Branding is the lifeblood of any business. It distinguishes you from your competitors and helps your products and services stand out in an ever-crowded market.
Creating a definitive brand story for your company can propel it to the next level and truly resonate with customers on the value of your offering. But getting it just right takes some effort, which is why I asked 15 members of YEC the following question:
What is one thing every entrepreneur should keep in mind when creating and communicating a brand story?
Their best answers are below:
1. Your “Why”
Every entrepreneur builds a brand for a reason but, ironically, when communicating a brand story, the “why” is often lost. You must remember why you started your business in the first place and show why what you do matters. When you share your “why,” others will see your passion and inspiration and want to support your brand as much as you do. Remembering your “why” is key. – Beth Doane, Main & Rose
2. Giving credit
Make sure to add names and mention the people that are helping you along the way. Giving credit helps humanize you, and too often entrepreneurs act as though they’ve done it alone. Doing this makes you appear out of touch when, in reality, it’s your mentors, partners and employees that are consistently supporting you. Share who they are and what they’ve done for you. – Krish Chopra, Nurse Practitioner Clinical Rotations
3. Your uniqueness
Ask yourself: If I ceased to exist tomorrow and stopped providing my services, what would clients miss the most about working with me? By asking this question, you get to the heart of why what you offer is different than your competition and what makes you unique. When communicating your brand story, you should keep this in mind and make sure to lead with it. – Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint, Massage Williamsburg
4. Your message
When creating and communicating a brand story, entrepreneurs need to remember to deliver their message. That means having something to say about yourself and what you want to express to the world so it’s a better place. You’ll need to figure out how to weave your message into different platforms and audiences, but it can be done when you have a tight mission and message for your brand. – Richard Fong, Bliss Drive
It’s easy to exaggerate. I often see entrepreneurs in a race to the bottom (“I was broke and had $100K in debt!”) and race to the top (“Now I make a million dollars… a week!”), but people can smell the bullshit and the truth always comes out. Be honest about your brand’s story and what brought you where you are, because no good relationship starts with a lie. – Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems
An entrepreneur should be able to succinctly and clearly describe their company’s work. The same holds true for your brand story – the more briefly you can communicate your story, the more impactful it will be. Stories that are simple and powerful will resonate most with your audience, so there is no need to add unnecessary details. – Charles Bogoian, Kenai Sports, LLC
7. Simplicity and personalization
Keep your story simple but make sure it includes a lot of personalization as well. Your audience wants to know things like why you got into the business or industry that you chose and what makes you passionate about your product. Providing a few other personal details never hurts either. The story should be equally about you and your business. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
Consumers today are savvy. They don’t just want to buy a product, they want to feel like they are part of the brand as well. They are looking for a personal connection. The best way to do this when communicating your brand story is to simply be human. Offer an inside look at your company, explain what you value, be you. – Jared Brown, Hubstaff Talent
Brands are, by nature, confident, and you want that to be conveyed in the brand story. A brand builds customer confidence and trust, and establishes reputation. Make sure that your brand tells a story that shows confidence at the foundation. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
10. Long-term ambitions
One mistake entrepreneurs make when crafting their brand story is they spend too much time thinking about past triggers that prompted the creation of their business. Instead, what they should do is take a more forward-thinking approach and talk about what they envision the brand to be five, 10 or 20 years from now. That way, customers can appreciate where the company is going. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep
Today’s consumers really want transparency and to feel they can connect with the brands they interact with. Forget about the story you’re trying to sell them and instead focus on being transparent and genuine. This will go a long way in gaining consumers’ trust. – Marcela De Vivo, Brilliance
12. Sense of belonging
A good brand makes you feel included. The best storytellers know how to make people feel like they belong and are part of your brand and narrative. Be a participant observer of your own narrative and see if you even feel like it belongs to you. Sometimes the story we tell ourselves about ourselves is isolating. Try removing yourself from your own island and engage in your narrative. – Matthew Capala, Search Decoder
Too many brands have a difficult time differentiating between confidence and ego. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the message you’re trying to send, so be careful not to overdo it. You don’t want to come off as egotistical (unless that’s your shtick). Being humble and genuine will garner more response from your audience and help you build a more trusted, approachable brand. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
14. Emotional appeal
When you create a brand story, you need to build emotional appeal. Emotional appeal is what connects the customers to your brand. Once you emotionally connect, then pricing will not matter as much, and you will get a long-lasting customer for your brand. You will have to learn how your product can satisfy a user emotionally and pitch it with that theme. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm
15. A central theme
Every brand story has a central theme that is woven through every retelling of that story that provides the focus and differentiation to set the brand apart. Start with this and build the story out from there. – Angela Ruth, Calendar
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