What is my brand’s story – and how do I tell it?

by Adam Hayes on 20 November 2013
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What makes you put back the ‘Wheat Biscuits’ and pick up the ‘Weetabix?’ Why do you leave the ‘Cool Tortilla Chips’ on the shelf, and head to the checkout with ‘Doritos?’ And why will you pay twice the price for an identical pair of trainers, with a different logo on the side?

Whatever line of work you’re in, you probably don’t need us to tell you that the marketplace is pretty crowded. Times are tough financially, and there are tens, hundreds, thousands of other businesses competing for the hard-earned pennies of your customers.

The basics
Let’s assume that you have the bread-and-butter fundamentals in place; you’ve created a great product, it’s well priced…and people seem to quite like it.

The power of brands
That’s an amazing start. But what helps you stand out from the crowd? What makes you memorable? What creates an emotional connection between you and your customer? Put simply, your brand is everything.

Awesome brands make us feel good. They make us choose certain products over others, even at a price premium. They make us like pages on Facebook, recommend products to our friends, and do weird stuff like get logos tattooed on our bodies (admittedly this is right at the upper end of the brand-love spectrum…and not something anyone here at Team Wyzowl has done!)

The best-conceived and best-communicated brands often elicit powerful, visceral associations, both conscious and sub-conscious. The very name of these brands conjures up a myriad of associated values and ideas, and this message runs consistently throughout every aspect of their communications. That’s what we call a compelling brand story!

So, product alone is fine. But as the old saying goes, ‘Product, plus personality, equals brand.’ Let’s start building yours!

What do you stand for?
Let’s think of your ‘Brand Story’ the same as any other story. The golden rule is always to plan before you start writing. That means you need to think deeply about exactly who you are, what your product is, and how that combination should impress itself into the lives of your customers.

This all means some pretty deep thinking…but the good news is that, even if you don’t know the answers already, most of them will probably be sitting just below the surface. Part of yourself is invested in your product, so your own personal values and tastes will be tied up within your brand. As soon as you start to think about it, odds are you’ll realize that you know exactly what you want your brand to represent!

Here’s just a few questions to think about to get you started:

  • Is my brand fun or serious?
  • Is it friendly or formal?
  • Is it positive or nihilistic?
  • Is it colourful, or black and white?
  • Is it traditional or modern?
  • Is it elitist or inclusive?
  • What colours best represent my brand?
  • If my brand was a person, how would he/she speak?
  • What does my ideal target customer look like? What do they love in a brand?
  • What are my competitors doing with their brand? How can I be different?
  • What 3-5 words would I most like people to associate with my brand?

The ‘How?’
Once you’ve got a clear picture in your mind of what your brand is all about, it’s time to ‘roll it out’ … across every possible touch point.

Communicating your brand story is the fun bit!

A cautionary note: Consistency!
It’s incredibly important that you keep your brand consistent, and all its strands reflect the story you’ve decided on. Why?

Well, the best brands are believable. Customers don’t want to feel that you’re trying too hard and deliberately wrapping your product in a brand that’s inauthentic and forced.

Think of your brand as the proverbial deck of cards. Each part of your brand – from packaging, to copy, to web design, to social media output – is a card in that ‘house,’ and if one part of it falls down, the whole thing does.

As a quick example, you don’t want to create a dynamic, fun, modern brand story – only to undermine it all with a stuffy, lifeless and copy-heavy website.

The total package
Here are just a few of the things you need to think about in rolling out your brand story:

  • Is your website represented in the right colours and typefaces to transmit your message? Does it contain the right imagery?
  • Does your logo properly encapsulate what your brand’s all about?
  • Does your packaging start to tell your story as soon as the customer holds it in their hands?
  • Is the tone of voice in your copy – both online and offline – on the right wavelength? (Here’s a great article from our friends at CopyHackers about the importance of tone of voice http://www.copyhackers.com/2013/01/copywriting-tone-how-to/)
  • Is your social media content centered around your core brand values and beliefs?

Within and without!
Of course, all the points listed above tend to concentrate on external, customer-focused platforms. But your brand really needs to live within your business and it’s essential that your brand story runs through into your company’s culture.

You and your staff are your brand’s foot soldiers, and like anything else, it’s that much easier if everybody believes in what they’re doing!

If you’re running a fun, creative and relaxed brand, then it’s important to ensure that’s the vibe in your office. Not only does this mean you’re likely to build a loyal, committed team who love what they’re doing, it also gives the added benefit of being able to take your audience ‘behind the scenes’ and show them where the magic happens.

Video – the ultimate brand storytelling device!
Of course, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t give an obligatory shout-out to video, but it’s true…video really is awesome for telling your story!

Video allows every aspect of your brand story to be neatly packaged and consumed by your audience within just 1-2 minutes in a really fun, dynamic and engaging way…which is statistically proven to be more engaging than basically any other medium!

Every decision you make in your video production gives you the power to tell your story, from voiceover style, to music choice, to colours and graphical style.

For example, here’s a video we created with the guys at Ewe Move, who have created a really cool brand to differentiate themselves from other estate agents. Hypothetically, who would you choose – A.N. Other Letting Agents, or these guys?! It’s a no-brainer and a perfect illustration of the power of brand!

 

Let us help!
So, we hope that’s given you a few ideas. Can we help you tell your story? Contact us today and let’s chat!

Content Marketing

Adam Hayes

Written by Adam Hayes

Hey - I'm Adam, Content Manager here at Wyzowl. I'm lucky enough to write words and tell stories for a living. I work with a weird and wonderful bunch of people who share my passion for digital marketing, brand storytelling and, of course, Mario Kart.