Successful brands tell powerful stories – The brand story explained
You’re thinking about strengthening your brand, and the first thing that pops into your head is a new logo. Whoops. Stop, back-track and think again. A brand is much more than a logo. It’s more than content and a narrative. It’s more than the sum of its parts. It’s a story, a cohesive message that goes way beyond the nuts and bolts of web design, blog posts, brochure text, adverts and presentations.
You only have a certain level of control over your brand. You can tell people about yourself and demonstrate your brand values at every turn, every touch point along the sales funnel. But at the end of the day prospects and customers will believe what they like about you, based on their interpretation of the signals you give out, and their feelings about them. Which makes creating a h2, integrated brand story even more important.
A new logo is one thing. Great brand stories are another. Here’s what you need to know.
About the brand story, and why you need one
First impressions are enormously important. Your story begins when someone runs across you – in whatever form that might take – for the first time. If you don’t have a story to tell, it shows. You’re merely a commodity, replaceable and unvalued, no different from a host of other businesses doing much the same thing.
To reflect a brand story back to your audience, your messaging needs to remain constant across every communication, at every stage. To achieve that you need to pin down what your brand values are in the first place, since it’s impossible to reflect something you haven’t decided on (and, going forward, you can’t market a business effectively without a USP).
You don’t sell products or services. The stuff you sell doesn’t make a brand story in itself, but it plays a supporting role. You’re selling the benefits of your services or products, solutions for people wanting answers, your route to building loyalty and generating meaningful long term consumer relationships.
Creating a brand story isn’t about just making noise and getting noticed, either. It’s a longer term, more genuine and useful thing you’re building, something people genuinely ‘get’, care about and can hook into, that all-important emotional context.
Once you’ve formalised the things your business stands for and believes in, you’re ready to brand the business.
What counts in the pursuit of a powerful brand story?
A real, true, heartfelt brand story should sit right at the centre of your brand, informing tactics and driving strategy. Everything counts, every signal you send has an impact, from the colour, texture and quality of packaging materials to the heft of your business cards, the look and feel of your website and the way it works, printed marketing / comms materials, tagline, logo, livery, posters, online adverts and editorial, press releases and off-the-page advertising, blog posts and articles, meta data, the things you say on social media, the lot. The people you work with play a part in your brand story too – from suppliers to collaborators, freelancers and business partners. They all reflect the truth about your brand back to your audience.
Where to start telling your organisation’s brand story
The world’s most popular brands, large and small, have h2, honest, clear, attractive brand stories that inform and permeate everything they do, at every stage in the marketing and sales process. If you’re a new start-up you’ll want to consciously shape that story from the outset. If you’re an existing businesses wanting to re-position your brand, you’ll need to pin down a fresh story to drive the action.
Our contribution to your brand story
If you don’t know where to start, we can help you with brand consultancy. Together we’ll explore your corporate mission and vision, USPs, value proposition, attitude and beliefs, and build essential emotional context.
Once you know for sure what you want to say, we’ll take your brand story and run with it. We’ll create a website – and any other kind of marketing materials you need – to reflect the real ‘you’ in exactly the right way.