How to Tell a Great Brand Story
Your client has their product or service. They’ve signed up with the perfect Instagram handle. They have hired someone who has started creating a great website.
But in order to really connect with clients, they need a brand story. This is where the copywriter (that is you!) starts their work.
A brand story is not about what the client does. It is about who they are, where they have been, and where they are going. It is based on narrative and emotion, not facts and figures.
This story is at the heart of the marketing and advertising strategy for a company. It will depend more on emotional appeals than facts or figures.
The brand story is an integral part of building trust between the founder of a company and their ideal clients. It impacts everything that the company puts out into the world.
The story is built from the founder’s personal narrative, the company’s core beliefs, and so much more.
So how do you tell a great brand story? Keep reading to find out!
Know Who You Are
At the heart of a brand story is a person and their personal narrative. Your client is where their company found its beginning, and to tell their company’s story, you have to tell their story.
This is a chance to help your audience feel like they are being invited into something. Not just that something is being sold to them, but that a relationship is being built.
Interview your client and do research online to answer the following questions before beginning writing their brand story:
Remember that the key word in “brand story” is “story.” As you write this kind of copy, you are a storyteller. The narrative you present to your audience determines how they view the company and its founder.
Know Who You Are Talking To
Your audience can learn about the company’s specific offers on their sales pages. For the brand story, you have to go beyond the specific offers and figure out how this company will impact the potential client’s life overall.
It has been seen over and over again--a company’s brand becomes so much more than a brand.
For companies like Nike and SoulCycle and Coca-Cola, their brand becomes a lifestyle. Nike is athleticism, self-determination, and equality. SoulCycle is about community and health. Coca-Cola is about happiness and friendships.
How does your client’s brand impact the lives of their customers? Does the company affect their health, their relationships, their financial success? How is someone’s quality of life improved by interacting with this company?
Create ideal customer profiles so that you can tailor your story-telling to specific demographics.
Writing copy for an ideal client in their twenties will be very different from writing copy for an ideal client in their seventies.
When thinking about the ideal client, ask the following questions:
Know the Building Blocks of a Brand Story
There are certain aspects of the company that need to be included in the brand story.
As stated above, the story of the founder of the company is key, but that is not the only component. You need more to make your brand story complete!
Discuss the inspiration behind and the development process of the products the company offers. Focusing on the impact this product has on customers’ lives and on the market as a whole is very important.
Include quotes from real employees and testimonials from current customers to build a sense of the company culture.
The idea is to create a picture. Like a puzzle, a brand story is full of individual pieces that all come together to create a unified image.
Everything you have ever learned about creative writing can be applied to a brand story. You need to establish the characters, the setting, the conflict, and the resolution.
Think of the last time you read a novel that was so good you couldn't put it down. You want your story to have that same level of magnetism and interest.
There should be a feeling of movement through time. The reader should feel, at the end of the story, that they have gone on a journey with this company.
They should understand what the company has overcome and accomplished in order to be where it is today.
Mankind has been telling stories for as long as we have been around to tell them. It is ingrained in the human brain to respond to a narrative style of storytelling.
If you build the pieces of your brand story in a creative way, your audience will respond.
Know How to Send the Right Message
Conduct market research, find the right keywords, and learn from the company's past marketing strategies. What has their branding been in the past, and where do you want to take it?
A brand story is more creative and emotional than other kinds of website copy, but that does not mean that its effectiveness cannot be tested and improved upon.
If possible, run the copy by company employees and a couple of current customers. You can also post pieces on their social media and see what kind of response the narrative gets before posting it to their site.
The brand story has to be effective because once it is established, it will affect every bit of copy put out by this company. Their website, brochures, video advertisements, and social media posts will all connect back to this brand story.
Know Where You Are Going Next
Where the company is going can be just as important as where it has been. When writing a brand story, you want to convey a sense of growth and progress.
If we are looking at the narrative structure of your brand story, this section fits in towards the end. You have established the characters, conflict, and resolution (where the company is currently). Now, you need to hint at the sequel.
You can describe a core belief that the company will be focusing on moving forward. Or you can give a brief description of a new product or service the company will be offering in the next year.
You want to create interest in the company’s future to entice people to become long-term customers.
The audience will want to know how the company is evolving and moving forward. Use this as an opportunity to invite the audience on this journey with the company!
Share Your Story With the World!
Writing a brand story can be daunting, especially for someone who is new to copywriting. However, this kind of copy gives the writer so much opportunity for creativity and emotional appeals.
This is the place where your creative thinking and unique voice can really shine in a way that will benefit a company and impact all of its customers.
Narrative story-telling is the future of copywriting. Developing this skill now will only help you to succeed professionally in the future.
Many copywriters consider taking a copywriting certificate course at an ad school.
Are you interested in developing your skills as a copywriter and jumping into a new career? If you are interested in learning more about copywriting and story-telling, check out our Copywriting to Go Course!