We've talked in great detail about the power of storytelling in your branding efforts. In today's competitive marketplace, the most successful advertising campaigns are built around stories. With this in mind, everything that your brand does should relate back to the story that you want to tell.
Stories are so effective because they offer emotional appeal. When it comes down to it, most consumers aren't making purchase decisions based on statistics or cost-benefit analysis. Instead, they purchase from brands that they're able to connect with and relate to on an emotional level, and storytelling is the best way to help you accomplish this.
How to Put Together an Effective Brand Narrative
When you can come up with a well-crafted narrative for your brand, you give your business the ability to increase its overall value. However, the key is being intentional in putting together the right brand narrative.
As you develop the story that you want to tell for your business, we suggest keeping in mind the following guidelines for staying in control of your brand narrative:
1. Be Genuine
If you want your story to resonate with consumers, you need to keep it real. Today's consumers are more informed than ever and can easily sniff out insincerity. When consumers suspect that you're not being true to the story that you're telling, your brand will suffer negative repercussions.
When you're genuine with the story that you tell, you minimize the risk of creating any confusion with the message that you put forth. Staying grounded with your narrative (rather than trying to embellish your story) will allow you to create a more consistent buyer's journey for consumers. Being real and genuine with your story will help to clearly communicate what consumers should expect along the way and keep them connected with your brand at every touchpoint.
2. Keep it Simple
Telling a story that is too complex is one of the most common ways to lose control of your narrative. As brands expand their story across multiple platforms (email marketing, social media, print, etc), they risk creating some inconsistencies in their story, especially if they're trying to tell a complex story.
The more simple your story is, the easier it is for your audience to comprehend. As a rule of thumb, your story should follow a three-step sequence: problem, solution, and success. Deviating from this sequence creates the potential for confusion and loss of control of your narrative. Keeping your story simple will allow consumers to focus on brand's content.
3. Consider the Consumer's Perspective
Before you get carried away with telling your brand's story, take a minute to consider how your story will be received by your consumer. The story that appeals to your brand may not always appeal to your consumer, which is why you must place yourself in your consumers' shoes and consider their perspective.
Considering the consumer's perspective is a useful exercise as it helps you to ensure that your story is relatable. When people can relate to your brand, they'll feel more connected to you, thus helping you to build a base of loyal customers.
4. Offer the Element of Surprise
To keep the story interesting, don't be afraid to leave your audience hanging. Building anticipation offers the element of surprise and encourages consumers to stay engaged in your story. However, it's important that you're careful with the way that you deliver surprise in your brand narrative as too much uncertainty can lead to fear.
The opportunities are endless for your brand to deliver surprise and delight in its story. As a best practice, use the element of surprise to help convey the many possibilities that your business can offer.
5. Embrace Empathy
Similar to the way that being genuine helps to establish a connection, inserting empathy into your story will allow you to tap into consumers' emotions. An example of making an empathetic connection in a story could be a narrative that aligns with a target consumer's values or describes a challenge that the consumer is also facing.
All in all, before you can allow your branding strategy to take off, you must be able to take control of your narrative. The five guidelines outlined above will allow you to craft a compelling story for your brand that will keep you in the driver's seat.
How New York Ave Can Help
Our creative team at New York Ave believes that a brand's narrative is the cornerstone of its overall branding strategy. Every business has a story to tell, and we'd like the opportunity to help you tell yours. We'll take the time to truly understand your business and what you want to accomplish with your branding so that we get the story right.
Contact us at New York Ave to learn more about our unique approach and how we can help you to craft a brand narrative that will resonate with your target audience.