories are 22 times more memorable than facts, what can brands do with storytelling to ensure they remain head and shoulders above the competition? Many brands already have the foundations to build and sell their story but fail to use these to their full potential when it comes to positioning themselves with their customers.
Without fully understanding the story you want to build for your audience, these attempts to reach out to your customers can fall flat. Here, we’ll look at how to choose the correct marketing tactics to build a trustworthy story and brand personality.
Discover which tactics to borrow from brands with consistently great stories.
What is a brand story?
A brand story is essential for your audience to form a connection with and truly understand your brand. It is a narrative that filters through every aspect of your brand, from your visuals used for advertising to the tagline on your Twitter bio. An important factor to consider is that your brand story must inspire an emotional reaction from your audience. Brand stories can also be used to humanize your brand and to identify the core values that are important to your audience, making your brand more approachable and relatable.
Which brands are doing this well?
We can look to companies with great brand stories in order to learn more about the overall relationship we want to build with our audience.
Take Burt’s Bees, a true brand story hero, for example. As an authentic brand with a great product and philosophy, Burt’s Bees have inspired their audience to buy into their holistic brand through a variety of ways. Whether it’s their comical video content or support of beekeeping, they remain true to their founding story. With a 10 percent contribution to the British Beekeepers Association with every product bought, this further strengthens the relationship between Burt’s Bees and their ideal-focused customer.
It’s also important to consider that what works for some brands may not necessarily work for your own business. For example, if other brands in your space are connecting with their audience via Instagram but your own story translates best over your blog, consider sharing your blog posts on your social media channels in order to communicate with your customers, rather than copying exactly what others are doing. Your audience will appreciate this authenticity more so than if you were to imitate tactics from other companies.
Golden rules: How to use marketing for brand stories
Marketing is a great tool for reaching your audience while portraying your brand, your products and the services you provide in the best light. The following rules don’t rely on heavy marketing budgets and can easily be achieved by changing up your current branding strategies.
These are the three golden rules when it comes to using marketing in order to build or strengthen your brand’s story:
Be visually cohesive with your brand
Everything from your company tagline to the packaging that your products, or services, are delivered in all need to scream your brand. Other areas you can lend this rule of visual branding to: your Instagram aesthetic, your email marketing templates, and your webpage, amongst many others.
Stay true to your brand’s philosophy
Be sure to identify your brand’s philosophy (a combination of vision, values and mission) and stick to it. This means becoming a voice within your industry, and offering opinions and theories on news items. You have the authority to speak on matters that are important to your brand, and your audience will appreciate your thought leadership. Consider supporting charities, attending events, holding conferences or online webinars, and following other topics that your brand’s philosophy relates to. Create a section on your website’s “about us” page to outline your brand’s philosophy and make it easily accessible.
No matter what approach you take to tell your story, be sure to create authentic content for your audience. Whether that’s an infographic, a blog or social media content, be sure to be informative and authentic with your content. If the content you create seems overly promotional, advertorial or irrelevant from your brand, your audience will be the first to call you out on this. They’ll also quickly move on to a different source.
Three lessons from brands with great stories
Use the power of social media
Whether it’s to share content and key messages, inspire your followers to believe in your brand, or to share relevant news, social media is one of the most effective platforms for startup brands. These platforms allow your audience to interact with you directly, while allowing you to tell your story through the use of hashtags and reviews.
Innocent Drinks are a great example of using a Twitter feed to engage an audience. The cheeky brand can often be found creating polls for followers or commenting on general goings-on in the media in order to stir up a conversation. This means that when they use the platform to push promotions about their products, the posts don’t translate as overly promotional.
A brand collaboration works particularly well when both brands share similar goals and audiences. This means that the coverage for your campaign will be seen by double the audiences–and since the partnership is authentic, there is no need for consumers to question the reason behind this link.
Fashion powerhouse H&M have managed to make their brand collaborations iconic, and part of their overall brand offering. Most notably, these collaborations include H&M x Moschino and H&M x Beyonce launches. The success of these partnerships has now created a new arm to the H&M brand as customers are left guessing who the next partner brand will be, while flocking to the next launch to pick up new items.
Encourage customers to tell your story
One of the most advantageous uses of marketing for brand purposes is to encourage your customers to share their experience with your brand online. This type of review can generate a lot of exposure and creates a natural conversation.
When considering a marketing strategy to build up and rejuvenate your startup brand’s story, be sure to follow the golden rules listed above, and borrow successful tactics from some bigger, well-known brands. Always remember content authenticity is key, and determine your story from the beginning.
What storytelling tactics have been successful when telling your brand’s story? Let us know.
By Pete Reis-Campbell - 19/03/2019