Over 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them. Yet it seems that so few businesses know how to create the kinds of stories that allow them to connect with their target audiences.
Think about some of the world’s most famous brands. They all have one thing in common: a great brand story. A strong brand story can make your business stand out from the competition, and it can help you connect with your customers on a deeper level.
So, if you’re looking to take your business to the next level, it’s time to start thinking about your brand story. In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore what a brand story is and why it’s important for businesses. We’ll also share some tips for creating a powerful brand story that will resonate with your customers.
Ready to go on your own Hero’s Journey? Let’s go.
What is a Brand Story?
A brand story is a narrative arc that describes a brand’s journey, from its origins to its present day. A brand story can be used to connect with customers emotionally, and it can be a powerful tool for differentiating a brand in a crowded marketplace.
What makes a good brand story? It should be interesting, relatable, and authentic. It should also be aspirational, showing how the brand has overcome adversity to become the success it is today. Most importantly, a brand story should be faithful to the brand’s core values.
Your brand’s a hero that’s gone on its hero’s journey (and likely continues to do so). The goal is to craft and celebrate that journey in order to help your business stand out in a saturated sea of competitors.
Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
Where does brand storytelling come from? It’s been around for quite a while, but in today’s day and age, when you hear someone referring to a brand story or even “story brand” they’re likely referring to the hit business book Building a StoryBrand by New York Times best-selling author and marketing expert Donald Miller.
Overall, it’s a book we definitely recommend to any startup founders or new business owners interested in understanding how to clarify their message, connect with customers, and grow their brand.
The book starts with the idea that businesses need to focus on the customer’s story, not just their product. It then walks readers through the steps of creating a brand that resonates with customers. Building a StoryBrand also provides practical advice and examples that any business can use to improve its marketing and connect with its audience.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, Building a StoryBrand is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to strengthen their brand.
Understanding the Hero’s Journey
The Hero’s Journey is a story structure that is found in many myths and stories from around the world. It is a framework that can be used to create new stories or to analyze existing ones. It’s also incredibly helpful in building out a brand story that customers identify with and want to engage with.
Does this sound like you? Or, if your brand were a person, does it sound like something it’s been through as it’s navigated its way through the big, scary world of business? More often than not, that’s the case. You can apply a Hero’s Journey to just about anything (try it next time you watch a movie or even a children’s TV show).
If you’re struggling to see how your brand is a “hero” then you might need the services of an expert storyteller who can help you tease out the moments of triumph and sorrow you’ve experienced as a business in order to turn them into tales that tantalize.
When it comes down to it, understanding the Hero’s Journey can help you to create more satisfying stories. It can also help you to understand why certain stories resonate with us on a deep level as humans.
Because, after all, your goal is to create human connections with your target audience in order to build strong brand loyalty that’ll sustain your business for years to come (or it should be, at least).
Benefits of Having a Brand Story
This sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want to position their brand as a hero? But is it really right for your brand? Is it necessary? Honestly, more than SEO or any other type of digital marketing strategy, we believe a brand story is actually necessary to any brand that’s interested in long-term, sustainable success.
A brand story is much more than just a narrative. It is the heart and soul of a company, conveyed through its values, mission, and vision. Customers want to know that they are buying from a company with a story, and not just another faceless corporation.
Benefits of having a brand story include:
In today’s marketplace, there are often many companies offering similar products or services. This means that a brand story can help you to communicate what makes your company unique.
Keep in mind that potential customers are always looking for a reason to choose one company over another. If you can tell them a compelling story about your brand, you will be more likely to win their business.
When Does a Brand Story Make Sense?
While we believe a brand story is necessary, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you right now. There comes a point when a brand story makes sense, but most smaller businesses and solo entrepreneurs are building brands that aren’t quite ready for the epic nature of a Hero’s Journey story.
So when should a business create a brand story? The answer may depend on the size and scope of the business, but there are some general guidelines that can be followed.
For example, businesses that are just starting out may want to focus on creating a strong foundation first, including developing their mission and values. Once these things are in place, they can then start to craft their brand story.
On the other hand, businesses that have been around for a while may want to revisit their story from time to time to ensure that it still aligns with their current goals and trajectory. In any case, the important thing is to be intentional about creating a brand story that resonates with both the business and its audience.
