Brand Story 101: What Is It and How to Craft One for Your Brand

by | Branding

What is it?

A brand story is defined as the narrative that communicates a brand’s identity, values, and purpose. It includes a brand’s history, mission statement, promise, customer stories, and experiences that define it.

While design elements like logos, colours, and font are essential, a compelling story is an underlying strength that binds it all together. 

Your brand’s success hinges on how well you can create and tell a compelling narrative about your brand.

This might seem like another superfluous marketing tactic used only by big companies. But even if you are one of the growing SMEs, a brand story is also crucial in your small business branding

In one research, about 55% of consumers are willing to purchase if they like a brand story. 

Under the current climate of fierce competition in the Malaysian market, a unique story is a prerequisite to success.

So How Do I Craft a Compelling Brand Story?

Compared to the fictional stories you love, a brand story shares some similarities but also has differences. Here are things you need to know when crafting your brand story.  

Define Your Audience 

As with any other marketing endeavour, understanding your audience is key when crafting a brand story.

Knowing whom you’re talking to helps you to define and refine your brand’s message. With an understanding of your audience’s interests, behaviours, values, and preferences, you are better equipped to create meaningful content for them.

Frame brand messaging through engaging stories that resonate with your target customer base.

As such, you can cultivate a connection between them and your brand.

Create a brand story arc with a beginning, middle, and end

A brand story arc is an effective way to convey a brand’s narrative to its audience.

It is composed of three distinct parts: the beginning, middle and end. These together create a unified vision or corporate identity for the brand.

The beginning typically introduces the brand to the customer, helping them understand what it stands for and why they should care.

The middle should contain the brand’s core message and new information and developments that help build on this idea.

Finally, the end ties everything together, drawing upon the brand’s history and its aspirations for the future to complete its story arc.

When crafted carefully, such a narrative can not only inform but also inspire customers, helping brands make deeper connections with their audiences.

Take a look at WWF-Malaysia’s About Us page. It starts with information about its establishment in 1972 before going into its works and mission statement.

It ends with the brand vision of going forward with a team of people with shared values. 

Make sure your brand story is relatable and engaging

If you want your brand to be truly successful, it’s vital to craft a narrative that is both relatable and engaging.

This ties in together with defining your audience. Your data on your target audience gives you insight into how to craft a relatable, engaging brand story. 

A relatable brand story helps customers feel connected with you emotionally, making them remember your brand long after the initial interaction.

To keep pumping out relatable, engaging content, creating your brand story should be an ongoing process. Employ methods such as customer feedback, competitors research, attending events, and monitoring social media discourse.

Focusing on brand stories that mean something to your customers fosters brand loyalty and further strengthens the connection between brand and consumer.

Besides, you should also consider incorporating your brand personality to make your narrative more authentic. After all, people can only relate to something original and genuine.

If you have heard of Dutch Lady’s “Strong Me, Stronger Us” campaign, you know what an excellent brand story looks like.

The brand tells how Dutch Lady milk nourishes all walks of life in Malaysia. While the brand story mentioned the product, it nonetheless focused on the target audience.

With advertisements of real-life figures who shared their stories, Dutch Lady successfully incorporated its audience into its brand story, hence its high relatability. 

Use descriptive language to paint a picture

Like your favourite story of all time, a brand story should be as descriptive as possible.

Writing brand stories that draw readers in requires painting a vivid picture using descriptive language.

A brand story should transport the reader to the world of the brand: its people, mission, and values. To captivate an audience, brand storytellers must be creative in their descriptions, appealing to all five senses by evoking emotions and memories with certain words.

As the saying goes—show, don’t tell.

It is important to choose words that create images in mind and encourage readers to engage with the brand. The more descriptive language you use when crafting your brand narrative, the more powerful an impact it will have on your readers.

Keep it concise and simple

In the world of brand storytelling, keeping it concise and straightforward can be a daunting task. 

It’s arduous to communicate your story in as few words and actions as possible while creating an impactful message. However, successfully delivering information through displays of minimalism is the key to success in brand storytelling.

It’s different compared to reading a fictional story. When your audience reads your brand story, you need an attention-getter in your brand story.

Their attention will immediately fade if your story is hard to digest with bombastic vernacular and complicated structure.

While this technique may be complex, keeping it brief is worth the challenge to ensure that your brand story gets across effectively.

Edit, Edit, & Edit

Editing your brand story ruthlessly can be the difference between success and failure.

Every brand should fully understand what its unique narrative is. Then, commit to always using words, images, sounds, etc., that align with it to provide consistency across all platforms.

Anything that does not contribute directly to the story should be removed without hesitation.

This is done lest the unnecessary elements become the noise detracting from its authenticity or brand identity.

Moreover, as brand story contrivance is an ongoing process, you could miss out on recent information, thus forgetting to update your brand story.

In conclusion, crafting a compelling story for your audience is art.

Taking the time to identify who your audience is and understanding their needs and interests sets the foundation for a meaningful story. To craft a captivating story, start with an engaging beginning, build to a climax in the middle, and end with a satisfying resolution or call to action.

To keep your readers enthralled while they go on this journey with you, use evocative language to help them visualise what you’re describing.

As tempting as it may be to over-explain items, resist the urge and strive for simplicity without sacrificing meaning.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of editing. Three rounds of edits are better than none!

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