If you have ever wondered how you can stand out even in the most crowded niche, starting with a brand narrative can make all the difference. Every single brand has a story to tell. Big brands have learned how to use their story to create a unique image that appeals to customers. You don’t have to be a big brand to see the benefit of having a narrative in place, however. Even the smallest of brands have the power to leverage this story.
To show you how powerful this can be, let’s consider a brand such as The Body Shop to see how they use their brand narrative to connect with their target audience. When you think about this brand, the things that most likely to come to mind are natural ingredients, fair trade sourcing and sustainability. The Body Shop’s narrative is tied deeply to eco-friendly farming. On almost all of their products, you will usually see a sticker or label stating that the core ingredient has been sourced from a local farm or supplier. On their website and marketing material, you will see messages stating that they are passionate about making a difference to the planet. On social media, you may see them sharing petitions on banning animal testing. As a brand, they seem to be living their ethos of sustainability.
What you may not know is that for many years, The Body Shop was owned by L’Oreal – a notoriously large company known for cosmetic testing and other less than sustainable practices. Even since the company was bought out, they have not achieved cruelty-free certification from any accredited organisation such as Beauty Without Cruelty or Leaping Bunny. It is also worth noting that there are often just as many chemicals in their products as any conventional product, even if some ingredients are naturally-derived.
Despite this, The Body Shop still manages to present a brand narrative that is rooted in sustainable practices, cruelty-free products and natural ingredients.
How a Brand Narrative Helps Your Business
Luckily, most brands do not have to resort to a fluffed brand narrative. An authentic narrative offers far more value, especially to smaller brands trying to carve a niche in a busy market. Here are some of the ways that a brand narrative can help you stand out:
It gives your brand a voice.
One of the biggest advantages to owning your narrative is that it gives your brand a voice. If you can tell people what you stand for, you have the power to let your brand speak volumes. You may have a launch story that is crucial to your success. You may have an ethos that speaks to your integrity. You may want to share your stories about your team, who play an integral role in your business. Having a story helps you find your voice and celebrate the thing that makes your brand unique.
It helps you connect with your audience.
Everyone loves a good story. The baker who ended up baking a cake for a celebrity. The fashion designer who used to make clothes for her dolls. The illustrator who won drawing competitions throughout primary and high school. Stories like these make brands seem more human. This, in turn, makes it easier to connect with your audience on a deeper level. As a customer, you would feel far more likely to trust a brand that has a human side than you would a brand who is faceless and devoid of personality.
It helps you stand out from competitors.
Having a brand story can also help you position yourself, even in a crowded market. When the story is genuine and backed by consistent service and quality, the result is a brand that quickly has the power to gain a loyal following. Over time, loyal customers develop into brand evangelists who are always ready to sing your praises from the rooftops. Compare this to a similar business that has not established their narrative or set themselves aside in any way.
It shows your human side.
At the end of the day, people relate best to people, not businesses. In today’s cutthroat world, it is all too easy to see brands as soulless entities that do not have even the slightest humanity remaining. When your brand lacks personality, it becomes far harder for people to relate to you in any way. When you show your human side, you are also showing your audience that you are authentic.
It improves your overall image.
Finally, a narrative can also tie your overall brand together in a way that is cohesive and streamlined. Brands that have a flawless image across every channel stand out for all the right reasons. When your narrative is integrated across your blog, website, mailers and social pages, you will appear polished, organised and professional. This is excellent for your image.
It goes without saying that the best way to benefit from your brand story is to keep it real. If you are not being honest with yourself or your audience, this narrative will be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. To find out more about how you can craft a powerful brand narrative, get in touch with me today and let’s show the world how much you rock.