The Blue Kite Blog

The Power of Telling Your Brand Story

By | October 19, 2015

Recently, a client hired us to create a brand strategy. We met with the client, talked with their customers, researched competitors and looked through all of their materials.

And, everything looked good – their logo, their messaging, their website. All of those things were head and shoulders above their competition.

But, they had one clear problem – they weren’t telling their brand story.

Why Your Brand Story Matters

Storytelling is not just for kids. It’s a powerful tool that helps you differentiate your business from competitors.

And, perhaps more importantly, your brand story helps you better connect with your audience.  After all, people don’t talk about boring brands. A compelling story captures people’s attention and it’s easy to share.

Think about it. When we hear a good story, whether it is a joke, an anecdote or even a brand story – we get excited to tell others about it.

Want proof?

Check out this story about ThankYou Water. They’ve taken a boring product and managed to create a compelling story around their movement to “fund life-changing projects for people in need.” Every time someone buys one of their products, it has a direct and trackable impact on someone in the developing world.

Isn’t that something you want to talk about?

And, you don’t have to have a charitable mission to have a compelling brand story. Maybe your company’s origin story is unique.

Look at Chobani, for example. On their website, they share the story of how their founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, started the company when he saw a classified ad for a closed down yogurt plant and decided to buy it on the spot. He built Chobani on the belief that everyone deserved access to high-quality great tasting yogurt with only real ingredients.

LetterLogic is another great example. Instead of relying on investors to get the company started, the founder, Sherry Deutschmann, held a weeklong yard sale to raise the funds she needed.

But, their real story is about their company culture. They call their employees “family members” and they put them first because they believe happy employees lead to a successful company. That’s why LetterLogic gives their team incredible benefits, including high wages, a profit sharing program and fully paid healthcare. They even will pay for the downpayment on your first home.

How’s THAT for an incredible story?

How to Tell Your Brand’s Story

Every brand has a story to tell. Even yours. You just have to get better at identifying it and then sharing it with the world.

If you’re having trouble identifying your brand’s story, here are some questions to help you:

  • Why does your company exist? What is your mission?
  • How did your company get started?
  • What do you stand for? What does your company believe in?
  • How are you working to change your industry?
  • What do your clients value most?
  • What do your employees value most? What do they like best about working at your company?

Taking the time to work through these questions may help you uncover the gems you need to build a compelling story.

How to Weave Storytelling into Your Marketing

Once you’ve identified your brand’s story, you have to get good at telling it. That’s why marketers often talk about creating your elevator pitch. Your story needs to be something that you and every member of your team can internalize and share with passion.

On top of that, your story needs to be shared regularly so your audience can begin to internalize it too.

So, how do you share your story? Here are some ideas:

  • Your website. Tell your story on your “about” page of your website or even add an “our story” section of the site.
  • Your blog.  Don’t forget to weave your story into your blog posts. That way whether someone is coming to your blog for the first time or 100th time, they get to understand what you’re about.
  • Videos. Perhaps the best way to tell your brand story is through video. It gives the audience the chance to hear directly from your cast of characters. And, everything from the style, music and script can set the tone and story.
  • Social media. Be sure to include your story in your social media bios and about sections. And, sharing your story should be a critical component to your regular interaction online. This can be anything from photos, videos or status updates about what makes your company special.
  • Media & blogger relations.  Every time you give an interview or write a guest post, be sure to weave in your brand story. It will help you and the article be more memorable.
  • Speeches & Presentations. Although the audience doesn’t want to hear about you the entire time, be sure your presentations include elements of your story. That will help the audience better connect with you.

Creating your brand’s story is perhaps one of the most powerful things you can do to help market your business. If you don’t have this nailed down, carve out some time to build your story and then work on perfecting how you tell it.

After all, everyone likes a good story.

What’s your brand’s story? How do you share it with your customers and prospects?

Or, are you struggling to come up with your story? Let us know in the comments and we’ll help you work through it!

NOTE: A version of this post was originally published on July 23, 2013. Because these tips are still so relevant today, we dusted it off from the archives and refreshed it a bit for our newer readers (or those who missed it the first time). We hope you enjoy it!

9 Comments

  • In a world where it is often hard to differentiate your product or service, or where there are easy imported substitutes your brand story can tilt the scales in your favor.

    In Vermont almost all food types have a local but usually more expensive option. But the quality of the product is way more than the higher price. And Vermonters have convinced themselves to buy local because of our state story. Vermont Fresh Network has done this with restaurants. farm to table is huge. People pay $10 for a jar of Vermont Peanut Butter that isn’t really better than say Schmuckers natural but is made locally and this gets the sale. because we believe in the state brand story!

    • So true, Howie. It’s about creating a conversation around what you believe as a company. Do that helps people buy into what you’re doing…even if the price is higher or they can get it somewhere else. Great example with what Vermont is doing! Love that! Thanks for stopping by and weighing in!

  • Meagan Hanes at July 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Great post Laura! One theme I’m pondering is how a marketing company goes about marketing themselves. One may think it’s a simple task, however my experience with artists shows that they often take the longest time working on personal projects compared to client work. Is the solution as simple as hiring a marketing company? But if so, what message does that communicate to potential clients? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this subject in regards to sharing one’s brand story!

    • Hi Meagan,

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad this post resonated with you.

      You pose some excellent questions here. Marketing your own company is often one of the hardest things to do because you’re so close to it. Either we don’t make time (as you mentioned), or we have trouble seeing our value or differentiators because we’re so close to it. This is why I recommend companies outsource their efforts!

      Yes, you could hire someone else to help you (and I doubt clients would know) but you’re right – as a marketing company you should be able to do this yourself. I would suggest that you carve out time every week to focus on this. Pick a day or a half day to talk through this and brainstorm. And, if you’re having trouble figuring out what makes you different, ask your clients! I’m sure they see things that you might miss. Or, what they value might just be different than what you think is most important.

      Does this help? Let me know if you have any other questions and we can talk it through!

      Laura

  • […] hope is that this compelling brand story helps you see some ways that you can differentiate your business and create a compelling brand […]

  • […] is why it’s important for a business to tell its story online. And to keep telling it. Not only does it tell people who you are, but it also corrects […]

  • […] Your website copy offers another opportunity to show the personality of your business. So, don’t be afraid to tell your story! […]

  • […] story. Once you’ve developed your messaging and research, it’s time to identify and build your story. Do you have a compelling story, interesting angle or valuable resource to offer? Look for stories […]

  • […] Storytelling is powerful. Some of the best presenters I’ve seen know how to weave together a story and provide examples to make their point. That’s way more interesting than simply telling people what they should do and how to do it. […]