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  • Dr. Sharon Livingston

HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR BRAND STORY




A brand story is made up of all that you are and all that you do. From the company’s history, mission, inspiration, goals, products, services, marketing and audience, it’s why you exist. It’s even more important when your organization has more than one offering.

Your story is the people, places, and ideas that your company thrives on. It’s the foundation that keeps a brand going and growing. It’s a blend of those core pieces of information about your business — how you came to be, why your products or services are special, what you’re passionate about, your company culture, how you make people’s lives better, and why people would want to do business with your company.

What is Your Brand Essence?

Before you can tell your Brand Story you need to identify the essence of your brand, your company, your work environment. It’s the single element that flows through all of your communication, products and services and marketing and your corporate culture. It speaks to all of your stakeholders authentically and consistently.

We all have an emotional connection with brands. I’m sure you can think of at least one brand that stands out as one you feel attached to. Even if you’re not a brand fanatic (like many Apple users), then ask yourself a question: What one brand do I use, where the alternative just won’t cut it? Or will at least be disappointing.

Maybe it’s your iPhone, your Converse trainers, your Scope mouthwash, your Diesel Jeans, your Mac, your Johnson’s Baby Lotion, your Band Aid® bandages, or something that’s even more specific to who you are.

Whatever the brand, your connection with it goes beyond features and functional benefits to a core connection that symbolizes everything about it - including your relationship with the brand. The most powerful brands create an emotional bond with you, through their essential strategies that guide all marketing and communication aspects.

The most successful brands are the ones that tell a compelling story that sets up an ongoing relationship with their consumers. They do that by telling a consistent story that speaks to a critical consumer need. That need differs from category to category/product to product.

Brands with no emotional connections with their audience are traded like commodities and as such, are immediately replaced when better or novelty options become available. Brands that make emotional connections foster brand loyalty as well as the holy grail of branding, brand advocacy.

“While we like to think that we make logical decisions in purchase and daily life, we actually make quick decisions based on emotional needs and then justify with logic.” [Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahnemann]

Making these connections is not just a case of plucking a handful of traits you believe your audience admires. What it does is help you assess your goals, your mission, your purpose and your essential difference in the world.

Dr. Sharon Livingston