How to Create a Brand Story: The Ultimate Change Creator Guide

Today, branding is probably the most important part of running a successful socially conscious business.

Making sure that your brand has a relatable and purpose-driven story to tell is essential in creating a successful business. A brand story is what establishes how your business is perceived by potential customers and the public at large.

In order to create a powerful brand story, you should always have a meaningful reason for creating the business. What is your true intention and motivation?

A brand story is not something that you just sit down and whip up on a piece of paper one night.  It’s something that’s created independently through your life experience, diligent effort and a passion for the work.

In order to establish trust and brand loyalty with your customers, you have to put an immense amount of time into properly branding your company, especially if you’re new to the market.

Why Storytelling is Key to Your Marketing

There are a lot of ways for a company to brand itself however not all of them are created equal.

Traditionally, to successfully brand your company, you would need to spend a good chunk of money on marketing and advertising.

Since that adds up fast and can bankrupt you before you get where you need to go, it’s best to take advantage of grassroots methods that maximize your results and reduce your overall budget.

Thanks to social media and the internet, creating a reputable brand story for your company has never been easier.

Here are some of the key benefits when you use storytelling for your marketing:

  1. You become more relatable.

jake orak change creator

A relatable and well-thought-out brand story could spell the difference between success and failure for your business.

Consumers want to feel like they’re purchasing products from a brand that can relate to their lifestyle and overall beliefs, you shouldn’t focus on maintaining a “hard” business face all of the time when it comes to advertising products or services to your potential customers. Most if not all major companies and corporations develop a brand story that sticks with their business throughout its lifespan.

A perfect example of a well-known brand story that has made a social impact would be Patagonia.

Patagonia prides itself on producing high-quality activewear that is made using 100% eco-friendly materials to promote a safer and healthier planet. There’s a lot to learn from your brand story not only for customers but for business owners themselves.

If you find yourself struggling to create a brand story that is believable and sincere, you may need to reconsider if starting a business is something that is truly right for you to begin with, or explore a different idea rooted in your values and experiences.

2. You attract people who share your core values.

Companies that are founded based on the real core values and principles of the owner tend to stay around for a lot longer than companies who simply want to capitalize on a trend. To formulate a brand story that people can relate to, your brand story needs to already exist when your company is conceptualized. That is why we teach that your story is your mission, is your business at Change Creator.

A great example of living your mission is our good friend Jake Orak, founder of Ethnotek bags. You can read more about his story here: The Motorcycle Ride That Led Jake Orak to His Multimillion-Dollar Life Mission

3. You build trust with your customers.

Today’s consumers are savvy and smart. They not only find you in your store, but they also look you up on Google, on Facebook, go to your Instagram page, even check out your personal LinkedIn account. If you want to build trust with your customers. Think about the questions your potential customer would ask of you and your brand and make sure your social media accounts, personal accounts, and website answer them.

Another way you can build your brand and build trust is with user-generated content. Many larger brands have realized that when they let their customers tell their stories, that other customers trust their brand more. User-generated content is any content that gets created by people who are not from the brand themselves. So if your fans and customers are creating content for you, like pictures, videos, tweets, hashtag shares, blog posts, reviews and talking about your brand on their sites, or in their podcast interviews, other customers will instantly trust you more.

To better understand how to create and integrate your brand story into your business, this guide is going to give you a detailed breakdown of all the elements involved with creating a great brand story and why it’s so vital to your impact and business.

For more information on how you can define your core audience, read this: Start Defining Your Target Audience with These 10 Questions.

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How Can a Brand Story Help My Company?

When you purchase a product, it’s out of two basic thought patterns, either a need or a want. If you’re purchasing an item that is needed to sustain your everyday life, you’re likely to look for a few main qualities when buying said item, those are value and trustworthiness. No one buys products from a brand that clearly doesn’t put much effort into their marketing materials or overall public image. You want to purchase products from brands that you trust and believe in, this is the essential reason why you should put time and effort into creating a personable brand story.

