Brand stories are so important. Stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts. So if you have a brand, you need a story. Otherwise, your company is just white noise. And let me tell you, nobody listens to white noise – unless they’re an infant who needs it to fall asleep to.
Here’s why they matter:
• Brand stories explain why you exist and why you matter.
• They allow you to engage your audience.
• They connect you to your target customer. Brand stories show the real people and values behind your products.
• Best of all brand stories can max your lead generation.
Defining your brand story means you can start to distill the essence of your brand, and what it is you’re all about. That’s where the brand magic starts to happen.
So what comes first? The brand or the brand story?
Some companies and clients I work with already have the brand story sorted. And that’s great. The whole epiphany of why they decided to make their business in the first place can often form the basis of a relatable and engaging story. When this happens it’s up to me to refine it and tell that story in a way that’s exciting, on message and on target.
Other companies I’ve worked with have their vision and big idea but have a dull-as-dishwater brand story that couldn’t hold any one’s interest for long – not even their mum’s. In those cases, it’s up to me as the copywriter to sort out the story and find the angle that’s going to appeal to their audience most, then craft a narrative that’ll resonate.
Here are some of my favourite brand stories of late:
I’m admittedly one of those geeks that reads every single advert that’s placed in front of me. I’m always analysing to see which brands have done something clever and who’s fallen short of the mark. I discovered MoveBubble via their tube ads – they position themselves as London’s No.1 property rental app. And their brand story and message is simple. In fact their brand story is so concise it’s pretty incredible. Their slogan ‘Doing it for the renters’ insinuates a lot of their brand story before you’ve even got round to reading it.
Set up by Adrian and Petri after experiencing some terrible renting challenges they were inspired to make navigating the rental market easier. Their story is straightforward and it brilliantly puts all the focus on the end user, which means their target audience will feel understood and in safe hands. Check it out in situ here. Or head straight to their Seedrs video to find out more. Good luck to these guys. They know what they’re doing.
Now onto a totally different vibe. Gandy’s brand story is one that really gets you, right in the sweet spot. It’s human. It’s real. It’s relatable and it’s authentic. It’s also deeply tragic and incredibly life-affirming. In fact the best thing about it is that it doesn’t feel like a brand story. Rather it is the story of the brand.
If you don’t already know who Gandys are, you’re going to love them. They make durable and stylish bags, clothes and accessories that are inspired by world travel. Their story centres on the founders, Rob and Paul, who lost their parents in the 2004 tsunami while traveling the world together with them and their two younger siblings. This tragedy gave them the idea to create a company that embraces a bohemian lifestyle and aesthetic while benefiting orphans. Now they donate 10% of their profits to the Orphans For Orphans foundation. It’s a story that’s powerful and memorable.
Bloomon are a flower subscription service that hails from Amsterdam. There are a few flower services like this around, but Bloomon’s About Us page positions their brand story in such a way that you can’t help but feel these guys are well deserving of your custom. They’ve really gone into depth about their story so far, touching on each founder and their vision for the flower industry. And although most people won’t read the whole of it, the audience takeaway is that Bloomon knows flowers intimately and isn’t afraid to shake things up. The underlying message is that Bloomon have mastered the art of sending flowers and spreading joy. So what’s not to love?
The Milky Tee Company
The Milky Tee Company make easy to wear breastfeeding t-shirts that have a concealed zip on each side so you can simply pull your t-shirt open to express or feed. They’re super stylish and utterly genius so thank goodness founder Lauren Hampshire had the brainwave to come up with this idea. I work with a lot of start-up companies as well as more established brands and it’s always interesting to see how startups tell their stories.
I like how the brand combines Lauren’s own words and breastfeeding experiences with the backstory about how the company was conceived. It combines a professional approach with a relateable firsthand account of breastfeeding challenges which the target audience will be able to relate to. The Milky Tee Company comes across as professional, considered and relevant. It’s that last word, ‘relevant’, that’s the true brand story sweet spot.
The Pampelone brand story is written in a sophisticated and elegant tone of voice and conveys both the fashion authority of founder Holly Scarsella with the French Riveria inspiration behind her clothing line. It’s short and sweet and gives exactly the right information to position Pampelone as a premium brand with roots in St Tropez.
There are loads more great brands with strong brand stories out there. AirBnB, TOMS, Innocent, Liz Earle. I wanted to give you a mix of brands from different industries with different angles and approaches. There’s no one-size-fits-all brand story template because each story has to be true to its audience, values and narrative.
Ursula Brunetti is a Creative Copywriter based in London, UK. To discuss your project needs please contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org.