Every brand tells a story.
Brand stories are what drive our interactions with our customers and stakeholders. They are key business drivers. The more coherent and compelling your brand story, the more it will power the success of your enterprise.
So, how does one craft a strong brand story, one that drives key business decisions as well as marketing communications? The watchwords of a strong brand story are clarity, consistency and character.
Clarity: First, make sure you know what you want to say. This is the content of your brand; who you are, what you do, who you do it for, why it matters to them, and how it’s different from anyone else in the marketplace.
Consistency: Then, make sure you say it (and show it) in the same way, wherever and with whomever you do business. This is how all your communications, actions and accomplishments start to work together, building up into the unity that is your brand presence in the marketplace.
Character: Finally, give it a littleoomph, panache, flair. This is where your personality shines through. It’s what brings you to life at an emotional level. It’s what makes people want to connect with you. It’s what turns necessity into desire. For example, it’s what turns the statement, “I need a new cell phone,” into “I want that new cell phone.”
Your brand story works defines and expresses the core truth about who you are as an enterprise. It’s the rationale behind your most fundamental decisions. It’s the meaning at the heart of all your messages.
Ultimately, it is your brand story that helps you answer that most fundamental of all questions:
Why do you decide to make one decision and not another? Why do your customers need you? Why is it that you’re better able to meet their needs than anyone else? Why does your logo look this way? Why do your press releases read the way they do?
And most importantly to marketers and managers alike: Why would someone make that critical decision to use your products and services over those of anyone else?
Which brands have meaning or purpose in your life? For us, its brands like Coca-Cola (The Real Thing!), Amazon.com, Lanikai Bath and Body (our brand!) and Kiva. Each of these brands makes us feel special, that they care – and make our life easier, fulfilling, or more enjoyable.