Storytelling is a great way to smuggle out a message that people will remember and pass on.
This hasn’t escaped the notice of businesses who increasingly talk in reverential tones about the importance of communicating their ‘brand story’.
But, what exactly is a brand story?
I would argue it’s the point at which your customer starts to care - the point at which they see something of themselves in what you’re doing.
As with all stories, the best ones are simple and follow a classic pattern.
James Watt’s book Business for Punks is at one level a practical guide for entrepreneurs, but it’s also a tale of how having a single-minded mission allowed Brewdog to ‘overcome the monster’ and disrupt a long-established industry. As a business book it works because the reader - a fellow business owner - feels empathy with the protagonist and wants him to succeed in his quest.
But too many brands fall into the trap of telling their story solely from their point of view. Using worthy language they talk about having some almost messianic purpose. They use words that no-one can disagree with but which no-one will remember.
As a customer, I’ll pay most attention to those brands who understand my story and who will help me overcome my monsters.
The best brand stories are built around this insight.