Stories captivate us. They put children to bed, inspire imagination, and connect a group of human together. In business, a brand story is a set of consistent messages that capture the brand’s personality, purpose, and positioning into a presentable narrative that the target audience can relate to.
Brand storytelling is not a new thing. However, thanks to the internet and social media, as well as an emerging buying consciousness among customers, it has seen a resurgence. It is found that brand story can increase a brand’s perceived value by 64%.
People love stories, and they will stop and listen to a compelling one. Which is why sci-fi movies are often better received than documentaries. Science fiction like Interstellar and Dr. Who pique people’s interest in space-time travelling more than any Discovery Channel show because they have a unique lore of their own, with characters and personalities to follow and love.
Brand storytelling is all about human connection. You can usually check out a brand’s story from their ‘About Us’ page on the company website. The ‘About Us’ page is a great tool to get your customer familiarised with your brand. It’s common to start with the history of your company or how the idea of your brand was conceived. People who visit your ‘About Us’ page are those who are interested in your company background, often doing their research as part of their purchasing decision. Therefore, it’s helpful to include details that will answer their questions.
But that’s not the end of your storytelling task. The ‘About Us’ page is a great start, but your brand story has to be woven into your branding and marketing activities. In fact, it should be a part of your brand as a whole. A consistent story told through multiple mediums and platforms can make your brand look more authentic and committed.
How does Nike sell its brand? Nevermind those cool commercials about Michael Jordan slam-dunking in his Air Jordans. Those advertisements sell products. But how does Nike convince their audience they are the brand of choice against Adidas, Puma, and other competing sportswear brands? Nike tells a story.
Nike’s brand story is about pushing boundaries, whether it’s a fight against self-doubt and insecurities or pushing the limits of human capabilities. It is embedded in their commercials, posters, website, key opinion leaders, to their iconic tagline; ‘Just Do It’.
And it resonates well with their audience. Nike doesn’t just push product features and benefits, they aim to connect to the people more often than not. When Nike chose controversial athlete Colin Kaepernick to endorse one of their campaigns, the brand received some severe backlash and boycotts. But their real core audience loved the campaign and approved of Nike’s move. Nike dared to take the risk because they understand their target audience and it fits their brand story; to push boundaries, do what you love, and dream crazy.
One of Nike’s pride and joy, Serena Williams was also included in their Dream Crazy Campaign. In this poster, Nike tells the story of a young Serena who hails from Compton, California. Her crazy dream was to be the greatest tennis player of all time. And in the full video, Nike will tell you that if Serena can do it, you can too.
People will relate the value of your story to your brand. So it’s helpful to tell a story that shares the interests and struggles of your customers.
But one thing has to be certain about your brand story; it has to be genuine. If you tell your customers your cotton shirt is made from Supima cotton, it cannot be any other kind of cotton when your customers receive it. If you promise that your cleaning products are toxic-free and safe for children, it has to ring true and does not leave skin blisters.
When a brand story is relatable to consumers, they will feel a personalised customer service that is made just for them. And we all love getting special treatment! A good brand story makes customers feel included, giving them a little meaning to something as menial as buying a razor blade.
Back in 2016, the world was abuzz with Dollar Shave Club. This indie brand made headlines when Unilever acquired it for USD 1 billion. No other men’s hygiene brand had garnered more attention than them by just selling razor blades using the subscription model.
Dollar Shave Club’s brand story was to disrupt the status quo of big razor blade brands like Gillette and Schick. These brands are using the razor and cartridge model, which makes shaving products expensive. Dollar Shave Club believed shaving should not be expensive and sold theirs for only USD 1 per month. Pairing their brand story with intensive social media marketing and viral video content, they managed to collect USD 153.5 million in revenue by the end of 2015.
GoPro also has a great brand story; to capture life from a fresh perspective. Whether it’s extreme sports or jumping off a cliff, GoPro makes it their cause to enable their customers to immortalise some of their life’s most exciting moments.
Nike’s, GoPro’s and Dollar Shave Club’s brand story appeal to their target audience who both agree and believe in what these three brands are doing. Each has a story that speaks to the interests and needs of their audience as they weave a narrative that possesses an interesting and relatable personality.
We can tell you that if you aspire to be a premium brand, you need a good brand story. In truth, all brands should have a story. It’s a way to stand out in a marketing world filled with noise and competition. We all know it is getting harder for people to recognise a brand and even more complex to gain their interest and stay genuine.
A brand story can help you get their attention and gain their trust. When telling your story, you’re attempting to say ‘Hey, we get you. We are one of you guys’. But a brand story is not a sales pitch nor an advertisement. It doesn’t aim to sell things other than ideas. Talk to an expert about creating a brand story of your own. Your competitors have already started and grabbed your customer’s attention. Will it be your brand story that wins customers next?
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