Brand storytelling is more than just “once upon a time” to “the end.” For companies, it’s taking data and customer challenges and weaving them into content that is interesting, telling, and more narrative than corporate speak. And interestingly, your story can be told by text and by visuals, or both.

The art of brand storytelling is that people remember visuals, created by stories, better than any marketing advertisement. Think visually impactful. What you want to do is create a simple story about your business that can easily be repeated. When people are moved by your story, the word-of-mouth effect is more powerful than any television or social media advertisement you can post.

Understanding who you are, who and what you represent, your brand, and why you started your journey are key elements needed in your story. And when the story is told well, you’ve captured your audience’s emotions and interests.

You can apply these recommendations whether you are an organization of thousands, a nonprofit, a solopreneur or an author.


Brand storytelling done well

At the heart of your story is your audience. While your brand story is about you and your company, you tell it in a way that shows empathy and understanding for your customer. Therefore, the first step in telling your story is to know your audience.

Who are they? Where do they live? What are their challenges and needs? How are you solving them? The background you gather in your data research is what will shape your target customers.

Next, your business purpose, mission and vision should already be in line with your audience’s needs. This information will align with the theme of your brand story.

Third, back up your story with cited data. Show your audience that you are up to date on the impact your services, products, or business has on what they are facing. How will you influence them? How will you affect the community?

Your goal in all of this is to show your audience, through your brand story, that you “get” them and what they need. You are helping your audience care about your story because it resonates with them.


Brand storytelling done poorly

Remember, your brand story highlights your passion and your “why,” but if it’s focus is solely on you, it will have the opposite effect of your goals, namely, to connect to people. It’s true “your story” is about your organization, but it needs to be read as if it was about your audience.

With that said, here are a few things to avoid when you tell your brand story:

(1) Not aligning your business and people with what you say you are and represent. If your operations do not align in your organization, or your employees and management are not engaged or understand how their roles mesh with your overall mission, your internal problems will quickly seep into the community. And your story will come across as misleading.

(2) Not living your story. Similar to the above, but if your company representation in any form works against your values, or you say one thing and do another, then people will view your story as fraudulent.

(3) Touting data and facts without proof. Data helps to drive home impact and need, but it’s fluff if cited without sources. Avoid using “everyone” or any other broad-use words and terms because it simply isn’t true.

(4) And this point cannot be emphasized enough: Making the story all about you. We’re pretty smart as consumers and know when we feel icky over an advertisement. If your “story” is more advertising, focused on you and your products, then it isn’t a story.

By creating a rapport and connection with your audience, you invoke in them a desire to be loyal to you. Show them you understand their challenges and needs by the way you share your story.

Your brand story’s goal is to create connection. You create connection by understanding your audience—their needs and challenges—and you show them through your story that you “get” them and have the solution to those challenges. Your brand story should be simple and visually impactful so that your target customers can share it with others.

(Photo by Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels)

Need help telling your business or author story? My brand storytelling training helps you recognize your story and how to effectively use it to build better engagement and increase sales. Find out more here and book a call with me!