In an ever evolving and decidedly digital world, information floods our screens every minute of the day. Standing out is now the only way to be seen. As we battle with content saturation, it can seem harder than ever to do just that, but, trust me, the old tactics still work. To captivate and engage your audience, you just need to start with a compelling brand narrative that resonates with them. Where you go from there is up to you, but this is where you should begin.
Make music, not noise
To tell a great brand story, you have to be prepared to prioritise. Think of it as composing a symphony. In music, you blend various instruments and elements together to create a harmonious masterpiece. But if you throw in every instrument at once and give all your musicians free rein, you’ll end up with a cacophonous mess.
When crafting your brand narrative, you need to highlight the best aspects of your brand without overwhelming your audience with noise. That might mean you have to cut some elements of your story that matter to you, or some departments get less of a look in than others. Ultimately, though, your story will be better for it, and your business will too. Remember, what matters most to you isn’t always what your audience cares about and the thing they need above all else is clarity. Too many conflicting elements in your brand story can dilute its impact, so keep it simple. Focus on the music, not the instruments you’ve got to hand.
Humans are hard-wired for stories
Our brains are naturally inclined to remember stories more than raw data or statistics. Think back to the last time you heard a compelling story; chances are, you can still recall the way it made you feel. You might remember some of the finer details as a result. This phenomenon has a profound implication for brands and businesses, and it only goes to show the value of getting your story right.
In fact, Jennifer Aaker, a marketing professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, put this idea to the test. When students in her class were asked to make a one-minute pitch, only one out of ten used a story. However, 63% of the class remembered that story, while just 5% could remember a single statistic from the other nine presentations. Long story short, great narratives are remembered. And in a world where every brand is vying for attention, those who can weave compelling narratives that tap into emotions will stand out.
Use tools to craft your story
Creating that brand narrative that really resonates shouldn’t be left to chance – it requires careful planning. Just as a composer sets out their score, you can use a whole host of storytelling tools to structure your narrative. One of my favourites is the ‘story mountain’.
The concept is simple, so simple in fact that it can be applied to practically every story you’ve ever read. But that’s why it’s so powerful. The story mountain is a way of visually planning the plot and structure of a narrative, by separating the plot and structure into clear stages or sections. Essentially,
we follow our hero (you, or your brand itself) up one side of a mountain to the climax of the story at the peak, then down the other side to the resolution.
Story mountains typically include an introduction to our characters and setting, an opening scene, a problem, the climax, resolution, and a neat ending. By using this framework, you can ensure your brand story feels well-rounded and urgent. Most importantly, it will keep it interesting for your audience. To get started, consider the challenges your business has overcome, its humble beginnings and the problems your product or service solves. What inspired you to set up shop in the first place? By sharing these insights within the framework of a story, you make your brand a million times more relatable, and a whole lot more memorable too.
As you create your brand story, remember, trends evolve, people's preferences shift, and your brand will inevitably grow and adapt. Therefore, your brand narrative cannot remain static and must evolve alongside your business. A successful brand narrative is a living, breathing entity and it’s pretty much never finished.
Crafting a compelling brand narrative is not a one-time endeavour but an ongoing process. By making music, not noise, and focusing on the emotional resonance of your story, you can create a narrative that captures the hearts and minds of your audience. Use all the storytelling tools at your disposal and embrace change, and your brand narrative will remain a powerful force for years to come. Remember, it's not about shouting the loudest; it's about singing the most memorable tune.
Need a hand making your brand story stand out from the rest? Just reach out to email@example.com and we’ll help you craft a cracking narrative that makes a real difference.