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What Makes A Brand Story Interesting?

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What is the most interesting thing about your brand story?

Every brand has a story, but have you ever noticed how not every story does justice to the brand? It's sad really. Telling your story should be one of the most exciting parts of the branding process but all too often, it's daunting, stressful, and irritating. But it doesn't have to be. Think about truly good brand stories...the ones that stand out and that you remember. For example: Under Armour: college kid makes a new kind of performance clothing to regulate temperature; Tom's Shoes: for every pair sold, founder donates a pair of shoes to people in need; Deciem: the abnormal beauty company. What is it about these stories that is so interesting and memorable? Further, why is it that consumers who aren't necessarily buying these products still remember the story? 

I do not wear Tom's shoes, but I know their story. Consequently, every time I see a pair of Tom's walking around town, my mind dwells on the way the brand gives back, and I feel good about the brand--even though I'm not their target consumer. In fact, I feel good enough about the brand that I've been known to recommend them, even though I've never had their shoes on my feet to know about fit, fabric, feel...anything. That is the power of a brand story well conceived and written: it drives interest and compels action. Too often, brands lose their way when writing their story by trying to cram everysinglelement about their company they feel is unique into their story, rather than taking a long hard look at those elements that matter, and those that are better saved for website copy or social media content. 

The elements that are most interesting about your brand are also those that are going to make the most compelling brand story. Here, three ways I believe are critical to helping you whittle away what doesn't matter to your brand story and create a winning narrative that your consumers will remember, and love. 

  • Keep it narrow. Don't try and stuff every element of your brand into the brand story. It's like making soup. You could put chicken and turkey and pork and beef and shrimp and tofu into a noodle soup base...and it might be good. But the shining elements of each of those flavors would be muffled, and the end result? Murky, dull, and most let's be honest here: probably not tasty! 
  • Be brutally honest about what makes your brand...your brand. Before you start writing, you need to ask yourself some hard questions. What is your passion and your brand's reason for being? Why did you start the brand and why do you reallyreallyreally want consumers to know that? Even if other brands are saying something similar (and in industries such as beauty, they often are) honing in on whatever it is that drove you, the founder or maker or builder, to start this endeavor is still one of the best ways I know to produce an authentic message that translates and is believable to consumers. 
  • Stay focused. Perhaps this is just an extension of points one and two, but be sure your writing, your words, your messaging is keenly focused and keyed to your target consumer if you have one. For example: perhaps your brand of widgets are designed for girls aged 10 - 18 only. If this is the case, say it and own it! Sure, you might 'lose' women who are older than 18 years old as potential clients, but they were never your target anyway. Capturing those outlier consumers with an authentic story is a nice-to-have, but losing your target consumer by not focusing on his/her/their needs is a sure-fire way to miss opportunities and lose the interest of the consumer who matters most. 

Want to know more about how to write a really great brand story? Drop me a line or leave a comment below!