Small Business Brief


Marketing Meets Storytelling: What Is a Brand Story?

Have you ever heard the story of a certain business and been so blown away by it that you wanted to support them just to be involved in a piece of that story? Have you ever said to a friend, “You won’t believe how amazing this company is”? Or have you ever told the story of your own business, bursting with pride and love?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to write a brand story. “What is a brand story?” you ask. Read on to learn more about these brand stories and the powerful marketing tools they can be.

What Is a Brand Story?

A brand story is, simply put, the story of your business and what makes it so special. When you think about all the reasons you love your business and believe your customers should, too, that’s your story. Branding is the process of putting that story into words so you can share it with all your customers.

Your brand story encompasses every facet of your business, from the emotional to the factual. It’s the story of your history, every turn in life that led you to run this business today. And it’s the story of the benefit you offer to your customers, hard numbers documenting the ways you’ve grown and the plans you have for the future.

Why It Matters 

You may be wondering why you should take time out of your life to write up a brand story. After all, you’re a business owner, so you’ve got plenty of things that you need to be doing. And if you offer good service, do your customers really care about the fact that your business is named after your childhood dog?

But a brand story can be crucial in bringing new customers in and old customers back. In our world of a million options and voices in our ears all the time, people are looking for authenticity. They’re looking for a brand that means something and that they can connect with; your brand story will show them the personal side of your business.

The Secret to a Great Brand Story

So how do you go about creating a brand story? Writing down a chronological account of your business’s history won’t get it done. A brand story needs to have heart, to draw the readers in, and to make them want to know you better.

The trick to crafting a great brand story is to give your customers some element they can connect to. In many cases, this may mean presenting your business as a hero that works to make your customers’ lives better every day. Or it may mean positioning yourself as a sidekick there to help them along with the great things they’re accomplishing in the world every day.

Finding a Unique Angle

In a world where a billion different businesses are vying for your customers’ attention, you need to find a narrative that stands out among the crowd. The first and most important step in finding this angle is to figure out what it is your customers are actually looking for. Too many companies tell the story they think their customers want to hear and don’t ever take the time to find out what the customer is really listening for.

Ask yourself what makes your story unique and which parts of it will matter to your audience? It can be helpful to create a specific sample customer or a professional storyboard during this process and think about what your customers would care about. Then ask what benefit your brand story can offer to those sample customers. 

Making It Personal

As we mentioned, the big draw of brand stories is that they make your business personal. A story is only meaningful if your audience connects with it. Think about the stories that have meant the most to you in your life; we’re willing to bet you connected with the characters in that story.

Think about the parts of your story that will be impactful for your customers. Which pieces can they take as an inspiration for their lives? Or which parts of your business story will directly improve their life if they bring their business to you?

Showing Emotion

Oftentimes in business dealings, we have the idea that being professional means never showing emotion. And while that may be true to a degree on a personal level, it isn’t in a brand story. If you want to catch people’s attention, you need to be authentic, and that means showing some emotion.

Try to start your story off with a piece that will incite emotion in your readers. This could be the story of the first moment you conceived the dream of owning this business or the challenges you’ve faced in bringing your products to them. Start with something that engages their emotions and you’ll have them hooked.

Keeping It Simple

When you’re crafting this emotional, engaging story of everything your business is, it can be easy to get swept up in the process. But long, overwrought brand stories can go too far down the road of trying to draw in your customers. The fact is that our world is fast-paced, and you want to keep your story simple.

Ideally, you want your customers to tell their friends about the amazing story of your business. In order for that to work, it has to be simple enough that they’ll remember it after one reading. So make sure to keep things short and sweet while still hitting all the important points.

Tell Your Brand Story

Crafting a brand story can be an important step in increasing your marketing reach. Your business has an amazing story behind it, and that story can be powerful in drawing in customers. Asking the question, “What is a brand story?” is the first step in creating a more successful business model.

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