There is considerable power in a brand narrative, as a brand building strategy for aligning stakeholders and creating consistent messaging. In my experience, a good brand narrative is the superior force multiplier – and storytelling branding is profoundly influential. This is because people naturally want to be part of something bigger, they want to matter, and they want their lives to have meaning. Most of all, they want to become part of a gripping narrative. Allowing stakeholders, employees, and even consumers to become part of that brand narrative is the secret to success.
“In fact, every corporate brand has its story. Because stories are such potent communication tools, telling the story of the business brand can be a significant and meaningful way to relate the company to its stakeholders.” (Hatch & Schultz, 2003). With a consistent and compelling brand narrative, employees become ambassadors for your brand and products; stakeholders promote them, earned media becomes easier to earn and, perhaps most importantly, you can create buzz within the industry and target audiences. And it’s as easy as telling a story.
Brand Building Strategy
A simple way to think of your brand is to understand that it is the story of your business. Storytelling branding is about the history of your business, it’s about you as a protagonist, it’s about the evils you battle in this world, and it’s about the gang of people you hang out with and why. How you tell, and retell this story defines what your business is as surely as telling yourself, will help to make it so. We all live our stories – and your business is no different.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association included a brief story about their brand in their brand book. It covers their unique story, their reason for being. It sets the tone for the rest of their brand book. And in the space of a short paragraph, explains where they have been and where they are going.
The story of Skype, however, clearly articulates both their history and their unique position, while also introducing the reader to their unique brand voice, which is casual, humorous, enlightened and utterly, completely Skype’s own.
When you’re thinking about creating your brand book, focus on what the story of your business is. What is the great journey your business is undertaking? What are the interesting details of the story? Why is the world better because your company came along?