Think about your last purchase. Did any stories come to mind about the product or the company you were buying from? If you bought a dress, you might have thought about the luxury of the fabric and how you would feel wearing it on your next night on the town. If you purchased a cup of coffee, maybe the story was about treating yourself to a quiet moment before a hectic day.
Even small purchases have a story woven into them.
The most successful brands craft a brand story that guides customers’ emotions about their products and their company. Brand stories are woven into silky dresses, secreted away in mascara tubes, and brewed into cups of coffee. Stories have tremendous power to guide purchasing decisions through emotion.
Take ownership of the narrative around your brand.
In the age of social media, your brand story will be written by other people if you don’t guide the narrative. Online comments about your company will start to build a story in customers’ minds. By intentionally crafting your brand story, you’ve set the stage for how people will think and feel about your brand.
A brand story gives your customers something to talk about.
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing engine. Giving your customers an interesting story encourages them to talk about it. For example, have you heard that Toms gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair you purchase? You have probably heard about that because Toms’ brand story pulls at the heart strings and people like to talk about it.
Memorability is one of the most sought-after features for brands. Paul J. Zak found that stories can increase the cortisol levels in the listener’s brain, making them more likely to remember what they heard. He also found that listening to stories helped participants remember the key points in a presentation. Crafting a compelling brand story will help people care about and remember your brand.
Elements of a great brand story
In order to create the impact you desire, your brand story must be carefully crafted. Here are 4 elements that should be a part of your story.
- A story arc
- Characters your customers will root for
- Relatable content
The most compelling stories follow an arc. Whether it’s overcoming an obstacle, a tale of personal transformation, or an epic journey, we like stories to follow a path to a “new normal.”
Consider your favorite book or movie and you’ll probably find these story components in it. Let’s look at Harry Potter. He begins as an unhappy orphan but discovers he’s a wizard. In each book, he meets obstacles and faces challenges. By the end, he has transformed into an older, wiser, and stronger version of himself. Your brand story may not be as popular as the Harry Potter series, but a well crafted story can inspire emotion and customer loyalty.
Great stories include likeable characters. Consider inventing a customer or using a real one. If your brand origin story is interesting, you can be the main character. If you are passionate about a cause, you can take inspiration from a brand like Toms and feature a recipient of charity. If your brand is environmentally friendly, an animal could serve as your main character.
You want your customers to see themselves in your story. Think about creating a character or story arc that mirrors them. If your product solves a pain point for your customers, expressing the emotions around that experience is a great place to start.
As your character travels along the story arc, think about the emotions you want to evoke. Be specific in your descriptions to paint a picture for people. You can also amplify the character’s personal transformation to speak to our desire to see them succeed.
Brand story inspiration
Here are some ideas to help inspire a direction for your brand story. Try to express why you are passionate about your products and business. Create relatability by sharing your or a customer’s struggles. Will customers relate to your own story of personal transformation? Try weaving it into your brand story. People love a good origin story. Did your company start in an interesting way? Share it in your brand story.
Need more guidance and inspiration?
Learn How to Launch a Beauty Product covers every aspect of starting a beauty business, from creating a solid foundation and getting funding to manufacturing, branding, sales, and marketing. This guided approach keeps you on track and makes the process feel less overwhelming. To learn more about turning your product ideas into reality, sign up for our newsletters and read more about the course here.