Business Branding: Story, Story, Story

Stories are rivers of meaning. We have seen how even famous business brands that have been adored for decades have lost their story lines and become commoditized—simply because in the shuffle of pricing, promotion, distribution and other matters, they lost their brand narrative.

People find meaning in stories. If you don’t tell your brand story, by default others will tell it for you—whether the ‘others’ are customers, consumers, or competitors. And you might not like what they say.

Brand story creates meaning. Despite the finest features and benefits in the world, without a brand narrative people will not be able to give your products meaning.

And if you don’t mean anything, how can buyers prefer you over other competitors and stock you on store shelves? How can consumers desire you enough to buy you over competitor brands—or, worse, over the jeering cries of their peers?

Our brains are hard-wired to find meaning in stories. Therefore, every savvy marketer’s first piece of business is to deconstruct the brand narrative into its movable parts, and nudge the consumer gently along the path from “Who cares?” to “I care!”.

Those movable parts include: creation story, creed, icons, rituals, special lexicon, nonbelievers, and leader that together form narrative.

Second, find out what makes your brand zealots desire you and stick with you. Then use those insights to make you a part of the conversation through today’s interlocking communications gridwork: social media, product styling, out of home, point of sale, PR, internal employee communications, annual reports, brand experiences, YouTube videos, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and more.

Tell your brand story so that it becomes meaningful, relevant, resonant, authentic, and differentiated all over again. What’s your story?