Fish don’t notice water; birds don’t notice the wind. Let’s say you’ve decided that the buzz around brand storytelling has some substance to it. The next step is to sit down and try create interesting stories around your brand. But what stories? This is the point at which a lot people get stuck. It’s not because you don’t know your brand well enough but because you know it only too well and you get lost in the details. You need to be able to step back and get the right perspective to look inside your organization and your brand to find the spark for a great brand story.
Brand stories can come from anywhere in your organization. There are things that you probably take for granted which can make excellent stories with the right presentation. When I have to start crafting stories for a new client, I look at the 4 main facets:-
- The Company:
The company’s origins might make for a good story; everyone loves a good creation myth!
The challenges your company had to overcome in early stages can be a great story, a sort of David and Goliath tale.
A day in the life: it might seem like routine to you, but a look at the typical functioning of your company can be interesting to an outsider.
Has your company done something to improve life for consumers or the surrounding community? Have you stepped in to lend aid during a crisis?
- The offerings:
What are the origins of your products or services? Sometimes there can be an interesting story behind the creation of your offerings.
The story of why your founders chose to go into this business and offer these products and services can be an interesting story. Was it inspired by a personal experience, like Penguin founder Allen Lane’s desire to have a good book that was compact enough to carry on a railway journey?
Look out for historical events that are connected to your offerings, to legends or folklore that can be connected with it or for famous people who are connected with it.
What are your product’s key differentiators? Can you weave a story out of them?
Ingredients can form the basis of a story, as can manufacturing techniques, testing procedures and so on. Look for anything with a little drama or the sense of delivering premium quality.
- The brand:
Again, the origins of your brand can be a story in themselves, giving people a perspective on your company’s evolution.
The evolution of your brand can also make for a story, as you explain how and why changes were made over time.
Look out for popular lore related to your stories as well as to use of your brand in popular culture.
Your logo can be the basis of a great story in itself.
If you have a brand spokesman or mascot, this can form another story as you trace the origins of this association.
- The people:
Your founders can form the basis of a story; look for things like what drove them and what values they held which still shape the company and inspire it.Have any of your employees achieved something unique for the company?
A series of employee profiles can help humanize your company and give people a connection with the people behind the offerings and the brand.
Tap the lives of your senior management for inspiring stories.
Are any of your employees associated with good causes, do any of them do volunteer work or have a remarkable background?
As you can see, once you start asking a lot of questions and looking at things from different angles, there may be any number of stories you can tell about your brand. The key is to work with someone with an eye for a good story and the skills to craft that story in a compelling way – someone like the people who make up i-Vista’s Digital Marketing team!