By Brandon Palmer
If you are an entrepreneur, work for corporate America, or are involved in the marketing field, you’ve probably heard of branding, and more importantly, developing a brand story. Here’s the real question, what is this elusive brand story everyone keeps talking about? Well, a brand story may have as many definitions as the number of people you ask. However, this blog will delve into our understanding of a brand’s story, and why it matters.
David Aaker, author of Aaker on Branding: 20 Principles That Drive Success, explains that a brand’s story represents an authentic and strategic way to interact with your target audience, and share with them, in an informal manner, the value your brand provides. Moreover, a brand story consists of how your customers feel about you and your offerings, and the overall personality of your organization. Keep in mind that seemingly minute aspects of your brand, such as color or texture of materials, also make up a portion of what we call your brand’s story.
Let’s consider the impact of brand storytelling. Imagine approaching your target market with a story about your brand’s history, its mission, and why it handles customer service the way it does, or offers the products it does. Would this not allow consumers to feel more personally involved with you brand? Perhaps even feel connected to the brand, as opposed to targeted by it? Certainly! It is not enough to plainly state the facts about what your brand stands for, or the benefits of this particular product. It should be logically interwoven in every aspect of your brand. Today, especially considering the Millennial target market, people are searching for a connection, an experience, a way to feel involved with the brands and products they choose to use. Millennials in particular want to associate with brands and companies that are like-minded, and concerned with more than just profits or sales.
A wonderful example of a company like this is Groupon. You may have seen their television advertisements lately that suggest, rather explicitly, that one can either “Have or Have-Done”. Groupon is tapping into the hearts and minds of the Millennial consumer, and consumers in general. Consumers, especially Millennials, are much more interested in experiencing something, rather than simply consuming it. Groupon is taking full advantage of brand storytelling to connect with their audience by addressing what’s important to them, and simultaneously reinforcing the idea that Groupon is the company to have that experience with.
By utilizing this storytelling approach, brands become more genuine to consumers. Here is the best part! As consumers, employees, and the public-at-large continue to retell the story, it gains even more validity in the minds of consumers. This in turn minimizes the resources needed to maintain brand awareness. The next logical question is “how do I go about doing this?”. There are several guiding principles for telling your brand’s story according to the Content Marketing Institute:
- The most powerful stories are human
- Each piece of content contributes to your brand’s story
- Themes are crucial to storytelling (“green”, “caring”, “innovative”)
- Use every medium at your disposal
- Let your customers tell your story
Get out there and help your brand tell the story of you!