sebastian lochbronner

Brand Story: The story behind the brand

What actually is a brand identity? Brand identity expresses what a brand stands for. It describes the core of your brand from your perspective as the brand owner. You use it to describe all the characteristics...
October 15, 2020

A perfectly told brand story is the key to the heart of your customers. Your story must be exciting and gripping so that it appeals to your target group. Boring and meaningless buzzwords no longer attract anyone in today's stimulus-flooded Internet. Customers must feel addressed so that they can identify with the core message of your company.

Directly translated, brand story means brand history. However, this does not do justice to the actual meaning of brand story. You shouldn't just list the dates of your company's history. It may be interesting that your great-grandfather started the company from nothing under adverse circumstances. But that's only a small part of a brand story. It is the story of values and identity, of visions and the core message of your company.. This will help you breathe life into your brand, highlight its benefits, and connect with customers.

A brand story is more than a business presentation, a brochure or a slogan of an advertising campaign. A brand story is not only what you tell about yourself, but what your customers think and communicate about you and your brand.

It's not just your brand story. Above all, it's also the story of your customers.

And a Brand Story has no end. It will continue to be told as long as your company is on the market. A good brand story should also not be a sprint, but should be set up for the long term.

Why do you need a brand story?

We are bombarded with countless advertising slogans every day. Whether on the radio or television, in magazines or on posters, we even encounter advertising banners and ads on websites. And especially in social media, we encounter direct or indirect advertising messages. We are exposed to an estimated 3,000 commercial messages every day, the majority of which we are not even aware of.

And this is where the importance of storytelling becomes clear.

It's much more effective and sustainable to draw customers to your product with a meaningful story than with trite advertising slogans.

A good story arouses interest and touches, makes the customer aware of you and your products. The connection of information and Emotion is one of the strongest Means of communication. A good story stays in the memory and conveys a feeling of connection. This is how you can build trust and customer loyalty

Without a brand story, it will be difficult for you in the competitive marketplace. Unfortunately, it is not necessarily the better products or services that are chosen today, but those that are communicated and advertised in a promotionally effective manner. The focus is on how a product makes us happier, more successful, healthier. How can I solve a particular problem quickly? That's what the consumer is interested in. He wants these questions answered on your website, your brochure or your Instagram campaign. Of course, that works easier with an informative, compelling brand story. So storytelling is becoming increasingly important in marketing.

Brand Story Die Geschichte hinter der Marke

The brand story is the unique, exciting story behind the brand. It can become the key to the heart of yours! (Illustration by Thierry Fousse from Icons8)

How to build your brand story

A brand story includes the story about your brand's creation, values and vision. It focuses on emotions, facts, and insights; you describe who you are, what you do, and what drives you. You want your brand to stand out from the competition and be memorable in the minds of your target audience.

You should address the following questions when creating your brand story: What? When? Why? How? Who? What for?

You don't have to proceed chronologically either. The most important thing is that you Focus on the unique selling proposition of your product or service place.

Determine your why & your uniqueness

The 1st step in writing your story must be to answer the question of why you do what you do. Why does your business exist? What motivated you to start your business? What is the passion behind what you do? What is your brand's aspiration for itself? Who or what inspired and motivated you? What individual beliefs are in your product? What sets you apart from other competitors? Think about the story behind it - Why does your business exist?

Explain your product & authenticity

A brand story that doesn't connect with your product doesn't sell either. You can't sell a BMW in the same way as a FIAT, they both have different quality, prices and ultimately different target groups.

So you need to ask yourself the following questions: What is the quality of my product? What distinguishes my product from that of the competition? What are my product's competitors? What are the strengths of my product? Does my product solve a problem? What emotion does my product trigger in my customers? Why should a customer buy my product?

Determine your target group

Your target audience is one of the most important parts of your story. Your brand is not the hero of your story, your customer is.. Without your customers, there is no story, because without customers, your business makes no sense.

A successful example here is the story of a plumbing company. On the company's website, there is a short story for each service area. For example, it describes the project of an elderly lady who wanted to realize her dream bathroom and had some very special requests. This presented the craftsmen with some problems, but in the end the customer's ideas could be implemented. In the story of the company it became clear that the uppermost maxim must be that the customers feel well and their still so unusual desires are also to be realized. This builds trust with the customer, who is happy to entrust the plumbing company.

So you have to get to grips with who your target group is. What wishes and demands do your customers have? What problems do they have? How can you support your target group? Which points in the story can appeal to your customers emotionally?

Define your target group exactly. You can't and don't have to appeal to everyone! If you have defined your target group exactly, it is also easier for you to write your brand story.

Individuality & Authenticity

Every company has its very own corporate story, whether it's a traditional family business or a young start-up. An exciting brand story is important for everyone, as it shows the personality and trustworthiness of a brand. Studies show that, especially in today's advertising overloaded times, customers do not simply consume a brand, but want to identify with it on a personal level.

Most customers wouldn't care if up to three quarters of all brands disappeared from the market. So it's vital that your brand has an individual, personal character that your customers can identify with. Because these customers would care if your brand disappeared from the scene. Advertising campaigns must therefore become more customer-oriented. The preferences of the target group must be taken into account to a greater extent.

One example of a successful brand story is the Hornbach campaign. Here, it is not a boring DIY store that presents itself. Hornbach conveys an attitude to life and is a partner in the realization of sometimes somewhat idiosyncratic construction projects.

Or let's look at the story of Fritz-Kola. Two students started their project with a simple idea and a limited budget. Today, Fritz-Kola is a cult product. The story also tells about the setbacks of the founders as well as funny incidents during the development of the logo. Today, Fritz-Kola conveys the lifestyle feeling of a young, hip community.

It's your story. Tell it about yourself and stay true to your motivations. And stay authentic! Your story may seem unspectacular to you. But you don't have to suck the material for the next Blog Buster out of your fingers.

Clear communication & guidance

A clear, structured narrative style is essential for a gripping brand story. It is often easier to write the story according to the familiar model of introduction, body, conclusion. Figurative language with colorful examples also makes it easier to read the story. Your brand story should share your passion about your product with the target audience. This will automatically trigger the desire for the product you want to sell.

It is important that you align your communication with the language of your target group. A younger clientele responds to different content and a different communication style than an older audience. There are also differences between men and women. Your target group analysis allows you to determine the language style, narrative style and content of your brand story.

It also does no good to adapt the communication to the brand story only in parts. Inconsistent communication looks unprofessional and leads to a loss of trust. Therefore, update all communication tools.

Questions in this area would be: What emotions do you want to evoke in your customers? Do you want to tell your story in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd person? Should a formal or colloquial tone prevail in your story? On which channels do you want to communicate with your customers (social media, website, Instagram, brand video, blog post, e-book, infographic)?

Consistency - the key to a successful brand

Consistency, or successfully staying in the market, is a challenge for both small and well-known companies. New companies must first establish their brand story in the competitive market, while well-known brands strive to continue their brand story consistently. Only a well thought-out story can trigger emotions and thus guarantee a lasting bond between brand and customer.

Nivea provides an example of a brand story that has been successful for years. The advertising campaign "Danke Mama," "Danke Papa" and "Ein Teil von dir" was exemplary for the close relationship between parent and child. Consumers felt a deep connection with the product without Nivea advertising it directly.

Behind every brand is a great story worth telling and then reading.

Start working on your very own brand story now!

Image: Photo by Emre Kuzu from Pexels

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Sebastian Lochbronner
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