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A Quick Guide to Making Your Brand's Story More Compelling

September 18, 2012
How to Make Your Brand's Story More Compelling
image credit: The NeverEnding Story

In a lot of ways, people don't buy products anymore -- they buy your business's story. That means companies must constantly refine their stories and present them in innovative ways.

A brand story envelops your mission as a company, your culture and your history: How did you get started? Why do you do what you do? Where are you going?

Because shoppers are so connected through social networks, marketers should aim to present their stories in such a way that people will want to share them and their friends will want to connect with them. One advantage of social media is that we can have some control of our story. We can either passively hope people find our story appealing -- or we can intentionally shape it to try to resonate with prospective customers.

Here are a few suggestions on how to convey a more powerful story:

Related: Storytelling Tips from the Campaign Trail

Develop your "why."
One of the best things a company can do is be transparent about why it is doing what it does. My favorite model to help brands push past the "what" and "how" of their story and find their "why" is Simon Sinek's Golden Circle Theory. This theory focuses on "Why do you wake up in the morning?" and "Why are you so passionate about this?"

Not quite sure how to go about brainstorming your "why"? Try these suggestions:

Share your "why" in distinctive ways.
Make your story engaging and easy to share. Social media consumes one out of every five minutes spent online, according to a recent study by Reston, Va.-based digital analytics firm comScore. That means your audience is most likely spending a significant amount of time online sharing content. Here are a few ideas for getting customers to share your content:

Related: How to Be Unforgettable Online

Give your "why" more real estate.

Is your company's story tucked away in the footer of your website with an "Our Story" link? If so, it's time to give your story greater visibility. Ideally, your story should be laced throughout the text on your entire site, but that can be challenging. Instead, start with some of these baby steps toward giving your story more of the spotlight:

Marketers should rethink what exactly they are selling. With so many products out there and so much noise in the social sphere, it's your story that can really differentiate you. Careful attention to how you tell that story and how you showcase it can make all the difference.

Related: Big-Brand Results with Small-Business Budgets