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What is a brand story and how can you get started?

Every brand, regardless of industry, has a story to tell. Whether it’s how your company came to be, or your continued focus on activism within the community, your brand story is a powerful tool for public and private companies alike. There is a power within storytelling, and one that your business should put to great use.

But what exactly is a brand story?

Your brand story represents not only who you are as a business, but what you stand for as an organization. This brand story seeps into everything your business does, from decisions you make at a leadership level to how you invest your dollars within the community. It should define the purpose of your business.

Here is a great example of a brand story from TOMS Shoes. This specific page on their website explains how TOMS came to be, how the brand gives back within a global community, and how customers can take part.

Consumers and clients want to connect with your business, and a brand story can help create this connection.

Building a brand story requires four key steps.

1. Discover your “why”  Before you begin to document your brand story, it’s important to discover your “why”. Going back to TOMS, their brand “why” is to address and advance health, education, and economic opportunities for children. Other companies might is be focused on delivering impeccable customer service or simply the belief that technology should be beautifully designed and easy to use..

Questions to ask yourself when determining your “why” could be:

Why did your business get started?

Why are you motivated to go to work every day?

What do your employees think your “why” is?

Remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You’re why may be just delivering impeccable customer service as many companies have focused on. If you do have a unique perspective or a compelling story, share it. Just ensure it is a passion that your customers or clients can get behind.

2. Document your “how”  You’ve determined why you began your business when reflecting on where you are today, now it’s time to document your “how”. How are you currently implementing your brand story? Or, if you are not currently implementing it, how do you want to get started?

This could be in the form of initiatives that allow you to give back to your community, or it could be to implement an award-winning employee-focused strategy. Define how you will tell your story.

3. Deliver through your digital channels  Telling your brand story through your digital channels is essential. Implementing this across your channels — such as your website and social media platforms — must have consistency. Remember: Every interaction counts, and it’s essential to bring this to life. Delivering through your digital channels includes copy points, fonts, and brand colors that speak to your brand, social media company descriptions, and more.

4. Be consistent  When you’ve determined your brand story, documented your “how” and delivered this through your digital channels, the next step is to be consistent. Consistency and authenticity will not only help to increase positive sentiment around your business, it will also help to keep your employees on the same page and create consistent communication. Every component of your brand story, from your community involvement to your website fonts, should act as a reference for consistent brand representation.

There are so many facets to determining and delivering your brand story. The most important consideration is to form your story together with your leadership and executive team, with your business founders, if available, and with a trusted partner to help lead the way.

Innovation is at the core of Emergent BioSolutions’ brand story, with a call to “go higher, faster and farther”. We’ve helped Emergent  tell their story of being the first to market with innovative solutions, the go-to company to product development, and a cutting-edge innovator in technology. This brand story is communicated through the company’s website and publications as well as graphics throughout their offices and labs which we have produced over a decade long relationship.

For great examples of brand storytelling and identities, check out our past work here.

—December 2017

Innovation is at the core of Emergent BioSolutions’ brand story, with a call to “go higher, faster and farther”. We’ve helped Emergent  tell their story of being the first to market with innovative solutions, the go-to company to product development, and a cutting-edge innovator in technology. This brand story is communicated through the company’s website and publications as well as graphics throughout their offices and labs which we have produced over a decade long relationship.