BRAND STORY CHECKLIST
Struggling to define your brand story?
To help you define your brand story, we created a simple 6-step formula. This formula came about from our own experiences but also out of our own need to understand the brand stories we write about in ESTILA. We found that brands have amazing products and services but their stories are sometimes very weak. They focus too much on the product’s benefits (WHAT) rather than the story (WHY, HOW AND WHO). Don’t be one of them. Move with the times and define your brand story correctly.
6 STEP FORMULA
Your brand story starts actually way before you created it. A trigger is an event that has a profound impact on your way of thinking and changing your mindset. An “open my eyes” moment, you start seeing things differently. You start noticing things around you that no one else is bothered about. While you seek the solution, others quite happily work with what they’ve got.
Story template: After (insert event) I wanted to buy (insert your product) that was organic and made from 100% natural materials. I searched the whole market and visited shops big and small but couldn’t find what I was looking for.
As you dig deeper and research the problem, you get increasingly frustrated. How come no one is solving the problem? The more you investigate, the more you realise that there is an opportunity for a business venture.
Story template: As I was looking more and more into it, I spotted a gap in the market .. expand on this further.
Your frustrations shape the concept of your idea/brand. It defines your brand’s values and foundations of your brand’s DNA. The best way to define the concept of your brand is through mind-mapping. Write down keywords which sum up your idea. What kind of service you want to provide? What kind of product you want to offer?
Story template: The idea for our brand was born out of my own personal need to find a solution to my problem. Our brand values reflect what we stand for. Our tagline sums up what we’re about and who we’re serving.
Why your brand exists
As you start defining your idea, you need to think about WHY you exist as a brand. Who is your customer? What problem are you solving? How are you helping your customer? What is its outcome? Why should they pay attention to your brand?
Story template: We want our customers to feel (insert your own – suggestions: happy, more confident, more eco-friendly, living more sustainably etc..)
Mission is about seeing the bigger picture. It’s about practising your “calling”. Your mission is something which you will never stop doing. It’s the by-product of your brand’s existence.
Story template: Our mission is to help you in everyday life. We understand how busy life can get and so we want to make things as easy as possible for you. And in the process we want to make a change on how society views (insert the topic). Through our educational programmes/initiatives/workshops/charity work we want to teach the future generation about the positive impact they can make on (insert the topic).
Your mission will give you the clarity and focus for your vision. Vision is seeing your brand’s development in long distance. Where do you want to get to? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Is it for financial security, providing you and your family with a good lifestyle, or is it something else? What is it?
Story template: Our vision is to grow into a (insert your vision) so we can make our mission a reality.
How is your brand solving problems?
7. IDENTIFYING CUSTOMERS LIFESTYLE AND BEHAVIOUR
In order to shape your story to your targeted customer, you need to understand who your customer is. What do they like, do, read, buy? Where do they go, visit and see? How do they spend their free time?
What problem your brand is solving – is it physical, emotional, relational or spiritual?
8. IDENTIFYING CUSTOMER’S EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS
One way to find and identify customer’s emotional triggers is through researching your competitors. Analyse their communication on their website, social media, newsletters and physical brochures in order to understand their messaging and in particular, pin point emotional triggers which you can learn from. If you already have a loyal customer base, draw from the conversations you have with them.
Keywords and tagline
9. COMPILING KEYWORDS
When it comes to written communication, keywords are important not only for SEO and connecting emotionally with your customers but also to keep you on tract with communicating your brand story correctly and cohesively.
It is therefore important to have a list of keywords in your brand story document.
10. CREATING A TAGLINE
Implementing tagline below your logo design (optional) can immediately communicate who you are, what you do and who your brand is for in an easy and straightforward way, without having any supporting content (product, image or text). Once your brand is well established and customers know and understand what your brand is about, the logo will have enough strength on its own and the tagline can be removed when next round of branding upgrade is necessary.