A strong brand is what separates your company from the competition. When done right, a brand’s story can foster incredible growth when it comes to sales. A successful brand story explains your company’s mission and identity through carefully crafted, consistent messaging and marketing efforts. But how can you effectively tell your brand’s story?
Building a Strong Brand
Before formulating your brand story, it is crucial to consider how you want the market to see your brand, better known as your brand image. Do you want to be perceived as professional and innovative? Or maybe you want customers to see you as casual, yet experienced? Regardless of what tone and identity your brand takes on, it is important to take care and establish a strong brand foundation.
When it comes to building your brand image, you will want to look at a few key details such as:
- Brand goals
- Brand tone/voice
- Core values
- Target audience/consumers
These four sectors are the first building blocks for establishing a strong brand. When you first sit down to begin the process, focusing on these sections will help you develop a standout brand.
Brand goals are the essential driving force behind establishing your brand. Want to maximize your branding efforts? Ask yourself: what do you hope to accomplish when it comes to your brand and how the market perceives it? After identifying current issues within your company’s existing brand infrastructure, you can clearly map out how you plan to remedy these issues. If your brand has an excellent visual strategy, you will have greater success with your overall messaging setup. But if these strategies are not focused on a specific target audience, your visuals are going to be poorly received no matter how polished they are.
When developing your overall branding strategies, it is vital to define a target audience and use cohesive messaging. Once you have a stable branding foundation, you can begin to properly devise your brand storytelling strategy.
Brand storytelling is exactly that – telling your brand’s story, which can look very different from business to business. A well-constructed, cohesive brand story has been known to improve customer trust levels which fosters customer loyalty. Additionally, a successful brand story can raise brand awareness, which in turn increases sales.
Brand storytelling is important for many reasons, but primarily because it allows you establish meaningful connections with your customers. Brand storytelling can be done using visuals, audio, video, paid promotional, content, and even social media. Since every company has a different story to tell, there are a variety of brand storytelling methods that can be used depending on the goals of your brand.
Share Your Legacy
Successfully showcase your company by centering your brand story around your mission and core values. Focusing on the purpose behind your brand is a perfect way to personalize your customers’ experiences. No matter how big or small your business is, share your core values with your consumers to show everyone what type of company you are. If your brand was founded with transparency in mind, now is the time to highlight that. Did your founders make waves and break news when they began? Let your customers know!
Company core-focused brand storytelling is especially effective when it comes to milestone events. Is your company coming up on a milestone year like a 10th, 25th or 50th anniversary? You can use this opportunity to launch a brand storytelling campaign that highlights your business’ lifetime achievements. Use this story to show your consumers where and how you began and highlight everything that you are capable of doing for them. The purpose of sharing your legacy in this way is to:
- increase awareness of your brand and improve customer loyalty
- showcase your history of consistent value and
- convey a message that highlights the longevity of your business.
Centering your brand storytelling campaign around your company’s core mission and foundation is a great way to increase brand awareness. Focusing on the history and traditions that set your brand apart from the competition also fosters customer loyalty because consumers enjoy being loyal to brands that work.
Look to the Future
Another efficient way to tell your brand story is by focusing on the future. This means noting the past and present state of your brand, as well as where you hope to take it and how you plan to get there. Focusing on the upward trajectory of your brand improves brand awareness. This, in turn, generates buzz and compels customers to want to be part of the excitement.
Projected growth brand storytelling should also include the history of your brand. You can highlight why your founders established your company and show how you have successfully evolved over time. Telling your brand’s story shows consumers that you have a lasting business built on genuine customer relationships. Telling your brand’s history gives your audience an inside look at the heart and soul of your company. Such transparency leads to a more trusting and personal connection to your brand, so your customers will feel more compelled to be loyal to you.
Highlight Your Employees
One of the best forms of brand storytelling involves your employees, the people who help run your operations. It has become very important to consumers that their products and services do not come at the expense and exploitation of others. Due to this, one of the best ways to improve your brand awareness and market perception – all while driving sales – is to share your employees’ stories.
Benefits of Sharing Your Employees’ Stories
Structuring your brand story around your employees can show consumers a great deal about your company values. For one, it shows how you prioritize and manage one of the most important departments of any brand. Likewise, being open and honest enough to encourage employee voices and perspectives shows consumers that you have transparent business practices.
