What’s your brand story? Storytelling is a timeless tradition our ancestors used to pass down truths, myths and traditions through the years. It is an impactful craft for strengthening your customer engagement. And it’s a vital extension of your brand and a great tool for creating and retaining brand advocates.
If you are new to the scene, here are some guidelines on how to start developing your brand story. And for established companies, take a second look and be sure your story has all the necessities. Good stories can strengthen your brand, engage your customers, and inspire your partners.
Who: Every business has one mastermind behind the whole operation. Or maybe there’s a group of folks that conceived your enterprise. Whichever the case, be sure to say who had the idea. A photo of the founder in action will speak volumes as well.
Two Leaves and a Bud great job of communicating founder Richard Rosendfeld’s story and how he saw a need and made it his mission to fill it.
“Founded in 2005, two leaves tea company™ began with a journey. Founder Richard Rosenfeld travelled the world on business, where meetings are synonymous with amazingly flavorful cups of tea. After returning to the states, Richard looked everywhere for a good cuppa’ tea…but had a hard time finding one.”
When: This can be as simple as when the company started or a more detailed timeline highlighting significant changes in your organization’s history. Established companies will have many milestones recorded. But if you are new to the scene your accomplishments are still important to share. Letting customers/partners know, encourages them to celebrate your success too.
Grinder manufacturer Mahlkoenig has a rich history. They feature it on their website with photos and stories about the original machines and how they evolved.
Iced Coffee and Chai company Big Train also does a great job telling customers ‘when?’.
“The name Big Train was chosen by the founding partners in 1991…For over 20 years, Big Train has established itself…In February, 2013, Kerry announced the acquisition of Big Train”
Where: Where is your store, company, factory located? You may have several locations but every company needs to have a home base. Be sure to let your customers now your ‘birthplace’. If your origin is a small town it’s okay to associate with the closest biggest city or align with the region. But it may be more intriguing to stick with your small town.
For almost forty years culinary mecca, Southern Season had one store in Chapel Hill, NC. In the past few years they’ve opened three new locations, with the most recent being in our hometown Raleigh, NC.
How: Your brand story should include how you got started and how you came to be what you are today (which could be the same as when you started). How your goods are made (without giving away trade secrets of course). Or how you provide the service you do.
David Rio started as one of many products in a Japanese language catalog. The company, still run by founders Scott and Rio, achieves success through its perpetual commitment to customers, employees, vendors and creditors. Now they are one of America’s premier chai brands.
Why: This is your mission statement or your core values. “Why?” could change as your company develops and grows so be sure to update it when necessary.
Great Harvest Bread Co. in Greenville, NC uses the walls of their stores to help communicate their brand story. Shop owners, Gregg and Kim Green “have a passion for ministry, service, fellowship and great food.”
Here at Stockton Graham & Co our obsession is blending the art and business of coffee. We haven’t always been a specialty coffee roaster and wholesale beverage company. Seeking the American dream of becoming entrepreneurs, our founders thought the Raleigh market was ready for a coffee house concept that offered high quality coffees, and handcrafted espresso drinks in a comforting atmosphere. Read more about how we became who we are today.
Storytelling is an age-old concept that brings people together, keeps them engaged, and builds trust. It might take some time for you to cultivate this story. But when you do, get other people to help you tell it. Make sure every member of your staff knows the brand story, so they can share it with your customers. Get your team together and make sure they know your who, when, where, how and why. Have them take turns practicing telling it with excitement and passion. Following these basic guidelines will get your storytelling efforts rolling, engaging your customers and converting them to brand advocates.