A strong brand is what separates your company from the competition, and when done right, a strong brand story can foster incredible growth when it comes to sales. A successful brand story gives your customers an understanding of 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 that you sit down and 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 them 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 guide and direct you towards a brand that will stand out.
Brand goals are incredibly important when it comes to establishing your brand, they are the driving force behind all of your branding efforts. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish when it comes to customer engagement, messaging, advertising, and everything pertaining to your brand and how the market perceives it. After identifying current issues within your company’s existing brand infrastructure, you can clearly direct how you plan to remedy these issues. If your brand has an excellent visual strategy and succeeds with its overall messaging setup, but these strategies are not centered around a focused target audience, your visuals are going to be ill-received no matter how polished they are.
It is incredibly important to make sure that your overall branding strategies are carefully constructed with a focused target audience and 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. Brand storytelling can take on many forms and 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 to connect with and engage your customers in a meaningful way that lasts. 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
One of the easiest ways to successfully showcase your company is by centering your brand story around your mission and core values. Focusing on your company at its core and the purpose behind your brand is a perfect way to connect with your customers in a meaningful way that feels personal. No matter how big or small your business is, breaking down your brand for consumers, and sharing what values your founders and leadership prioritize, is a surefire way to show your audience 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 milestones such as major anniversaries such as the 10th, 15th, 50th, and everything in between. When your company is coming up on a milestone year, you can launch a brand storytelling campaign that highlights and celebrates every achievement and the overall growth of your business over time. You can use this story to show your consumers where and how you began, and highlight everything that you are capable of in the hopes of increasing their awareness of your brand, and improving customer loyalty by showcasing the value of tradition.
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 where your brand started, where your brand currently is, as well as where you hope to take your brand and how you plan to get there. Focusing on the upward trajectory of your brand improves brand awareness, because it 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 by sharing its legacy shows consumers that you have a lasting longevity which builds more trusting and genuine customer relationships. Telling your brand’s history gives your audience an inside look at the inner heart of your company, which makes them feel more trusting and personally connected to your brand and therefore more likely 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 is becoming more and more important to consumers that their products and services do not come at the expense and exploitation of another. Due to this, one of the best ways to improve your brand awareness and market perception – all while driving sales – is to share your employee’s stories. Structuring your brand story around your employees can show consumers a great deal about your company values, because 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 of the day-to-day work of employees of all departments and levels. This can include sharing the breakdown of departments and teams within your company, highlighting specific leaders and staff members with a closer scope, and even 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.
By focusing on your employees when it comes to brand storytelling, you can also focus on the hiring and training processes that your company follows. Focusing on how your company hires and trains its staff can be beneficial when it comes to market perception, because it improves customer trust levels when it comes to meeting their needs because they are able to assess your workforce competency for themselves.
Adopt a Signature Face
If you are looking to tell a brand story that differentiates you from the competition, then using a character focused brand storytelling style is the way to go. Telling your brand story via the use of a unique and clearly identifiable character engages customers in a way that sticks. The use of a distinct character or mascot causes your consumers to immediately associate that character or likeness with your brand. A really great example of character-based storytelling is among insurance brands such as State Farm’s “Jake from State Farm” or Geico’s iconic gecko. These companies have introduced a character that is essentially the face of their brand, and they then use scenarios and events this character encounters to promote their goods or services.
Character storytelling is a great way to get people talking about your brand on a larger scale, especially when you target your character to resonate with your audience. The success of your character relies heavily on how well you tailor it to your customers’ interests, and 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 boosts conversations about your brand and gives you an edge above the competition.
Focus on Community
Just as customers are increasingly more concerned with the environmental and labor integrity of the companies they support, 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, because it engages the specific audiences and communities directly. 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 which can be done by informing your customers of what you do for the community. This can be done by showing results and can even include the use of customer testimonials to show community satisfaction. 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 aiding and supporting the community, now would be the time to highlight its impact, you could increase market perception and sales traffic from those interested in aiding with efforts. If you have a commitment to providing jobs to your community by hiring a certain percentage of local residents, let everyone know, it 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
Successful brand storytelling boosts sales and improves market perception and can be custom tailored to meet all your brand’s goals. Regardless of your desired style of storytelling 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 are consistent with it. There must be a cohesive voice, messaging, and visuals that are consistently used in all storytelling methods. Every single piece of storytelling communications must consistently be constructed in a uniform matter which causes consumers to immediately associate the material 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.
In addition to consistency and clarity, your brand storytelling campaign should be innovative in order to stand out. Taking time to brainstorm and develop the most efficient and unique ways to tell your brand’s story is a crucial step to take if you want to be able to stand 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 national, award-winning boutique branding, messaging and strategy marketing firm for the software technology and manufacturing sectors. A top-led women-owned business, we take your brand and vision seriously and build a strategy that drives brand success. Our expert team unites creative branding, storytelling and data analytics to accelerate your business growth. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, and a worldwide presence, the professionals at Millennium Agency would like to learn more about your business.