Building Brands Through Stories

Be it a fiction novel, a Netflix original, or simply a friend ranting about the traffic in New York, stories can evoke emotions, stir our imagination and help us make sense of the world. But can brand storytelling help your business grow and stand out?


The short answer is yes, they are important to your brand. Since stories are memorable, powerful, and integral to our lives, brand storytelling can help a brand connect and engage with its potential customers. That said, you must ensure that you are telling your brand’s story the right way so that the audience can resonate with it. 

What Is Brand Storytelling?

“Brand Storytelling” has been thrown around like a buzzword, but many of you may not know what brand storytelling is in the first place. It is essentially creating a narrative for your brand to help enhance its reputation, build trust amongst people, make a strong connection with them and eventually move them to action.


In order to create an effective narrative, your brand story should contain three smaller stories that will tell the audience:



  • What is your business and what made you start it?
  • Who are you planning to serve and why?
  • What motivates you to be the founder of the brand?



Once you have the answers to these questions ready, rest assured you are one step closer to defining your brand story.


Why Is Brand Storytelling Important? [The Detailed Answer]


The main reason brand storytelling is so important today, especially for startups, solopreneurs, and small-sized business owners is that it helps connect with people on an emotional level. 



Unlike conventional marketing, which is mostly about advertising and telling the consumers about your brand, brand storytelling is about invoking a connection and emotion with your consumers by selling good stories. 



More often than not, customers are less moved by cold facts, specifications and features; they are inspired to take action when they feel a connection. The same is true for potential consumers who look up your brand or business on search engines for the first time and visit its website.



So, make sure that you are telling your story well on your brand website. Instead of publishing a hundred-page autobiography or a listicle,  write your story in a way that strategically and genuinely conveys the things you are promising to bring to the table.



Always remember that memorable and authentic storytelling could end up being the difference between standing out and being forgotten by your potential customers. 



How You Can Tell Your Brand’s Story (The Dos)


In this section, we will be talking about how you can tell your brand’s story so that it resonates with the audience. 



1. Share What Motivated You To Start Your Business


Believe it or not, people are less interested in what you do and more interested in knowing why you do it. So, make it a point to share who you really are, what motivated you to start your own business, and what makes you eligible to offer a solution. 



Once you share the origin story of your business, you create a foundation for developing purposeful connections with potential buyers.  



2. Speak The Language Of Your Customers


It doesn’t matter how compelling your story is if you don’t know who you are talking to. That’s why it’s imperative that you find out:



  • Who your target audience is
  • Which consumers desperately require the solution you are offering?
  • Which people will truly understand your message?



Any solopreneur or small-sized business owner would agree that brand storytelling becomes a lot easier when your message is directed to a specific type of audience. That being said, first, you need to find out who your audience is; their desires, needs, and wants.



You also need to find out how your audience is talking about their struggles and their desired solutions in their own language. 



So, ensure that you are not using technical jargon and flowery language to share your brand’s story. Instead keep the communication crisp, clear, and easy to understand. 



Finally, remember that the customers should be able to resonate with your brand when they visit its website. They should be like, “Hey, I think that’s me he is talking about. Let me sign up real quick.” 



3. Share Your X Factor


Another integral element of effective brand storytelling is sharing your brand’s X factor.In other words, you need to clearly communicate to your potential customers what it is that makes your brand uniquely different from the competitors. There’s no need to play coy or be modest about what your brand has to offer and how it’s unique.



It’s also highly recommended that you pair the message with a bunch of images and videos that express your brand’s X factor. In today’s world of short attention spans and the excessive use of imagery, this is a great way to catch the audience’s attention.



4. Celebrate A Customer


Think brand storytelling is all about saying nice stuff about your brand? Well, let us tell you that you can take the brand storytelling game to the next level by including the story of one of your consumers. 



A real story of a human can help leave a lasting impression on your brand lasting on the audience. You can talk about how your brand genuinely helped solve the struggles of the concerned person and how it made his life easier and how it moved you. You would be surprised to see how powerful this kind of storytelling is.    



5. Upload Video Testimonials


Testimonials speak volumes about a brand. In fact, today, it is a go-to criterion that customers look for when choosing a brand. So, what better way than to ask a customer if they would allow you to record their excitement after the product delivery, image reveal, or photo shoot? 



While rave reviews are pretty much everywhere, video reviews and testimonials are more impactful.



6. Get Personal


Don’t be afraid to let your guard down and get a little personal with your audience. If you truly want people to resonate with the brand, you’ve got to make them feel like they know you. You may consider sharing something they don’t know about you, it could be a passion or a hobby.



You could also post something like “5 things you don’t know about me” along with a picture of yourself or share the behind-the-scenes pictures and videos of your brand.



Rest assured, this will help your brand connect with the audience on a personal level and in an effective way.   



7. Keep Them Wanting For More


No matter how passionate you are about telling your brand’s story, make sure that you don’t give everything away. Always try creating much-needed intrigue and suspense through your stories that will make the audience come back for more.



What Not To Do When Telling Your Brand’s Story (The Don’ts)


1. Don’t Be Dishonest



Perhaps, the worst mistake that you can possibly make when telling your brand story is by being dishonest. No matter how hard you try to cover your previous failures and mistakes, customers will eventually find out that you have been lying to them. 



Therefore, do yourself a favor and save yourself the trouble by being transparent about your past mistakes and accepting your flaws. 



Also, remember that you can tell the greatest brand story ever, but if you are being dishonest, you will fail to build trust with your current and potential customers. Hence, communicate the true qualities of your brand properly to help the consumers understand how it can help them.



Believe it or not, consumers love authenticity, and honest storytelling can be a great way to express it.



2. Don’t Make It All About Your Brand


Often the best stories are those that are about the lives of common people, their dreams, their struggles, and their accomplishments. And it’s no different when it comes to brand stories as customers are the brand. 



Therefore, you would want to ensure that you tell them how exactly your brand or product will make a difference in their lives. Learn about your customers and put yourself in their position to establish an emotional connection.   



Final Thoughts


On that note, we have reached the end of the article. Hopefully, by now you have realized how important brand storytelling is for a brand to stand out. Now, although storytelling alone may not be enough to help a brand build and maintain its reputation, it is definitely a step forward toward setting the stage. 

Written by Zaina Meher Kadiri for Gray Line Media
(November, 2022)