Brand stories are a vital part of why people choose one brand over another. In categories where there is little thought or habit formed (or even places where customers want more choices), companies have a large opportunity to build a successful brand to develop the consumer habit of purchase.
But, what makes a brand story interesting and how can you bring it to your own brand?
It takes accuracy with a hint of interest.
Brand stories are more interesting when they’re true. Dell started in a college dorm room. HP started in a garage. These details are memorable because they are true and speak to the level of commitment the founders had to their vision. Truths can be small are large, but they must be interesting.
“We love technology,” is not as exciting as, “They said we couldn’t build the smallest transistor radio ever designed, so we did.” This concept put Sony on the map and helped them to further develop their brand story as a company energized by innovation and high standards. It helped them create a brand that people outside of Japan saw as valuable.
It takes intrigue.
No story starts with “and then everyone lived happily ever after,” so why should a brand story? Companies may want to start with how they are amazing and how their product was the best thing invented, but the consumer cares about what it does for them and what problem it solves. By adding a problem into the equation, it adds intrigue to the story for consumers.
There are some great brand stories, here, that talk about what problem the founders noticed and wanted to help solve. Ford did this when he wanted to make the automobile for everyone and invented the assembly line. Showing how the company created their value can make people understand what they have to offer.
It takes values that guide the company.
After creating a great solution and explaining it accurately, the company needs to keep moving forward to remain relevant. What value does it bring to its production, people, and processes? Whether it’s environmentally sustainable, cause driven, or innovative, people need to identify with the values that drive the company.
These values don’t need to be a codified list posted on a site. They should be lived through the marketing, story telling, and visible to the end consumer. Apple doesn’t say, “We’re innovative,” they say, “Think different.” Bringing these company values through to the customer, either through products, support, or development, helps people to understand and identify with the company past a single product.
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