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Writing your brand story? 4 elements you need first

So, you want to share your brand story… A human story that grabs people by their hearts, as well as their minds! Here are four elements you need to figure out first, so your brand story can connect with people on a deeper level.

Let’s pretend…

You’re a movie director, and you’ve been asked to direct an upcoming Hollywood film. (Nice!)

You sit down with the production team to learn what the story is all about.

“Well, funny thing,” the producers tell you. “We’re a little hazy on the details. We haven’t exactly figured out the premise, the plot, the main characters or the type of movie we’re making.

“But we have some ideas in our head! It could be a story about a rebel who has an important cause. Or, it could be a comedy about the guy next door.

“You can turn this into a compelling story, right?”

Houston, we have a problem.

From time to time, I get similar types of requests. Companies ask me to tell their brand story through their website content, but they want me to jump directly into the writing process without having a strategy behind it.

Can a good web copywriter help you write effective website content?


But if you’re trying to create a deeper, more profitable connection with your brand, you need some strategic elements in place first.

Film strip #1: Your brand story needs a clear premise.

#1: Your story needs a clear premise.

Think of your premise as your company’s leadership position.

In a couple of words, what do you do better than your competitors in your market? It should be something that really matters to your ideal customers. (Just sayin!)

Are you the best at innovative solutions? Speedy delivery? Compassionate service? Or something else?

We don’t want to pull your leadership position out of thin air. Ideally, it should be based on input from your customers and team, plus some evaluation of your competitors.

Film strip #2: Your brand story needs characters -- aka, your ideal customers.

#2: You need characters.

When it comes to your brand story, I’m talking about your ideal customers: the people or companies you’re trying to engage on a deeper level.

You’re off to a great start if you know you’re targeting “wealthy homeowners,” “market research departments” or “moms who have children in elementary school.”

But just like an actor figuring out a character, it’s important to dig deeper. We want to get into their psychological motivations. For example:

  • What’s their personality?
  • What do they value?
  • What keeps them awake at night?

It’s great to write your thoughts down, so everyone on your team is in agreement. Everyone — including your writer — knows exactly whom you want to appeal to!

Film strip #3: Your brand story needs a plot (known as your value proposition).

#3: Your brand story needs a plot.

Your plot is your “value proposition.”

That’s a fancy way of saying it’s what you offer to your customers that’s special — along with the three or four reasons that customers should believe you. You’re going to use these elements over and over as your main story line.

Notice I didn’t say the 10 reasons your customers should believe your company is special. We aren’t telling the story of Tolstoy’s War and Peace here! We want your brand story to be super focused, so you can make a lasting impression in people’s minds.

Film strip #4: Your brand story needs some human elements, such as your values and personality.

#4: You need to decide what kind of story you want to tell. Do you want to thrill, entertain, educate, mystify or care for people?

Think about brands such as Southwest Airlines, Coca-Cola and Harley Davidson. Have you ever noticed these brands really know how to relate to people?

This isn’t by accident. It’s their strategy. They’ve taken the time to define these human elements of their brand, so they can create a deeper connection with their buyers.

If you have important marketing content you need written…

I’m happy to explore writing it for you.

But if you’re really serious about creating a deeper connection with your brand, let’s make sure you have your strategy in place first. It’s the best way to get your return on investment.

Is your brand story missing something?

Let’s chat.

To learn how I work with my clients, check out my brand marketing services.

It’s time to shine!