How to Create a Brand Story

A storytelling workbook for beginners.

All brands have a story they wish to share with their consumers. These stories are what draw in new audiences and keep them coming back. A brand story differentiates it from other competing brands that might have a similar product or service. The story connects a company’s marketing to its mission statement, carving a clear path for consumers to understand why the brand is making certain decisions.

What is a Brand Story?

A strong brand story increases brand awareness and recognition. This is because a good brand story aims at consumers’ emotions, making them more likely to remember the company attached to the story. Forging connections with consumer pathos is the easiest way to guide customers to pick your brand over the competition. A consumer is more likely to choose a brand they have a strong connection with instead, especially if it reminds them of something they value because they want to see their values supported. The story of a brand should be directed at the target audience so that it can be specific and tailored to the consumer’s wants and needs. 

Authenticity is Key

Brand stories need to have a strong origin that is genuine and authentic. Consumers will know if a company is lying about its origin, and it isn’t hard to do a little research to find out if a brand is being truthful. It is better to share an honest story that might attract a more niche consumer base than to expand on a story in ways that are made up. Even those few consumers who connect with the truthful story will share their enjoyment of the brand with others, causing a cascade effect and bringing in more loyal consumers. Honesty goes beyond the starting point of a company. Brands get called out all the time on social media when they present information that is inaccurate. It is important that the messagin, social media presence, and how a brand interacts with its consumers comes from a place of authenticity

Understanding the audience is crucial when writing the story of the brand. Tests can be done with consumers to help them gain knowledge about what they expect from the companies they buy from. Holding focus groups or sending out surveys is a very effective way to gain insight into what consumers think about your brand and about shopping in general. This information can be used to develop a tailored marketing strategy and specific brand story.

Turning Words into Visuals

Telling your brand’s story visually is just as important as sharing it through words. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most important aspect once again is emotion. Choosing the right colors can impact the way people feel about the brand. For instance, many people see yellow as a happy color, because of its bright hue. Red can be seen as a fiery, bold color. Understanding how colors shape people’s interpretation of meaning is crucial to telling a good story.

The images a company chooses are important as well. Showing images of babies might appeal to a company selling something to new mothers, but would not have the same effect on a company selling to car enthusiasts. Minus the handful of new mothers who are also car enthusiasts, of course. Understanding what your consumers might want to see on marketing collateral can make your brand’s story more memorable. The images you show should also be representative of the story you are sharing and therefore need to make sense in relation to that story. An origin story about nature should feature images from beautiful places around the world, not show images of people working all day in an office. It is important to curate imagery contextually, meaning that it makes sense with the larger context of the brand and marketing. Contextual design is important because it helps determine what is relevant for consumers and uses those ideas to create strong brand messaging. Designing something that does not use contextual elements is less marketable and will have less impact on consumers.

The Takeaways

Brand storytelling is complex and many elements need to come together to create a memorable brand. By creating consistency in marketing through strong visuals and genuine storytelling, a company can create an impact in the lives of many and create lifelong supporters.