3 Ways to Tie Stories to Your Brand

You come into the office after a long weekend. You know you have lots on your plate, but before jumping head first into your workload, you want to hear some stories, right?

My holiday weekend was filled with college football, lounging around the apartment with Hiccups, and a day with my parents at the tide pools in Malibu. Not a long story, but you can more or less imagine what the last three days were like for me.

Stories entertain. They illuminate. They evoke sentiment. And they stick, both in the heart and the brain.

Every brand has a story. One that quickly comes to mind is Clif Bar & Co., the health food maker whose packaging isn’t complete without the exciting origin story of how a man, a bike ride and two years in a kitchen resulted in an energy bar that tastes really good.

heart as brain in head
CC BY-SA 2.0

The story of how Clif Bars came to be honestly just popped to the top of my head now. There are other company stories floating around up there, too, but you get the idea. Numbers and statistics can be easily jumbled up. Coupons and discounts have an expiration date. A story reaches both the head and the heart in a memorable way. A story is a great way to make a lasting impression on your customer base.

You may already be sharing your story with your customers, or you may not know how to fit the story into an already developed brand presence. The latter is no excuse for missing the opportunity to tell the story about your brand.

So, here are three ways to incorporate storytelling in your marketing message. Obviously these three ideas don’t make up an exhaustive list. In the comments, feel free to add your thoughts on how to incorporate storytelling with your brand.

1. Your Unique Selling Proposition

A unique selling proposition (or USP) is just a fancy way of talking about the story that makes you stand out from the competition and, hopefully, convinces the audience that your product or service is the better choice.

Consider if your story is a distinctive selling point. Was the product or service born out of need that you experienced personally, showing that you can truly relate to the customer base? Do you provide one of the only environmentally friendly or socially conscious options on the market? It’s a story you already share in elevator rides and with friends and family members. Share it with your potential customers and see if they appreciate seeing that side of the brand, too.

2. Your Blog

At Bruce Clay, Inc., I try to utilize the blog as a storytelling channel — a story of the search marketing industry and the story of Bruce Clay, Inc. Bruce started his search engine optimization company from his kitchen table more than a dozen years ago. Since then, he’s developed into a champion of ethical Internet marketing. I like to think that this blog tells this story of responsible marketing and brand management and progressive strategies and tactics, backed by the guidance and understanding of an industry authority.

You already know that blogs are good for community building and generating a connection with your audience. Don’t overlook the platform as a way to tell your story over the long term. Your story is actually developing everyday, so as changes happen, take advantage of the blog to keep the story alive.

3. Customer Reviews and Case Studies

Your customers have a story to tell about your business as well. Why not benefit from those stories by sharing them with like-minded potential clients. Stories are an effective way to make concrete examples illustrate broader points. See how ABC worked for them? It will work for the XYZ that’s been plaguing you, too!

Collecting customer reviews comes at a low cost (relevant user generated content!) but has a high ROI potential. Little company-generated marketing is quite as powerful as a recommendation from a friend or positive word of mouth. Pull together reviews and share them with potential clients for an additional story that supports your own.

Let your brand’s story shine through – harness the power of storytelling to captivate, connect, and conquer your audience’s hearts and minds. Contact us.

FAQ: How can I incorporate brand storytelling effectively into my marketing strategy?

Crafting a compelling brand narrative has become more critical than ever. Empathizing with your target market is vitally important. I can assist your marketing strategy in building an emotional bond between brand and audience by helping incorporate brand storytelling.

Understanding the Power of Brand Storytelling

Brand storytelling is the art of communicating your brand’s values, mission, and identity to its target audience in a manner that resonates with them. This process goes far beyond selling products – instead, inspiring, connecting, and engaging are key objectives of successful storytelling campaigns. Your narrative should be genuine, reflecting your brand’s personality and ethos.

Identify Your Brand’s Unique Story

Discovering what sets your brand apart is the first step toward crafting an engaging narrative about it. What are its core values, what problems does your product/service address, and who stands behind it? Your narrative should highlight this distinctive aspect.

Know Your Audience

To create an engaging story, it is crucial that you know your target audience intimately. What are their hopes and fears; where are their passions or frustrations? Tailor your narrative to address these aspects. A story that directly speaks to your audience’s needs will have a more significant impact.

Create a Compelling Narrative Structure

A well-structured narrative typically follows a hero’s journey, with your brand as the guide. Start with an introduction that sets the scene, then introduce the conflict or challenge, present your brand as the solution, and conclude with a resolution highlighting the benefits of your product or service. Ensure it’s concise and engaging.

Multi-Platform Storytelling

Your brand story needs to be adaptable in today’s multichannel environment, including websites, social networks, blogs, and video content. In order to reinforce brand identity on all platforms, your storytelling must remain consistent across them all.

Measuring and Adapting

Finally, assess the effectiveness of your storytelling through metrics like engagement rates, customer feedback, and conversions. Be ready to adapt and refine your narrative based on the data you gather.

Crafting an Unforgettable Brand Narrative

Brand storytelling should not be thought of as an end goal but as an ongoing journey that requires you to fully comprehend both your brand and audience, as well as the ever-evolving digital environment. When building brand narratives you should embrace their individuality while engaging their emotions – all within multiple platforms.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Incorporate Brand Storytelling into Your Marketing Strategy

  1. Understanding Your Brand: Acknowledging the core aspects and individual values that comprise your brand is an essential step toward developing it successfully.
  2. Understand Your Audience: Know exactly who and what you are speaking to, as well as their needs and desires.
  3. Craft Your Unique Story: Come up with an original narrative that both resonates with your brand’s values and meets audience concerns.
  4. Structure Your Narrative: Create a compelling narrative structure with an engaging introduction, a conflict or challenge, your brand as the solution, and a resolution.
  5. Adapt to Multiple Platforms: Ensure your brand story can be shared across various platforms while maintaining consistency.
  6. Metrics and Feedback: Monitor your storytelling’s effectiveness through engagement rates, customer feedback, and conversion data.
  7. Alter and Expand Your Narrative: As part of the next stage in developing your brand narrative, adapt and refine it according to all of the data and insights that have been gleaned from the research conducted.

Implementing brand storytelling effectively into your marketing plan can help create lasting relationships with audiences.

This article was updated on November 28, 2023.

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

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5 Replies to “3 Ways to Tie Stories to Your Brand”

I think every good brand out there has some sort of story behind it’s success. Brands don’t just launch without having some sort of interesting back ground. It is up to the brand to convey that story as creatively as they can. Leverage that power.

I also read “Made to Stick” (fabulous and an easy read), which reinforced the idea of how memorable stories can be. Your post made me think of it, too! If you can make the story unexpected, credible and emotional, it will stick.

One of the best books I’ve read about telling a story about your business/brand/product etc. is “Made to Stick.” (I’m not affiliated with this in any way. I just thought it was an excellent book!) Byrne has it right with his comment. You need to empower your customers to solve their problems with your help. You don’t want to tell them that only you can solve their problems for them.

Virginia Nussey

Byrne, that’s a story followed by sweet dreams for all. :)

There’s only one good way to tie a story in with your brand: your marketing tells a story, your customer is the hero, and your product is the sidekick.

Anything else is a waste of money (but you don’t have to tell your clients I said that!).

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