Your brand story should demonstrate the core values and ethics upon which your business operates. Without a brand story, customers may feel disassociated with your business or services making them less likely to patronize you again.

There are some simple steps that you can follow to create a brand story that people will absolutely attach themselves to. Below, you’ll find some of those steps listed so that you can begin creating the perfect brand story for your business today. You can start with some easy to implement steps that Adam outlines here: The Art of Storytelling for Business: How to Connect With Your Audience.

You might also want to check out: 3 Impact Business Storytelling Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Your Story = Your Impact: Why Storytelling is Vital for Social Entrepreneurs

Around here, we take storytelling very seriously. Why? Because when you are a social entrepreneur, your story takes on that much more significance. Storytelling is vital to social impact brands — Find out why in this article: Why Storytelling is so Vital to Purpose-Driven Brands.

So many social impact leaders struggle with simply telling their impact or mission story, even though this is the reason they get out of bed each day!

Storytelling is so vital to purpose-driven brands. If you are struggling to share your impact, you will struggle to sell your products.

If you are struggling to tell people what your brand does, you are going to struggle in your marketing too. Creating a compelling story for your mission is a vital part of your marketing and should drive all business decisions as well (as an impact entrepreneur).

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you create your brand story: 

  • Do I have a strong brand narrative throughout my digital channels?

  • Do I have a strong origin story that people can easily find (about us page)?

  • Does my brand story tell customers our mission in a clear, compelling way?

  • How am I impacting people’s lives? Is this clear?

  • Are the personality traits and values of my brand clear? 

And…

Can customers tell my brand story for me?

If you have a clear story throughout your digital presence, customers should (and will) tell your story for you.

“I’ve heard so many people come up to me this weekend, telling my story back to me.” (Christal Earle, Founder of Brave Soles)

Steps to create your brand story: 

#1 Establish Why Your Brand Statement

This is the most important step in building a solid brand story, if you can’t translate the meaning or mission of your company, customers won’t waste time using your products or services. Your brand story will allow your investors and audience to understand the deeper values which underlie your operation. Your brand statement answers the question of why your company even exists in the first place, talk about how you plan to implement change in the world through your company so that your customers can relate to the entire reasoning behind your offerings.

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#2 Create A Story About Your Brand

Use your brand statement as the foundation for your brand story to maintain a level of consistency and trustworthiness with your customers. Provide a backstory about yourself, how you came up with the idea for your business, how you started the business, and where you plan to go in the future. This will help your customers develop a sense of loyalty to your brand that lasts for a long time, you need to make sure your brand story is authentic or else customers won’t really find a need to attach themselves to it. Consumers can very easily detect when your brand story is fabricated or made up to make sure that you build a brand story that encompasses real tales about the things you’ve gone through.

Here are some tips to help you create an effective brand story: How to Develop Communication Skills that Drive Your Business: Tips from Ryan Foland

#3 Write Down Your Brand Story

Write your brand story down on paper so that you can express fully all the details of how your company got started and how you built yourself up to where you are now. Highlight your passion and purpose for starting your business in order to establish a personable relationship with your audience. Also, add in any interesting facts about your business that customers may be able to create a personal bond with so that you can build a solid foundation of consumers for your business.

Providing Value to Your Customers

Your brand story should tell a detailed background about how your customers will benefit by using your company or services. Customers will connect with a business that prioritizes their needs and wants over a business that doesn’t, you need to find the right balance of telling your brand’s’ story without coming across as disconnected from reality. Many business owners confuse brand story with traditional forms of advertising however this couldn’t be more from the truth. When you develop a brand story, you need to make sure that is addresses and explains some key elements about your business. 

