Critical Considerations for Creating and Protecting your Brand Story
At heart, all human beings love stories. We tell our own and we wrap ourselves up in the stories of others. That’s not limited to individuals, either. We connect with other entities in our lives through stories, including organisations and businesses. Because of that inherent connection, it becomes simpler to forge a bond with your audience. What we’re talking about is using your brand story to capture interest, forge a bond with your audience, and ensure that your business or organisation stands out in their minds for the right reasons.
What Is a Brand, Though?
In order to understand how to use your brand story, and the importance of protecting it, you must first understand what a brand is. Once upon a time, it was nothing more than a logo or symbol that represented your company and stood out in your customers’ minds. That’s changed to a significant degree today. A brand is no longer just a trademark. It’s your audience’s perception of your company. It’s how the world sees your firm.
What Is a Brand Story?
So, if your brand is how the world sees you, what is your brand story? Really, it’s nothing more than the reason that your company came into being in the first place and how that reason or reasons still drives your mission. Your brand story is your company’s reason for doing what it does.
It sounds simple enough, but when you start to consider how to create that story and how to get it out in front of your audience, it becomes much more difficult. How do you do that successfully? Once your story has been created, how do you protect it from the forces that would tear it down?
Creating Your Brand Story
Your brand story is no different than any other piece of literature. There must be a protagonist (you or your company). There must be a plot. There must be drama – things that get in the way, obstacles to overcome, even antagonists that stand against you.
To start off, you’ll need to define your company’s purpose, your reason for being. What was your company started to do? What problem were you trying to solve, or what need were you trying to fulfil? Are you helming a small antivirus firm with the mission to protect consumers from the bad guys on the Internet seeking to infiltrate their computers? Are you a non-profit seeking to make clean, safe drinking water available in developing nations?
Your company’s reason for being is the plot of your brand story. Once you have defined your plot, you need to determine what conflict will drive your story. All (good) stories revolve around conflict and successfully overcoming adversity. What did you overcome in the process of creating your company, or in developing your products or services? What adversities have you overcome in helping your customers? All of these things can add drama to your brand story and help ensure that it resonates with your audience.
You cannot leave your brand story there, though. It needs a resolution – how you came to your customers’ rescue, or how you managed to achieve your company’s goals. It’s your answer to the challenge(s) facing your brand and how you stand out from the crowd.
How do you present that story, though? You can do so in myriad ways, including:
- Your website
- Your product packaging
- Your in-store experience
- Your marketing materials (online and off)
Protecting Your Brand Story
As mentioned, your brand story is a powerful asset and it must be protected from forces that seek to tarnish or even destroy it. How do you do that? It’s actually not all that difficult.
Keep your brand story at the forefront of all that you do, whether that’s hiring a new employee or engaging through Facebook. Your brand story must be fact, not fiction. It should be present in every single interaction and every piece of content used for marketing purposes. When you do that, and regularly reassess how you’re doing at telling your brand story, you’ll find that protecting it from internal and external forces that might damage it becomes simpler.
Ultimately, your brand story is the crux of your company – why are you in business? What does your organisation exist to achieve? What hurdles have you overcome to get where you are, and what do you help your audience overcome? Tell that story in as many ways as you can and in as many places as you can, starting with your website and including all of your marketing collateral, from blog posts to social media posts to physical brochures. Regularly reassess your story to ensure that you remain true to your original mission.