How Writing Your Brand Story is a Launching Pad for New Ideas

Aug 31 2016

by Louise Pritchard

©Kathryn McCrary Photography Atlanta Travel Photographer Waiting on Martha-136
photo: Kathryn McCrary for The Southern C and Waiting on Martha

In the second installment of my branding series “Taking Stock: Steps to Making a Reduction Sauce Out of Your Brand and Finding Your “A-Ha” Moment”, I talked about Why your “Why” is so important. To recap, the articulation of your “Why” helps you define your customer experience; it is the core belief of your business and it is Why your business exist. I asked you to distill these thoughts down to a few key words or phrases that communicate your unique brand essence.

Communicating your Why effectively gives energy to your brand. It is contagious and sustainable and builds loyalty. This is where the How comes in. The “How” is the story you build around your Why. If you do not have a story, you are just another commodity. We use the How to demonstrate your uniqueness, outline your points of differentiation and frame your value. I am not talking about a fairy tale but one that helps you stand out and be noticed. It is about building something people care about and want to buy.

The How story is not a catchy tagline that’s posted everywhere but is the foundation of your brand and a strategy for growth. Armed with your key words and phrases from your Why, start to build your story using the following:

  1. Take a notepad and write down your discoveries from your Why. Begin to expand on the Why by adding the past, present and future. Include anecdotes, interesting facts and testimonials that have brought your organization this far. In short, How have you demonstrated your Why from starting your business to How it has evolved and where you see it going.
  2. Like all great stories through history, they must be credible, have emotional appeal and be original.
    • Credible: Your story should include real people, real situations. As much as possible it should show not tell. What is interesting about how your business was founded? How it solves a problem? How it transforms a product, person or experience? How it evolved? How is if different- backed up by facts?
    • Emotional appeal: Be human. Show how your customer experience touches the lives of others. What inspired your business? What words do your customers use to describe your business?
    • Original: Your story should offer a fresh perspective. What is interesting and unique about your company and you and Why is that important? How do you change your customer’s life for the better or put a smile on their face?
  3. Write in a conversational manner but be succinct. Share a great brand story that includes the essence of your brand and is purpose driven and will engage your audience.

One particular Southern C Alumni that I follow on Instagram is @thegracegraffiti. She does a creative job of following the tenets above. Her posts are like reading a story; shots of her using the saw that is used to cut out her designs, shots of working hard to bring her new store space to life and finally the emotional appeal of the little girl with the ballerina cutout with a huge smile on her face. She nailed it. As Libbie Summers @libbiesummers said at the 2016 TSC Summit, “to capture your audience, you need to show them a glance behind the curtain or the lead up to your message.”

In conclusion, your How story i.e. brand story, is the launching pad for new ideas. Everything you do, each element of your business or brand, from social media posts, colors and textures of your packaging, business cards, to the staff you hire should represent your brand story and reflect it back to your audience or target market. You will find that your How story is as important to your team as it is for your customer.

Taking time to perform the simple act of writing your How story will be gratifying, enlightening and I bet, you will discover your “A-Ha” moment.

In the next article, I would like to share some of your experiences in writing your How stories. Let me hear from you.


Louise Pritchard View More Blog Posts from this Author

Louise Pritchard is an experienced professional with progressive leadership roles and a successful track record in cross-industry strategic market development, relationship management and business problem solving
Ms Pritchard brings her creative problem solving and critical thinking approach to each client. Her passion and drive is evident in helping each client to discover the "ah-ha" moment when new ideas and strategies transform their brand strengths into results for their company,
Ms. Pritchard founded Pritchard Volk Consulting, LLC, in 2001 after nearly 30 years in the business arena. Her experiences with FORTUNE Magazine, as Southeast Division Manager, Director of Marketing of Holiday Inn Worldwide, Director of Marketing of Egleston Childrens Hospital and other high level marketing positions helped her form the philosophy and process for her consulting business. She is also an Executive Partner at the Mason School of Business, College of Williams and Mary MBA program.

She is a Auburn University graduate and an avid SEC football fan. With four grown daughters pursuing their careers in various part of the country, she and her husband enjoy their off time visiting them in Charlotte, Savannah, Atlanta and LA.

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4 responses on “How Writing Your Brand Story is a Launching Pad for New Ideas

  1. Dominique Paye

    “As much as possible it should show not tell.” That’s a simple, but powerful line–I know I will be rolling it around in my head for a while! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Tavia

    We are using your series to help us restructure our brand. Thank you so much for taking the time. We are currently working on the “Why” – how do you put it all into just a few phrases? But we’re going to make it happen. I can’t wait to get to the “A-Ha” moment!

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