Stories are, and always have been, a powerful tool for connection. As humans, we expand our understanding and make sense of the world through the power of story. Its use spans beyond books, television, movies, and theatre. It’s also an underused tool in marketing – and people are craving more of it, too.
Connect with people on a much deeper level to foster a loyal audience and clients, through brand storytelling. It’s using the traditional elements of story (characters, setting, conflict, and change) to communicate with your network. Wrapping the facts, figures, and statements into an engaging, emotive narrative.
A desire to belong. Part of something greater.
A brand story explains what you do, how you do it, and most importantly, your heart-expanding why. This represents your mission, vision, values, vibes, goals, and what you stand for. It’s your competitive edge that’s so authentically you, no one can replicate. This goes beyond products and services. People remember stories.
Every company has a story to tell. The challenge is unearthing it. This is where freelance copywritersand journalists come in. I help independent brands in Adelaide, across Australia and globally unpack questions like:
- Why did you start?
- What gets you excited about what you do?
- What are you passionate about?
- What’s your company history?
- Who are the main characters?
- How have you ‘failed’?
- What are the important lessons?
- What did you have to give up to get here?
- How do you help people?
These answers form the canvas of your brand story.
Brand stories aren’t marketing materials.
Susan Gunelius describes this well. “Brand stories aren’t ads or sales pitches. Stories should be told with a strong brand persona and the writer’s voice at centre stage.” In other words, your stories need to be colourful, thoughtful, and strategic.
The formula is simple though: problem, solution, success. Beginning (struggling with a problem), middle (solving it), and end (how the world’s a better place). Connect your story with the larger cultural context. Make it universal.
The pre-work before you tell your story.
To create personal, emotional, and authentic stories, it’s important to build a collection of brand assets for you (or a freelance copywriter) to return to. This includes:
- Identify your core principles (purpose, vision, mission, and values), so you can understand what you’re really trying to achieve
- Brainstorm your brand messaging to articulate your tagline, key statements, and lines that thread through all your communications
- Clarify your brand position – the unique edge that sets you apart and the most persuasive way to convey it.
- Define the personality, tone of voice, and point of view.
Utilising storytelling in your brand communications is a powerful differentiator. It’s playful, creative, and limitless in potential.
To find out more about brand storytelling, contact me. As a freelance copywriter and journalist, I help Adelaide brands empower their marketing with persuasive storytelling. I’m also travel, culture, and lifestyle writer, author, and editor.