How to Tell a Captivating Brand Story

A woman writes in a spiral notebook with a a coffee mug next to her.

The key to making a brand stand out from the competition is engaging audiences with a captivating story. We’ll use the 8THIRTYFOUR story as an example. Our story has intrigue, drama, adversity, failure, humor – all of the key elements to pull the audience in and keep them on the edge of their seats.
Making a key point with a story is much more powerful than regurgitating a mission statement or other boilerplate content. People connect with stories of human beings, not formulated branding statements. It’s our job as marketers to tell our clients’ stories through words, design, humor and emotion.
Effective storytelling involves a deep understanding of human emotions, motivations, and psychology in order to truly move an audience.
Want to tell amazing stories? Follow these rules.

Define Your Story’s Purpose

You know your story, but before you tell it, you need to know why you’re sharing it. That helps to frame everything you write.
The purpose of the 8THIRTYFOUR story is to showcase that failure is part of everyone’s journey. Failure does not define a company or person. It is simply a stepping stone to the rest of the story. We all fail, we all succeed – it’s how you handle adversity that defines your story.

Create Relatable Characters

The 8THIRTYFOUR story begins with Kim Bode, a rough-around the edges young professional who is convinced there is a better way to run a marketing agency, one that actually benefits the client.
What’s more relatable than a 20-something quitting her safe, reliable and well-paying job to start her own business, especially when it’s much to the chagrin of everyone else? (….and we mean, everyone else.)
Will she make it? Will anyone take a chance hiring an unknown marketer? How will she afford dog food?
Presenting a brand in this way makes people care. It’s a lot more interesting to see if Kim resorts to eating dog food for dinner than it is to read a mission statement.

Share Real Emotions (Good and Bad)

Okay. You have a character and you have a plot. This is when you showcase the adversity, the failure, the crushing defeat that your character went through. For Kim it’s drama in the form of a cheating husband, foreclosure on the 834 home, bankruptcy, the shutting down of a business, and the humiliating experience of working for a verbally abusive boss.
All of these situations play into the audience’s emotions. They make the story real.  It brings a personable nature to the business.
We all know that starting a business isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but no one likes to talk about the bad times. It might be hard, but you have to talk about your struggles for the sake of your brand. Let’s face it: everyone loves a good “overcoming the odds” story.

Share Your Victories

In the end of our story, Kim bounces back a year after she closes her first business, ready to do it all again. Even if she did have to take a break and mend wounds, Kim is going to fulfill her dream, no matter how long it takes.
Fast forward to 2019. 8THIRTYFOUR is now a flourishing firm with top-rated talent and an impressive client roster. Now that’s a happy ending.

Be Brief, Be Memorable, Be Gone

This tip speaks for itself. Don’t be the person that drones on and on and on. You might have a great story, but if it’s too long, no one will read it. Remember to:

  • Relate to the audience.
  • Make a point.
  • Use humor and feelings.
  • Add a plot twist.
  • Conclude with the main point.

Being a great storyteller is about relating to your audience. If it doesn’t resonate, stop talking.
So this is where we shut up.  If you need help telling your story, contact us and let the team at 8THIRTYFOUR tell it for you!

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