A good example of an industry that typically has great brand stories are a nonprofit organization. We’re talking about a story that focuses on an individual and their plight while describing the situation in words that will pluck at the heartstrings of people interested in using your services. These sorts of brand initiatives are known as impact stories and social entrepreneurs need to get familiar with ensuring that each of their services or products can provide customers with a valuable story or lesson. People want to feel empowered by the services and products that they use to focus on creating a brand that offers real-world benefits to the consumer.

Inspired to share your brand story? Check out this post that will change the way you tell your story and think about water. 

The Ripple Effects of Your Brand Story Start Here

Here are some of the key components that you should consider when creating your brand story:

  • How you came up with the idea for your product or business

  • Build a relationship with consumers via your brand story

  • Motivating factors in your personal life that help you your business

  • Offer insight into the culture and ethics of your company to establish trust with your customers

  • Detail ideologies and moral practices that are shared by the majority of the people at your company

  • Make your brand story powerful but subtle

  • Directly address why customers should use your business or services

It may seem counterintuitive or totally false but, thinking like a marketer is the best way to decrease your chances of business success. When you begin creating a marketing campaign, focus on how it impacts people on a human level, don’t approach your marketing efforts as a strict sales person because it can cause your brand to come across cold and disconnected from reality.

Try to appeal to the emotions and feelings of your customers so that they can feel a deep bond with the product line that you’re offering. Make things entertaining for your customers and they will be more likely to come back and patronize your company. Share your company’s strengths and weaknesses by telling your customers about all of the struggles involved with starting your business. You can create a brand story ecosystem that customers can immerse themselves in to develop a strong sense of trust with your brand. 

Setting the tone for your entire business is critical when creating a brand story so you need to make sure that you champion your customers as heroes in order to make them feel like the center of the brand. Focus on showing your customers why they need to patronize your business so that they will feel obligated to give you their business because of how personally you relate to them.

There are a lot of ways that you can choose to approach your brand story, using humor and sentimentality are two excellent ways to connect with your consumer base and allow them to feel a sense of personability with your brand. When taking the sentimental route, it’s important to use the correct words and dialogue so that your customers can feel like you’re speaking directly to them. You are trying to evoke an emotional response from your customers with your brand story, so keep this in mind when writing your brand story.

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The Key Elements of The Perfect Brand Story

Write a brand story that is ongoing and focused on long-term growth rather than short-term potential. One thing you should always remember is that you’re trying to form a relationship with your audience, and you want them coming back again and again. it’s very hard for customers to connect with a simple story that doesn’t really provide any true insight as to how your business resolves a long-standing problem or issue.

Your Origin Story

An honest story of someone going through the struggles of starting a business can be a great way to connect with your audience. Your origin story can really personalize your brand; it’s connecting a human face and story to a brand. Present yourself not as just a company, but a person with goals and a mission, and you will go a long way toward establishing trust.

Make your core values an integral part of your brand story; demonstrate why they are important and how you intend to abide by them. Keep your message consistent in all your different marketing campaigns, and your brand will be seen as authentic. Inconsistency is also confusing, and potential customers tend to shy away from complex and impersonal brand stories, or brand stories that contradict themselves in their mission statement and the actual way that they achieve results.

Getting to Know Your Audience: Who are You Talking To? 

It’s important that you are able to grab people’s attention so that they can get invested in your story. One important ingredient in getting their attention is to know your audience.

What demographic are you targeting? What motivates them? What do they like and dislike?

Base your characters and your story arc on things that will interest your audience.

Another way to grab people’s interest is with the language that you use. Choose the wrong tone and people will scroll right by. Spend some time figuring out how to best communicate with your target audience.

Why did you decide to start your business?

Obviously making money and making an impact is a huge motivator, but beyond that what convictions did you follow? Talk about your mission and your passion, and how they influence the way your brand operates.

Stories are a very powerful tool in human communication. Research indicates that the human brain responds to the descriptive ability of stories in deeply affecting ways, influencing both the sensory and motor cortex.

