Regardless of the nature of your product or service, you will have competitors in the marketplace. It’s just a fact of doing business. When customers are shopping online, one of the key things they look for is authenticity. They want to know who you are and what you stand for, as this gives them an idea of what to expect from you. Crafting a compelling brand story goes a long way toward accomplishing this.
Know Your Audience
You’ve heard it said a countless number of times—because it is absolutely true: “The first rule of public speaking is ‘know your audience.’” Just as a logo creator should consider the customer first to make the symbol of your business relatable, it’s also important to understand your customer when you tell your story.
You’ll have to write your story in a conversational manner if you’re going to get through to them. To achieve this, you have to know as much about your customer as possible. What is their gender identity? How much education to they have? How old are they? How do they communicate with their peers?
Understanding these traits will give you the ability to address your readers in a way that resonates with them.
Begin at the Beginning
Odds are, you started your business because you saw an opportunity to provide something people needed in a way it wasn’t being provided before.
How did you see it and what compelled you to do something about it?
This is the basis of your brand story.
Consider the story of the eyewear company Warby Parker;
“Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining.
Turns out, the eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.
We started Warby Parker to create an alternative.
We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe everyone has the right to see.”
This story puts you solidly on their side—even if you don’t need eyewear. When you learn they also donate one pair of glasses to someone who can’t afford them for every pair they sell, you feel even better about doing business with them.
Focus on the Reader
Did you notice how the Warby Parker story highlighted the benefits customers would derive from shopping with them? Even though it was told from their perspective, the narrative kept the reader in mind. Similarly, you’ll want to avoid making your story read in a self-serving manner. Yes, it’s your story; but tell it in a way that leaves the reader feeling it’s really about them.
Look for instances of “I, me and my” when you complete what you feel is a solid draft. Do they come across as self-important? Have other people review the manuscript looking for similar instances. Go back and rework them to be about the reader when they’re spotted. Remember, shoppers are usually asking “What’s in it for me?”
When you’re crafting your brand story, the more you can do to make it about customers, the more likely you are to endear yourself to them.