Brand narrative basics
When creating your brand narrative one of the most important parts is the reason behind what you do and why. Regardless of the reason why you have started up, as money will always be a key component in the process, prospective customers need to believe that there is a purpose behind the brand apart from making lots of money. To do this your brand needs to have a compelling brand narrative. A story that connects the customer to what they are purchasing.
As Simon Sinek states in his book, Start With Why – “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it”. Most consumers will be swayed to buy a product, not just because it is something they need but more so because they want to trust and care about the brand.
Simon Sinek, Start With Why
In this vein, like Sinek poses, no one would purchase from Apple exclusively just because they provide good computers, they buy from Apple because their brand story shows the care and attention that has allowed them to create this technology. As this attention has afforded them years of trust from their audience.
Similarly a brand like Always, the feminine products brand sells toiletries but more so they advocate for global causes, rallying together to make sanitary products accessible to young people everywhere. There is a message and a meaning behind the words. Always are clearly identifying a problem and using their product to identify an accumulative solution.
The heart of the brand
Looking at a brand like Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, they hold their founder’s story close to the heart of the brand. In lots of their advertising they use a timeline approach to show the meeting of Ben and Jerry through to the newest ice cream being made. Alongside this their values are clear, they advocate peace, sustainability and political awareness – and making really delicious ice cream. But doesn’t that make a big difference? There’s much more heart behind it. This can also encourage people to pay a slightly higher price point because they care about what they’re buying and they know where their money is going. This support has further allowed them to experiment and create interesting and unique variations as the values of their brand intend to span a long period of time.
When identifying your brand narrative, consider what the overarching goal you are trying to achieve is. What difference is your product going to make and in what ways is it unique? For example, the razor brand Estrid considers this. Their website is super transparent, ensuring you have absolutely all the information you need to decide whether to purchase. On their main landing page, their mission statement is bold and clear.
They are straight to the point, answering all and any questions and consistently drive the idea of choice. Estrid creates razors in order to make the option to shave accessible to all by creating well-made, effective razors without the ‘Pink Tax’ applied that makes sanitary items unaffordable for many people. On top of this they have also made a product which is fun but further helps make a difference, donating to women’s charities. Their product not only is good but does good.
This is not to suggest that every brand needs to promote sustainability or donate to charity as this can lead to a phenomena called “green washing”. This is when brands attempt to claim sustainable practice in order to gain sales rather than do the work. However the point to take from this is that purpose and drive matter in the eyes of consumers.
Tell us a story
Another great way to promote an attractive and interesting brand, is to back that up with engaging story-telling. This could be through insightful blogs, creative advertising or a transparent design process. By letting your community in and using a personal approach, your audience will get to know and love your brand quickly. If you have a heritage product or an interesting story behind your initial idea, share it! Sharing is caring as we all say, with unique insights to break you apart from the crowd.
Especially when crowdfunding, storytelling is important as you are encouraging people to support your entire manufacturing process. A vibrant and insightful campaign story will persuade readers that the product is investment-worthy and worth the wait to receive. It also shows a more personal side to your campaign rather than promoting a hard sell all the time.
If you look at the top 100 best brands, which story-telling techniques can you find to draw you in?
Accountability is key
Trust and accountability are essential when formulating a brand, meaning that what you say counts, and what you don’t may come back to you. It is important to be transparent at every stage of the process. What influenced you to start this venture? What are your brand goals for the future?
Another good way to speak to your audience is to show the face behind the brand, show the people that make the product possible. This honours your staff for their work and allows the customers to see the effort and the time that has gone into the project. There is an increasing interest in supporting small businesses that share every step of the way than large faceless brands. Don’t get us wrong, these brands have done well for a reason however their approach isn’t always that personable. A solid reputation is built on trust and reliability. To read our previous blog about the 6 values of branding you can click here.
In a nutshell
To put our thoughts in a nutshell, a good brand narrative consists of:
- A clear mission statement
- Brand vision and values
- Goals for the future
- A likeable and transparent tone
- Acknowledgement of brand’s wider impact on the market
- Community engagement
If you hone your project down to why you started it, who supports you will surely grow.
If you are refining your own company values or need guidance designing a brand that stands out, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call.