Make sure to maintain authenticity and show your audience what your company’s mission is and why they should care about it. Don’t forget your story is only strong if it is well written and polished. Use these six key elements to write a compelling brand story.

Whatever story you decide to tell, it’s crucial to make sure that your efforts are having the desired results. Monitor how effective your story arc is at bringing traffic to your site. And be sure to keep an eye on things like grammar, as your story’s effectiveness can be greatly hampered if it is badly written. It can be hard to reach people in today’s competitive advertising marketplace. Stand out from the competition by crafting a brand story with a consistent and long-term story arc that shows off what your brand has to offer.

The Perfect Brand Story

It’s important that you are able to grab people’s attention so that they can get invested in your story. One important ingredient in getting their attention is to know your audience.

What demographic are you targeting? What motivates them? What do they like and dislike? Base your characters and your story arc on things that will interest your audience.

Another way to grab people’s interest is with the language that you use. Choose the wrong tone and people will scroll right by. Spend some time figuring out how to best communicate with your target audience.

Where do I tell my story online?

In one sense, the story takes care of itself. A good story is shareable. Others will appreciate and engage in the story. That being said, there are a few things that you can do to enhance the stories virality:

Establish your personal brand identity.

Remember how a story is infused with personality? You and your team are the personalities behind this. Grow your reach through personable marketing techniques.

Create an active social media profile.

Stories will spread through the power of social media. Snippets, extracts, and anecdotes are passed around, retweeted, liked, and explained bit-by-bit. Meanwhile, you build a presence and a brand that lives in public social consciousness.

Promote your story everywhere.

Make the story part of who you are and what your company is. Communicate using the power of the story. Whether you’re writing a guest post, piecing together a biography, or just tweeting about your day, give your story and elemental presence.

Motivate your customers to participate in the story.

Customer testimonials are one of the most effective ways of broadcasting your story. Customers themselves will experience the problem, solution, success momentum of the story. If they’re satisfied, they will be more than happy to crow about it. Use these stories on your website and marketing materials. They will reinforce the brand’s story.

Encourage storytelling everywhere.

When your brand hits the mainstream, its story will become further entrenched in public awareness. Don’t suppress any accurate telling of your brand’s story.

A great example of successful brand storytelling comes from Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest. Although the soft-spoken and reserved guy bares interacts with people, Ben tells his story with passion and authenticity. His personal brand grew as he and his team told the story. It has substantially grown today.

Of course, we couldn’t talk about storytelling if we didn’t mention one of the best — Jay Shetty. With billions of views, he’s grown his storytelling brand into one of the largest online and is becoming a global phenomenon.

JAY SHETTY CHANGE CREATOR MAGAZINE

You can listen to our exclusive interview with Jay Shetty here: Building a Massive Audience Through the Power of Storytelling (Interview)

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Monitor your links to figure out which social posts receive the most engagement. Speak to your audience in such a way as to grab and keep their attention. Your goal is to quickly transition from piquing their interest in creating emotional investment. One key to being noticed in the crowded world of advertising is to develop a distinctive voice and style.

Think of your brand as a person, what kind of person would it be? You might want to try and model your brand personality on your target audience and whom they trust. The important thing is to stand out and be recognizable. Once interest is piqued, they use it’s messaging to highlight its inclusive values and make an emotional connection. This is an excellent representation of what your brand story should do.

Your Complete Brand Story

Without editing, censoring or deletion, transcribe your story, describing where you were, the emotions and symbols that help someone visualize and feel the roots of your brand.

In theater, it’s called mise-en-scène, literally meaning to set the stage. As you “see where you were”, what were the elements that “put you in that place?” What did they speak to you that is important to convey? Was there a significant person, place or spark? If you find these essential elements, you’ve found your touchstone. They literally took their experience of where they were, and what they were doing to help design their product and their company logo. Then read what you’ve written, selecting the adjectives and nouns. These should link directly to your products features, benefits and attributes and give you the basics of your backstory.