Tips for Building a Brand Story
When creating a brand story, it helps to first focus on the three Ps: Purpose, Promise & Personality.
Your brand’s purpose is the reason behind everything you do. It’s what drives you to create products or services that solve problems or meet needs. Your brand’s purpose is also what sets you apart from other businesses in your industry. It’s what makes you unique and allows you to connect with your target audience on a deeper level.
To help you find your brand’s purpose, answer the question: What motivates you to do what you do?
Then, move on to developing your brand’s promise. Sure, when you sell a product or service you’re promising to offer those goods in exchange for money. But think beyond that. What are you promising to your customers outside of your business offerings?
A brand’s promise is its essence, the thread that ties together all of its messages and experiences. It’s what customers can expect from interacting with the brand, and it’s a compact distillation of the company’s values and worldview.
And finally, think about your brand’s personality. This can be tricky to define, but it’s essential in creating a strong and cohesive brand identity. There are a few key questions you can ask yourself to help define your brand’s personality.
Answering these questions will help you start to develop a strong and distinct personality for your brand. Once you’ve gone through these exercises, read through a few of our tips for building a brand story.
Start With Your Customer
You don’t have a brand without customers. So, focus on them first. After all, they’re the read of your epic Hero’s Journey, so you want to make sure it appeals to them.
What problem do they need help solving? What need do they have that is unmet? Your brand story should be focused on how you can help your customer meet their needs.
Make It Relatable
Think about every time you’ve ever deeply connected with a story. It was probably because it was relatable in some way, right? That’s the same with brand stories.
Use language and examples that your audience can relate to. Avoid jargon and overly technical terms. And lastly, don’t be afraid to get a little vulnerable. It’ll likely serve you.
A good brand story should evoke an emotional response in the reader. This could be anything from excitement to nostalgia to inspiration.
The best way to evoke emotion in your audience is to focus on storytelling. Share stories about your customers and how your brand has made a positive impact on their lives. Paint a picture of what life would be like without your product or service. Use strong words and vivid images to really bring your story to life.
Stay True to Your Brand
Your brand story should be consistent with the rest of your branding materials. This includes your logo, website, social media posts, and any other marketing materials. Tell your story in a way that is true to who you are as a brand.
By following these tips, you can craft a brand story that is both impactful and true to your brand identity. If you’re struggling, then get in touch!
How Much Do Brand Story Services Cost?
Like any marketing service, you can find brand story services that fall into any price range. Typically, you pay for what you get. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be paying tens of thousands of dollars for a brand story if you’re a mid-sized company looking to build more cohesive messaging.
If you’re just starting out, a good rule of thumb is to put 5-15% towards branding. So, if you’re starting a new small business with $10,000, don’t pay more than $1,500 for all of your brand materials. That includes your logo, mission statement, and story brand.
While that might not sound like a lot and you can’t expect to get international agency-level quality for that, if you work with the right team of storytellers, they’ll be able to help you craft brand messaging that will at least get you started until you’re ready to scale to the next level.
However, sometimes you don’t need full branding services. Sometimes you just need a brand story.
The cost of a brand story in this case will depend on whether or not you’re working with an experienced team of copywriters and storytellers or if you’re working with a StoryBrand Certified Guide.
The latter tend to charge a lot more because they’ve paid quite a bit for their certification (however, experience trumps certification every time). To hire a StoryBrand Certified Guide to help you craft your brand story, expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the writer’s experience.
At Sherpa Way Marketing, we rely on our Creative Director’s experience and background in film and scriptwriting. With experience in building out a Hero’s Journey for characters on and off the screen, she has learned how to effectively map out and infuse this journey into brand building as well. The price for something like that is just $875.
What’s included in that type of brand story package? Our brand story package includes:
*Note that while we adhere to the StoryBrand Framework, we aren’t bound by it and incorporate other branding and storytelling techniques to build your brand story.
Get a Free Brand Story Consultation
If you’re looking to take your brand to the next level, a brand story consultation can help. Your brand story is the soul and foundation of your business, it’s what sets you apart from your competition.
Let our team of experienced storytellers help you find your brand’s soul and use that to craft an engaging tale of innovation and success. Click here to schedule a free consultation.