If You Have a Brand, Tell Your Brand Story
If you have a career or a business, it pays to think about your brand story and about yourself as a brand storyteller. Think of your brand as a collaboration with others—it’s not just what you’re known for, your brand encompasses the sum of people’s experiences with, perceptions of, and ideas about what sets you or your business apart. It is not what you say, it’s what your clients and customers experience and what it all means to them too.
What people know, hear, and say feeds into their opinion of your brand, but you can’t necessarily control much of that. You can control:
- how you express your core values through the work you do
- the ways that you choose talk your future success into being
- the stories you choose to tell, how you tell them, and to whom.
If you decide to take on the role of brand storyteller, you can shape perceptions and create connections at the same time, especially on social media and social networks. Take a look at popular posts in your networks, they often strike an emotional chord or evoke a shared experience. You can use that—and you can start by paying attention to what resonates with your clients or customers. From innovating against the odds, to what your clients care about most, to your own style of “special sauce” there are lots of ways that story can help you connect with clients and earn their trust.
People may be short on attention these days but they also love a good story, so much so that it can stick like glue even in the face of contradictory facts. Just look at politics. No matter who or what you support, it’s easy to observe the power of brand storytelling around any election or controversial issue. Taking charge of the narrative is key—getting out ahead of an issue can change the terms of discussion and, in turn, influence public opinion. It’s just another fine reason to develop brand storytelling skills both for yourself and your business.
Nothing creates an emotional connection or a shared sense of purpose like a powerful story. It’s not just what you say, when people listen to your stories they take away meanings that are all their own. People listen through the filters of life experiences, culture, education, and identity. Like any storyteller, your success will depend on understanding your relationship to the story and trusting your audience to make it their own.
Your Role as a Brand Storyteller
When you’re ready to take on the role of brand storyteller, start with yourself. It’s important to explore, understand, and articulate where you’re coming from as a brand storyteller—that’s your standpoint. We develop our own unique standpoint through experiencing life in our particular bodies, sharing culture, learning, working, and a lifetime of other influences. The more you understand about your own standpoint, the easier it will be to recognize emotional triggers and client concerns. Once you identify what matters to your clients, you can develop ways to empathetically speak to their needs.
As a brand storyteller, you have many storytelling options. Consider the key elements of your brand and different ways you can communicate those elements through stories. If you choose to be intentional when selecting concepts and keywords to use in your brand storytelling, you can shape your brand narrative even more effectively on the Web.
As a brand storyteller, you can also develop a practice that builds on what you know and supports your branding efforts. Get comfortable putting yourself at the center of your brand storytelling practice and you’ll be in a better position to reach out to your audiences from a place of empathy and purpose.