How To: Develop A Compelling Brand Story

BACKGROUND

Every great business is built on a great brand, and every great brand is built on a great story. A brand story recounts the series of events that sparked your company’s inception and expresses how that narrative still drives your mission today. Brands who are looking to attract capital, customers, employees or evangelists need only look to the ancient form of the story to understand how best to engage audiences today.

Across categories, and whether the most valuable, innovative or fastest-growing business, these companies know the story of their brand. They also know that beyond driving marketing campaigns, brand story is the engine that unites inside and out, creates emotional ties with customers and provides a lens for future vision.

Ultimately, every interaction should be an opportunity to communicate and advance your brand story. At the same time, this is the narrative that your want your customers to take ownership of.

HOW TO CRAFT YOUR BRAND STORY

There’s a framework supporting virtually every story to ever gain adoption, i.e., The Hero’s Journey (reference Joseph Campbell). It’s the framework we at Trajectory use to develop our clients’ brand stories.

  • A Broken World. All stories take place somewhere – the setting of the story. In the Hero’s Journey narrative, the world in which the story exists is fundamentally broken. This is the problem you seek to solve for your audience, that they couldn’t achieve before you came along. Painting a picture of a world incomplete and in disrepair without your organization.
  • The Hero. Every great story has a hero at its center; powerless outsiders, wishing for more and pulling audiences inside the story (e.g., Luke Skywalker, The Karate Kid). In your story, your customer is the hero, as you put their needs and wants at the center of what you do.
  • The Mentor. Think Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mr. Miyagi. They meet the hero in their journey, guide them on a path, and help them unlock their power. Great organizations don’t solve customer problems, they empower customers to solve their own problems with support and guidance.
  • A Magical Gift. After facing the mentor, the hero receives a magical gift that aids them on their journey (e.g., lightsaber) and helps defeat the source of their problems. The gift for your customers might be your philosophy, practices, resources, guidance, products, etc. The journey ends with the hero returning home, using the gift to repair the broken world and ensuring they live happily ever after.

Regardless of what stage a business is in, strengthening your brand story makes your business more impactful by allowing you to more meaningfully engage and align with your audiences. Once your organization crafts its story, work diligently to break it out of the marketing box. Let employees use it as a framework for crafting their own company stories, and align everything from job descriptions to the guidelines for customer service around the story.

In the end, there are four things about a great story: People want to hear it. Tell it. Participate in it. And buy into it.

Founded in 1999, Trajectory is a hybrid brand consultancy / marketing agency helping clients across the health + wellness industry to grow better brand-led businesses. Reach out through email or call Eric Brody, President at 973-292-1400 x201.