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Five Things You Must Know Before You Write Your Brand Story


Five Things You Must Know...

Before you write your brand story.

Ahh...brand story day! 

As anyone who has ever been through this exercise knows, writing a brand story is an exciting, invigorating, pivotal time in the development of your business and vision. It is also stressful, hard, frustrating, and repetitive. Before you find yourself trashing yet another draft, set your brand story up for success by spending time aligning key story elements with your team and your copywriter. 

Once you and your team have outlined these elements, your copywriter is then better positioned to take all the raw ideas and materials you brainstormed, and transform them into the gorgeous, glorious brand story of your dreams. 

So, what elements are we talking about? 

  1. Your story! That's right--even though the copywriter is 'writing' your story, you need to know what your story actually is so said copywriter can work her magic and verbalize your brand's epic tale. Most likely, there are many details of your brand that you feel are critical, and capturing all of them can seem overwhelming. To help, jot down everything you think is interesting, fun, different, compelling, non-negotiable, magical, surprising, riveting or maybe even unconventional about your brand, and then brainstorm with your writer on how to distill all of those goodies down into a beautiful narrative that sings. 
  2. Competitive due-diligence. Chances are, your brand has competitors that offer similar products. Do you know how this competition is talking about their story? What their technology is or breakthrough ingredient discovery? How they were founded? Spending time learning how your competition is talking about themselves can help inform how you want to talk about your brand, and identify approaches you like and those you don't.  
  3. Your team's agreement. If not everyone whose input matters is in agreement about what your brand story will be about, the process will take much, much...much longer. Make sure everyone who needs to be included in initial discussions on story direction are represented and included in all brainstorming sessions. 
  4. Your elevator pitch. Don't forget about the thirty-second pitch of you and your brand! Distilling your story down to one or two sentences isn't easy, but it's key to ensuring when you need to tell someone who you are and what your brand is about in a flash, you are at ease and ready to go. As you get started on writing your complete story, keep in mind what the core, most elemental information is about your brand that you'd want a stranger to know in thirty seconds or less, and the copywriter will then know what to focus on for the elevator pitch.
  5. Great design. Of course, I'm partial to the words that tell a story, but I believe visual images are an excellent complement. Not only that, they help round out what you are saying from all angles, and contextualize the words in a visual way that helps readers relate, connect, and hopefully, engage with what you are saying.

There are many approaches to crafting a brand story, and many elements that are considered important. These are just a few that I think are imperative. What do you think is important to crafting a winning brand story?