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How to create a compelling brand story

All the world’s most successful brands have brand stories – and they will tell potential customers who they are and what they stand for.

He’s an Eastern European meerkat, who gets around in a silk smoking jacket, and seems the unlikely marketing hero of a website that allows users to compare deals offered by energy, insurance and travel companies. But if you don’t immediately recognise Aleksandr Orlov, his catchphrase “Simples!” has most likely at some point been stuck in your head.

Jump onto the Compare the Market website and you get a fuller picture of who Aleksandr is. The functionality of the website is surrounded by little snippets of Aleksandr’s life. There’s a portrait of him lining up to kick a goal on the football field; one of him dressed as volunteer firefighter; even a shot of him directing a movie in the desert (is there no end to his talents?)

Dive a little deeper into the website and you’ll find Aleksandr downloadable colouring pages, ringtones, and wallpaper. The meerkat even has his own blog!

Aleksandr has a story to tell, and it’s weird and wonderful. It’s also a story about the ‘Compare the Meerkat’ brand.

The Simples marketing campaign is a brand story that tells customers through words, images and videos exactly what the company provides (an easy way to get a good deal on life’s admin), and what they value (humour, customer experience), all wrapped up in an attention-grabbing and memorable way.

All the world’s most successful brands have brand stories. They may not have an obvious hero like Aleksandr, they may not be humorous, and they may not have a catchy jingle – but they will, at a glance, tell potential customers who they are and what they stand for.

Here’s how to develop your own brand story.

What is a brand story?

Your brand story is the story of your business – more specifically, the story of your business from the point of view of your potential customers.

It’s the story of who you are, what you care about, and how your product or service improves the lives of your customers.

In marketing, brand stories are told by the words on your website, social media and advertising, as well as other promotional activities, such as in-store events.

They are enhanced by brand elements such as brand colour, paper stock, design elements within the store, and the people you hire to interact with customers.

All these marketing elements come together to build your brand story.

How to create a compelling brand story

Like all narratives, creating a compelling brand story starts with developing the groundwork. Here’s how you can get started with creating yours:

Highlight your brand’s values

Every memorable story starts with values. What does the protagonist stand for? What do they care about? What do they strive for?

Deep customer engagement comes from deep customer connections. Customer loyalty is created when customers feel their own values and principles are aligned with a brand’s – so the first step is to clearly understand what your brand’s values are and exploring the way in which you can convey them.

Before you start, it’s important to be clear about your brand’s vision, mission and values.

Develop a distinct tone of voice

Tone of voice is the personality a business creates to communicate with its target audience. It’s the language you use in your social media, as well as printed communications; the way in which you respond to customers in live chat.

A brand’s tone of voice needs to be developed to appeal to their particular audience, and it speaks to your brand’s values and purpose.

Aleksandr, for example, illustrates Compare the Meerkat’s humour and love of life (and a good deal).

Appeal to emotions

Businesses too often shy away from emotion, believing it makes them appear unprofessional.

In doing so, though, they can actually weaken their brand. Customers don’t connect with stoic, lifeless brands; people want to do business with other people, not cold and faceless companies.

Show your customers what you care about. Use powerful language; appeal to their own emotions; paint pictures using emotive language. In doing so, your brand will become memorable and deeper connections will be formed.

Be consistent

In marketing, wishy-washy doesn’t stick. Confused or weak brand stories rarely get traction and always result in missed opportunities. In fact, we’ve spoken before about how ad hoc marketing can negatively impact your business.

Make sure every piece of your marketing material aligns with your brand story – using the same tone of voice, consistent characters, and strong repeated marketing messages.

Say it with images and videos

They say a picture tells a thousand words. Videos tell millions.

Images and videos are a powerful way to convey messages, which is why they are used so often in marketing. In this digital age, there are many reasons why marketers choose images and videos.

In a crowded marketplace, an image can catch attention and videos offer a great way to engage the senses. Really memorable images and videos are also shared widely on social media.

Videos and images that strongly convey your brand story can have an enormous impact on your brand development.

Speak to the marketing experts

When it comes to developing a compelling brand story, there are lots of factors to take into consideration, including a strategic communications approach.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, and we’re experts in creating and delivering brand stories that build brands and grow businesses.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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