I have created a fool-proof method for building your brand story. It does need you to do some homework before you get started. For this, you will need your brand positioning statement, consumer insights and enemies, your brand’s big idea, your brand purpose and your brand values. If you have built up a brand concept, you should be able to take that concept into a brand story.
However, only a fool would start their brand story with a blank piece of paper. You will likely end up with a randomized chance at success.
Gather enough ammunition to build a brand story
You can take your brand’s big idea, positioning statement, brand purpose, and values to tell your brand story.
- Start with the headline by turning your brand’s big idea into a promise statement that summarizes what you want to stand for
- Match up your brand purpose to the consumer insights to show why it matters.
- Use your brand’s core belief as a means to connect and layer in what you do to support that belief
- Explain what makes your brand different, and use claims that support your difference
- Tell your consumers how you want to connect with your them, and the promise you will make to them.
- Use the Big Idea to summarize your brand story
It starts with doing the homework of your Brand Positioning Statement
Most of the meat of a good concept comes from the work you do with a positioning statement. Make sure you go deep to understand who you are selling to and what you are selling. Brand Positioning Statements give the most useful function of taking everything you know about your brand, everything that could be said about the consumer and making choices to pick one target that you’ll serve and one brand promise you will stand behind.
To read more on brand positioning click on this link:
Build a big idea that summarizes the brand promise
Once you have a brand positioning statement, you need to figure your brand’s big idea. There is value in turning your positioning into a 7-second pitch.
Turn your brand positioning and big idea into a brand concept
Too many brand leaders write elaborate concepts that include everything. In reality, you won’t be able to execute everything. There’s no value in getting a brand concept to pass a test and then be unable to execute: narrow it down to one simple benefit and 2 RTBs.(reasons to believe) Looking at the example below, taking the information from the brand concept from above using Gray’s Cookies, here’s how to map it into a concept.
- The main headline should capture the Big Idea of your brand. The headline will be the first thing consumers see, influencing how they will engage with the concept.
- Start every concept with a consumer insight (connection point) or consumer enemy (pain point). If you can captivate the consumer to make them stop and think, “That’s exactly how I feel,” they will be more engaged with your concept. The enemy or insight must set up the brand promise.
- The promise statement must bring the main benefit to life, with a balance of emotional and functional benefits. For Gray’s, I combined the ‘great taste’ functional benefit and ‘stay in control’ emotional benefit.
- Support points should close off any gaps consumers may have after reading the main benefit. An emotional benefit may require functional support to cover off any doubt created in the consumer’s mind.
- Complete the concept with a motivating call-to-action to prompt the consumer’s purchase intent which is a major part of concept testing.
- Adding a supporting visual that fits is optional
To go deeper on the brand concept, click here.
From your strategic plan, take your brand purpose
Every brand should have a 5-year plan, and every 5-year plan should have a good discussion of your brand purpose and the values, beliefs, and motivations that support that purpose.
While the diagram above looks rather crazy at first, this is a great tool for finding your brand’s purpose. This is a complex Venn diagram with four major factors, that matches up what the consumer wants, the core values that can steer your team that works behind the scenes of the brand, loving what you do and the ability to build a successful brand and business. Find your brand purpose, at the intersection of your meeting consumer needs, fulfilling your personal passion, standing behind your values, success, and consumers. The reason I love this crazy Venn diagram is that the intersection of these four circles helps to crystallize the four things you need to do to use build a create a beloved brand.
1. Focus on building a tight relationship with consumers
The best brands know their consumers as well as you know your brand. Use consumer insights, enemies, and needs. Build your brand plan and positioning around consumer benefits—what they get and how it makes them feel. Ask yourself, how do you describe your ideal relationship with your consumers?
2. Build around a unique, own-able and motivating big idea
The big idea is what consumers connect with first. The big idea then builds a bond as each touch-point to help deliver that big idea. Use the big idea to organize everything those working on the brand should do to deliver the benefit to your consumers—through the brand promise, story, innovation, the purchase moment and consumer experience. Behind the big idea are the elements of the brand positioning. What is the Big Idea of the brand that should inspire everyone who works behind the scenes of the brand?
