How to Build Your Brand Story
You brand reflects how you feel about your business, how your clients perceive you and how the world connects with you. So it is important to take the time to define the meaning and create a story that projects your brand personality in an authentic way.
Brands that convey their messaging well are not only memorable, they evoke emotion. Before your visual identity is concepted you need to define the core values, strengths, philosophy and mission of your business.
To kick off the process of building your brand story, get ready for a creative brainstorming session. Grab a coffee, power up your Spotify playlist and make sure you have the essentials: blank sheets of paper, a pen, and an online thesaurus.
The first ideas you will want to flush out are the What, How, Why and Who Cares?
What does your business do & how do you provide more value than others?
How do you provide this product or service & and how is your process unique?
Why are you setting out to provide this product or service & what is the passion behind your mission?
Who will care the most about your business & why will they connect specifically with your mission?
Now write down Meaningful Keywords that convey the heart & soul of your business. Try to imagine the mind of your customer as well, words that will connect with what they feel before, during and after interacting with your brand.
Your brand will also need to consider defining its Core Values and Culture. These personal elements don't simply live on a piece of paper, they should guide your decision making, how you treat customers and employees and dictate how you operate. The values that your company embodies will not only determine how your employees act, but how they feel about the company. For example if the values you create don't align with what transpires behind the scenes, you will suffer from low morale, which directly impacts the customer experience. So make it count and be authentic.
Competitors are a reality of any business. As you craft your story, you'll want to consider how to differentiate yourself from others. Research 5 Competitors; their mission, positioning statements and business model. Try to also get a sense for their overall feel, and the emotion each evokes within you. Write down the attributes of the 5 companies and do a SWOT Analysis, mapping out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, positioning your product offerings side by side.
With these exercises completed, you should have all of the elements you need to develop your brand.
Your mission statement is a clear and concise, no-jargon statement defining the purpose of your business. It should answer a few key questions:
- Why do you exist?
- What are you going to accomplish?
- How are you going to make an impact?
The positioning statement articulates your product or service's unique value, and how it benefits the customer.
Here is a template that you can modify. Take the keywords and statements from brainstorming - and plug them in here:
[Brand] believes in creating [products/services] for [target audience] that cares about [reason to buy your products/services/brand]. The [product/service/brand] is a [solution] that provides [customer benefit] with the intention to [brand promise] above all [competitive differentiator].
Once you have completed these steps, you are on your way! I recommend re-visiting your mission now and then. As I said in a previous blog post, it's important to bring employees into the fold as your company grows; to get a sense for how the mission is being carried out, how the values are part of the culture and also how your brand essence is connecting with customers. It is something you can redefine, or tweak along the way. Good luck.