Brand Story? What’s the point?
It’s a commonly overused phrase that’s thrown about when you start talking about branding – what’s your brand story? However, it really is important that you have an understanding of your story. You might be thinking that your product will sell itself, just having colourful packaging will make it fly off the shelves. It’s actually the story behind the brand the captivates your customers, it evokes an emotional connection.
‘You have to make a connection that your audience can relate to.’
What made you start the business? Why do you do it? What makes the late nights worth it? These are the types of questions people will ask when you run your own business. They also subconsciously ask this when they interact with your brand, whether this be seeing your product in a shop, visit your website for the first time or even if they’re watching a video about your business on You Tube. People will always invest more time into something if there is a cause behind it that they feel they can relate to.
A great example of a business taking an ordinary product and giving it a great appeal is with the shoe manufacturer Toms. Their entire business ethos is based on a way of life not the product. If you haven’t encountered them before their original business model was based on their ‘One For One’ tagline, meaning that for every pair of shoes you purchase from them, they would in return donate a new pair of shoes to a person in need.
This combined with a unique marketing campaign, as you can see in the video, gave the brand a big appeal, not because of the product itself but what they represented. The customer is making a statement wearing the shoes, they match their desired lifestyle. This is branding gold. If you were to strip back the brand and look at the product on its own, you would find a comparatively cheap pair of shoes. However, embellish them with a carefully thought out brand story and they become so much more. It generated a loyalty and love for the brand.
‘Shit, I only sell screws how can I make my business sound like that?!’
Before you carry on reading thinking ‘shit, I only sell screws how can I make my business sound like that?!’ Don’t worry, every business is different. Some have grand meanings behind them and some don’t. It’s all about how you put your unique spin onto. It could be a personal story or it can be the story of the product/service, like I said every business is different. However the key point is that you have to make a connection that your audience can relate to and embellish those points.
Lets create an example, imagine that you have started a high end skincare business. You have spent all of your savings and asked for countless favours to try to find the best ingredients for your product. So when writing your story about the origins of the product I present to you two options…
All of our organic products are sourced from the Mediterranean.
All of our organic ingredients are handpicked from the heart of the sun soaked mediterranean. Only the finest herbs and spices are chosen by our team of botanical experts. Purposely chosen to bring out the perfect aroma, making you feel as if you’re on a far away sore.
Option 1 is to the point and in essence does what it says on the tin, I can’t deny that a description such as this does have it’s place. However, option 2 has the M&S effect, you can instantly see the bright colours, feel the heat from the sun and imagine your foot sinking into the sand on the beech. This type of description takes uses the customers senses to make the emotional connection, you are always going to remember option two and be more likely to purchase it if it conjures up those feelings every time you use it. This can easily be done for your business if you cater your approach for your specific target market and it works harmoniously with your overall message, but no matter what, don’t underestimate the power of an effective brand story when paired with a strong visual brand. There is a reason why the best performing businesses have them.
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