A brand story needs to be sufficiently meaningful to engage the consumer. It is a vehicle to connect with customers. When your brand makes a strong connection to a customer it will establish a brand loyalty that is hard to break.

Consumers like to feel that a company (or people running the company) are in touch with their specific needs and offers them something special.  One way to do this is to establish an emotional connection (another way is to give away free product!).

Sure it’s ok to embellish. But keep in mind that this is the brand story that you will live with and repeat for many years so be sure it’s easy to remember and somewhat true.

When I am working on a new brand I will often write a story to build the brand on. Its like a coat hanger – without it the brand will just not hold up for long. The truth is that the brand story is more likely to be remembered if it is simple, passionate and genuine.

Simplicity
So first consider what is the strongest most compelling reason for the consumer to purchase your products: 100% Australian, organic, biggest range of flavours or is a health benefit more important? Perhaps it’s a probiotic product, rich Vitamin C or dairy free, sugar free, gluten free. The key is to identify the most important issue for your main customer base.

Passion
The more emotional connection you have to the story the better you will be able to deliver the message and the more believable it will be. Consumers are people and people have feelings. Do you want your consumers to smile, feel empathy, be proud or patriotic? Consider who your primary target audience are and who or what is they biggest love – children, pets, friends, partner, work, work colleagues, hobbies, sports ect.

Genuine
The best stories will be created from the truth – either a personal experience, the history of the brand company and/or the benefits of the products. It helps a lot if the story evokes something inside you, as there is a chance it will have the same effect on consumers. Communicating the story in a genuine way and with versatility whether verbally, written, visually, through the design or in 140 character tweet format.

This is a brand story I wrote many years ago:
We are ‘Jamie and Sarah’ and we fell in love on the French Riviera. As our love grew strong and binding a wonderful discovery was made ~ we both had a love for pasta. Three years later it was only natural our two loves merged into one great passion, and so Pasta Riviera was born.

Since 1993 we have been sourcing the finest ingredients to create masterpieces which now include our flavoursome pasta, delicious sauces and convenient ready-made meals for the busy and taste seeking people of Australia. Pasta Riviera is our love affair to share with you!

Firstly you will notice it has a personal nature as it is based on true events. This brand story is attached to the product Pasta Riviera and their tag line ‘Pasta is a Love Affair’, which I was told people actually comment on and remember – this is a fantastic consumer connection. You will notice it begins with how they met and how the business idea came about. The second part is focussed on the product with reference to the ingredients, product range and the target audience. The final line repeats the brand name and brings the consumer back to the meaningful statement to reinforce it’s value to the consumer.

The brand story is best kept short and succinct – you will use this in your marketing so be careful it is not an essay. Create a story that will establish a brand loyalty. Identify a hook that will make the consumer smile, think, be moved to tears or just get a warm fuzzy feeling. A great example of this is the ‘thankyou’ brand – the story and the brand name connect to the consumer through the idea of giving to others, this is called a hook.

You may also be interested in ‘Why bother with brand awareness?’

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