3. Inspire a values-driven culture to deliver happy experiences
The culture of the organization must steer the people who will deliver the experience. Your people become the face of the brand, as they deliver happy experiences that satisfy your consumers. Your people will be a major source of creating loyalty with consumers. What are the core beliefs of the brand that shape the organization as to the standards, behaviors, expectations?
4. Use exceptional execution to become your consumer’s favorite brand
What separates good from great is the passion your people put into the work that reaches consumers. Whether it is your advertising, innovation, sales or the consumer experience you create, I believe that “I love it” is the highest bar for great work. You should create a culture where people never settle for OK when greatness is attainable. What is it that makes someone who works on your brand push themselves beyond the job, to deliver exceptional execution?
Here’s an example of how the model comes together to find your brand’s purpose.
Once you have the purpose outlined, we urge brands to add your brand’s values and beliefs that support that purpose. What are the core beliefs of the brand that shape the organization as to the standards, behaviors, expectations? The values are the backbone of the organization. The brand can never go against a value. And the must be able to stand up to and consistently deliver each value. Take it a step further with motivations and inspirations. What are the needs and desires that inspires those who work behind the brand? the motivations are the fuel to the energy of the organization. The brand must stimulate the brand’s people to take actions beyond the norms of work, where it becomes a passion.
Here are the values for Gray’s Cookies.
Here’s how it all comes together
Taken all the homework into account, here are a few examples of how the brand story comes together. This is an example you can use for a consumer-driven brand:
Keep in mind, this is strategic writing and an ideal strategic structure. To really enhance your story at the next level, hire a copywriter that can really bring it to life.
Here’s an example of a brand story for a B2B business:
And here is an example of a brand story for a healthcare brand
Once you have the comfort of your brand story, you can take these elements into other communication vehicles. One great tool for driving the culture is a brand credo document. Here’s an example of how that comes together.
To learn more about this type of thinking, you should explore my new book, Beloved Brands.
With Beloved Brands, you will learn everything you need to know so you can build a brand that your consumers will love.
You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a brand plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution and analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.
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Beloved Brands: Who are we?
At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profitability you will realize in the future.
We think the best solutions are likely inside you already, but struggle to come out. Our unique playbook tools are the backbone of our workshops. We bring our challenging voice to help you make decisions and refine every potential idea.
We start by defining a brand positioning statement, outlining the desired target, consumer benefits and support points the brand will stand behind. And then, we build a brand idea that is simple and unique enough to stand out in the clutter of the market, motivating enough to get consumers to engage, buy and build a loyal following with your brand.
We will help you write a strategic brand plan for the future, to get everyone in your organization to follow. It starts with an inspiring vision that pushes your team to imagine a brighter future. We use our strategic thinking tools to help you make strategic choices on where to allocate your brand’s limited resources.
Our brand playbook methodology will challenge you to unlock future growth for your brand
- Our deep-dive assessment process will give you the knowledge of the issues facing your brand, so you can build a smart plan to unleash future growth.
- Find a winning brand positioning statement that motivates consumers to buy, and gives you a competitive advantage to drive future growth.
- Create a brand idea to capture the minds and hearts of consumers, while inspiring and focusing your team to deliver greatness on the brand’s behalf.
- Build a brand plan to help you make smart focused decisions, so you can organize, steer, and inspire your team towards higher growth.
- Advise on advertising, to find creative that drives branded breakthrough and use a motivating messaging to set up long-term brand growth.
- Our brand training program will make your brand leaders smarter, so you have added confidence in their performance to drive brand growth.
To learn more about our coaching, click on this link: Beloved Brands Strategic Coaching
To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training
If you need our help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 416 885 3911
You have my personal promise to help you solve your brand building challenges. I will give you new thinking, so you can unlock future growth for your brand.
Founder and CMO, Beloved Brands Inc.