The TOMS story.

TOMS is a great showcase for what a company with a brand story and purpose-driven mission truly is. TOMS has set-up a business model that allows their customers to be charitable without having to think about it too much. They achieve this by automatically donating a pair of shoes to kids in underprivileged areas of the world each time you purchase a pair. This is a perfect example of how a company saw a need in the market and designed an entire enterprise around that specific niche.

Pull the thread back to the earliest glimmer of where and when you began to think of the nugget of an idea that brought you the idea for this product. A passion for sustainable gardening and quality greens led entrepreneurs Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez to start Back to The Roots which is driven to help people experience the true joys of nurturing a plant from seedling to full blossom. Back to The Roots provides easy to use indoor plant growing kits that don’t require any large outdoor space or previous gardening knowledge. Back to The Roots indoor gardening kits allow you to grow anything from fresh vegetables to plants for decorations all with a simple and easy to use system.

back to the roots

The brand story of Back to The Roots allows customers to establish a sense of purpose and loyalty to the brand given its sincere founding. Back to The Roots is dedicated to reconnecting families with quality time spent together by offering a fun and inclusive hobby that everyone can enjoy. When looking at crafting a brand story, Back to The Roots is a perfect example of how sincerity and purpose can go a long way.

Common Questions & Answers

Q: What is your brand story?

A: your brand story is what allows your customers to gather all of the facts about your business or company. A compelling brand story should evoke feelings with your audience which prompts them to a sense of loyalty to your brand due to a connection with your overall theme or mission. It’s important to understand that your brand story will develop as your business progresses however you should always have an original brand story, to begin with.

Q: How do you create your brand story?

A: A brand story is not something that you create, a brand story is something that explains the very foundations and principles upon which your brand is built. When you’re sitting down thinking about what information to include in your brand story, consider all of the trials and obstacles that you’ve had to overcome to get to the point where you’re at now. Also, explain how your company or brand plans to further improve on the original mission that the brand was built around.

Q: What makes an authentic brand?

A: Originality, honesty, and sincerity are all components that make up an authentic brand. To establish an authentic brand, try to connect with your audience directly. If you know what your customers need or want, offer services and products that reflect their lifestyle to provide solutions to problems that they may have. Always maintain trust with your core audience by being transparent and your brand will be able to remain authentic.

Conclusion: Why Storytelling is the Most Fundamental Part of Your Marketing 

Stories are powerful and can help you create strong brand recognition, use them as a way to push your ideas forward. However, don’t get stuck in your story and make it all about yourself or company, be sure to include a reason as to why your customers are so important to your business.  The great thing about a story is that it lives on. Real stories keep on telling, keep on going, and keep on connecting with people. Keep your story alive by continuing to impress your customers and give them the best experience possible. 

Your story will build the foundation of trust, but only a customer’s personal experience will cement that trust into something that lasts. “We are much better storytellers than we are logicians.” Remember, a brand story is a framework for a business’s life. The story shouldn’t create a trap but serve as a catalyst. Some brands get so caught up in their story, that they neglect the value of their present activation. Although you can honor your brand’s heritage, you should still live in the present. 

Make sure that you use all of the information included in this article to create the perfect brand story for your business or company. By creating a high-quality brand story, you’ll be able to develop lasting relationships with your customers that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Use your brand statement as the foundation for your brand story to maintain a level of consistency and trustworthiness with your customers. Provide a backstory about yourself, how you came up with the idea for your business, how you started the business, and where you plan to go in the future.

As long as you take the time to add in personal details about how and why you started your business, your brand story should be perfectly aligned with the overall goals of your business. This will help your customers develop a sense of loyalty to your brand that lasts for a long time, you need to make sure your brand story is authentic or else customers won’t really find a need to attach themselves to it. Consumers can very easily detect when your brand story is fabricated or made up to make sure that you build a brand story that encompasses real tales about the things you’ve gone through.

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