STEP THREE: YOUR STORY
The third step is about defining what makes your brand/offering unique, or what I like to call – ‘Your Story.’
Why Develop a Story?
The goal of developing a story is to gain a deeper understanding of what makes your brand and product unique. Keeping focused on what makes your brand unique will also align your business with sustainability in the market. Ask yourself, why would anyone buy your product versus the competition or versus not purchasing anything at all? Every marketer needs to be able to rattle this off in seconds if someone asks. The problem is, most cannot. Whatever the reason(s), whether it be a high quality product, better service, added value through advice, etc. you need to define at least one that you can hang your hat on.
To develop your story, you need to create a full picture of your brand, which involves where you’ve been, what you do and where you want to go. This begins at the purely rational and moves into emotional and aspirational. Every brand will sit at different places in this spectrum, but in the majority of cases, you will want to continue to deepen the emotional connection people have with your brand, ultimately leading to stronger loyalty and love for your brand. And don’t we all want that?
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR STORY
- What Is The History Of Your Brand?
If you have a well-established brand, there is likely a long history of key events that have helped it get to where it is today. Don’t walk away from the equity of a strong heritage.
Everyone has their own unique story in life, take advantage of this and weave it into your brand story.
- What Do You Physically Sell?
Not much explanation needed here. What is the actual product or service that you provide? Be sure to highlight the different types of products and services you offer along with any key features.
- What Benefit Do You Sell?
What is the benefit of your product or service? As discussed in Step 2, try and think about this from both a rational and emotional point of view. Emotional benefits often provide much better inspiration for great stories.
- What Makes Your Brand Unique?
From the history, features and benefits identified in the previous steps, which are unique to your brand? You might have better quality than a competitor, you might have a better known and trusted brand than others. Narrow it down and select the features/attributes/benefits that make your brand awesome.
- What Does Your Brand Aspire To?
To create a truly great and beloved brand, you need to stand for and reach for something bigger. This should be aspirational and keep you striving to be better (i.e.: points you in the right direction, but might always be just out of reach). The simpler and more concise you make this, the better. For example, Google’s is “Don’t be Evil” along with a mission to organize and provide access to the world’s information. Whatever you write down make sure it inspires you, the people you work with and your customers.
- What’s Your Brand Personality?
Finally, define the tone of your brand as though it is a person, instead of a faceless robot. This is crucial for all of your communications, but especially important in social media as you or someone in your company will be interacting with people online on a daily basis. Try and use very descriptive adjectives as though are describing someone that you know.