Another way to tell your brand story with an employee-focused campaign is by sharing behind the scenes content. This can include
- sharing the breakdown of departments and teams within your company
- highlighting specific leaders and staff members with a closer scope and
- taking an inner look at the processes your business uses to provide its goods and services
Giving the market an inside look at your operations also boosts transparency just as the other methods, but it also fosters long term, tight-knit customer relationships. Stronger customer relationships can mean higher retention rates and more repeat customers, as well as increased referral business. Focus on your employees when it comes to brand storytelling. You can also focus on the hiring and training processes that your company follows. When customers are deciding whether you are capable of meeting their needs, they want to be able to assess your workforce competency for themselves. Following best practices when your company hires and trains its staff can be beneficial when it comes to market perception. A transparent, positive operations structure improves customer trust levels, increasing the likelihood they will want to work with you.
Adopt a Signature Face
Are you looking to tell a brand story that differentiates you from your competition? Use a character-focused brand storytelling style. Telling your brand story through unique and clearly identifiable characters engages customers in an impactful way. The use of a distinct character or mascot makes it easier for your consumers to associate them with your brand. A few really great examples of character-based storytelling include State Farm’s “Jake from State Farm” and the iconic GEICO Gecko®. These companies have created such recognizable characters, they have essentially become the faces of their respective brands. Our association with these characters and their brands is so strong, we instantly recognize the brand in question without needing to see a logo or brand name.
Character storytelling is a great way to get people talking about your brand on a larger scale. This is especially the case when you create a character that resonates with your audience. The success of your character relies heavily on how well you tailor it to your customers’ interests. If your character falls flat when it comes to customer engagement, it is not going to successfully increase market perception. Having a signature character that customers can identify and commiserate with gets people talking about your brand, and that type of “buzz” can give you a competitive edge.
Focus on Community
Customers have become more concerned with the environmental and labor integrity of the companies they support in recent years. Today, they are also starting to shift their focuses to how brands impact their communities. Telling your brand story via community involvement is a foolproof way to boost market perception. By telling your brand story through focusing on your business’ role in its community, as well as how its presence impacts the community, you are also stimulating an increase in consumer trust.
One of the best ways to focus your brand storytelling on community is by highlighting your connections and showing your customers your community contributions. This can be done by showing results, stories, and can even include the use of customer testimonials to show community support.
Benefits of a Community Focus
When you show your customers how you are connected and involved with the community you mutually share, there is going to be an inherit trust right from the start simply by being united by existing in the same spaces. From there, you can highlight how you stay involved within your community. If you have any sort of foundation or organization committed to supporting the community, now would be the time to highlight its impact. You could increase market perception and sales traffic from those interested in joining your efforts. For example, say you are committed to providing jobs in your community by hiring a certain percentage of local residents. Let everyone know as this could boost job applicants and sales.
Whether you have a non-profit that gives back to your community, or you are committed to providing jobs to your community members, showing your customers how you are involved and connected to your community builds trust, and your company will be viewed a little more personally by your audiences due to your automatic common interests and investments.
How to Guarantee Overall Successful Brand Storytelling
Better brand storytelling boosts sales, helps improves market perception, and can be custom tailored to meet all your branding goals. Regardless of your desired style for your brand, there are a few essential things to make note of while crafting and executing your story, such as:
No matter what you focus your brand storytelling campaign on, it is crucial that you stay consistent with it. It’s important to maintain a cohesive voice and visual elements throughout all of your storytelling materials. Every single piece of storytelling communications must be consistent and constructed in a way that causes consumers to instantly associate with your brand. All of your storytelling efforts should fit together and complement one another to paint the most consistent, clear story possible. Your consumers should be able to clearly understand what you are trying to tell them and why they should listen. If your story is unclear, it can make your brand appear unorganized or not established, which does not encourage traffic or sales for your business.
Tell A Unique Story
In addition to consistency and clarity, your brand storytelling campaign should be innovative in order to stand out. Taking time to brainstorm and develop your brand’s story is a crucial step in standing out from the competition. Identify what makes your brand special, and harness that to tell a story that engages your audience effectively. For example, if you have seniority when it comes to being established in your industry, telling the story of your company’s legacy is likely going to be more effective than character storytelling. Whereas if your brand has recently rebranded or is newer and is looking to make a lasting impact, using a character in your brand storytelling efforts would be incredibly helpful in boosting sales.
Every brand story is different, and every storytelling campaign should be brand specific. Regardless of the immediate needs and goals of telling your brand’s story, any storytelling campaign is going to impact market perception and sales. If you are unsure of how to determine what storytelling model is best for your brand, the best way to learn is from a professional branding agency.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a nationally recognized, top woman led B2B branding, positioning, and digital marketing firm who knows how to create value that emotionally influences your customer’s buying decision, giving you the competitive advantage. As your trusted partner in B2B software technology and manufacturing, we provide the branding and positioning framework that make an impact – so you can focus on what you do best – run your business successfully. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, and a worldwide presence, the professionals at Millennium Agency would like to learn more about your business. Visit www.mill.agency or book time here.