Your brand story tells consumers who you are, what your business has to offer them, and what role your product or service can play in their lives. It is extremely important to write an accurate and compelling brand story, because it represents what you are and what you stand for.
A compelling story can capture your audience’s attention and connect with people. And an accurate one can improve your integrity and truthfulness with consumers. Brand imagery also plays an important role in helping to develop your brand story. As a business owner, you may find yourself wanting to learn more these assets. Read on to learn everything you should know about your brand story.
The Components of a Successful Brand Story
While a brand story is important, many people misunderstand what it is. It is not a long story. It is not ads, marketing materials, or sales pitches. A brand story is made up of cohesive materials that create a narrative that explains and shows who your brand is, what you sell, and what makes you unique. Here are a few of the components that make up a successful brand story:
A successful brand story should always contain some sort of written content. This allows users to follow the story. Always include a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning should detail what the problem is, the middle should detail what the solution is, and the end should detail the success that can occur with your brand. When developing written content, keep things short and sweet.
Logo, Typography, and Visual Style
A brand story should also contain a logo, typography, and visual style. Your logo should be distinguishable from other company logos and should give your customers some insight into your business. The typography you use includes things such as font, color, and size. Visual style typically entails things like imagery. Images help to tell your story without forcing a consumer to read. The right visual style tells the whole story that written content does.
Brand Voice and Tone
Your brand story should always contain your brand voice and tone. This helps to set the stage for how your product is portrayed and viewed by consumers.
Your slogan is important to your business. It is also important to your brand story. Be sure to include it in your brand story and show why the slogan truly represents your business.
Mission, Vision, and Brand Values
Lastly, your brand story should always portray your brands’ mission, vision, and brand values. These things help to define who your brand is and why consumers should want to do business with you.
Developing Your Brand Story Through Brand Imagery
Brand imagery plays a vital role in helping to develop and tell your brand story. However, many businesses and companies struggle to select the images that will match the brand’s message, while also appealing to the emotional side of human beings. Crowdsourced images are a great option when images are needed for a brand story.
When you need imagery for a brand story, there are many places you can turn. You can hire a professional photographer to take the pictures, use stock photos, or use a company that can help produce crowdsourced images. Crowdsourced images are ideal because they are affordable, unique, help build consumer trust and confidence, and can be personalized to incorporate elements that really represent who your business or brand is and what makes it unique.
In addition to being able to use the images to tell your brand story, you can also use the images in your marketing efforts. Some of the ways you can use crowdsourced images include:
- Social media
- Website content
Readers spend more time taking in images than they do reading text. Use this to your advantage! If you are still not convinced, here are five reasons to use images:
- They play to your audience’s natural desires
- They offer snack-size content
- They provide proof for your audience
- They are share-friendly
- They enhance your brand in a tangible way
Images are vital to your brand story and to your advertising and marketing campaigns. If you are not using images, if your images are outdated, if your images do not convey who your business really is, or if you are using stock photographs that are generic, now is the time to invest in unique and personalized crowdsourced photographs.
Creating Your Brand Style Guide
When you are ready to have brand images created to tell your brand story, it is wise to put together a brand style guide. A brand style guide helps to ensure that all of your advertising, marketing, and brand story materials all share the same message and story. This ensures that everything is cohesive and fits together. Unfortunately though, many companies have never put together a brand style guide and have no idea where to begin in creating one. Here are a few of the elements that should be incorporated into your brand style guide.
Goal of Website Section
As you put together your brand style guide, try to determine what the goal of your website is. Is your website being designed to sell products directly? Are you trying to inform customers about your products and what stores they can buy them at? Are you trying to cater to suppliers and retail stores or to customers themselves? All of this information should be outlined so you, and everyone working on your website, know exactly what goals your brand is trying to accomplish with the website.
Another important element that should be included in your brand style guide is who your audience is. Take the time to really think about who is buying your brand or product. Defining your audience is key when it comes to determining what emotions you should evoke in your brand story and what images you should use. Your brand story and the images you select are going to be drastically different if you are targeting teenagers compared to an audience of senior citizens. Likewise, your brand story and images are going to be different if you are targeting parents versus targeting single individuals. Setting the audience makes it clear who your brand is targeting so all promotional, marketing, and media materials go after this demographic.
Core Concepts to Be Reinforced
As you put together a brand style guide, always take the time to determine what core concepts need to be reinforced through the wording and images that you select. These core concepts are the elements that really define your business or brand and set you apart from others. If your products are all-natural or environmentally-safe, these may be core concepts that need to be reinforced through all of your customer content. Or, if part of your profits go toward helping those in need, this may be a key core concept that needs to be present. Defining these core concepts helps to ensure that all of the content and imagery you use incorporates them.
Your brand style guide should also clearly define the tone that your marketing, media, and brand story materials should take. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is having written content that doesn’t match the style and tone of your imagery. If your images are playful and fun, your written content should be as well. If your photographs and imagery are serious, your written content should match this tone. Often times, companies and brands have different people working on imagery, media materials, advertising materials, and website creation. Setting a tone helps to ensure everyone is on the same page.
When you create a brand style guide, put things into perspective for all of those people who are going to be working on creating materials for your business or brand, such as your brand story. Let them know exactly who you are, what your business has to offer, what sets you apart from other businesses, and what makes you special and unique. Think about when you were younger and you would play telephone. You could whisper something in one person’s ear and by the time it made it to the fifth or tenth person in line, the word or message was completely different. This can happen with your brand message as well. As such, putting things into perspective personally for those working on your campaigns is important.
The last element that you need to incorporate into your brand style guide is your voice. If you are selling computer products to high-end computer users, your voice may be different than if you are selling computer products to those who are not very familiar with computers. Your voice can range from serious and professional to playful or to using slang terms to appeal to teenagers. Taking the time to define your voice helps to ensure that all of the materials and images that are created for your brand match up with the voice you are looking for when appealing to your targeted consumer or customer.
Your brand story has the ability to impact customers and help your brand stand out from others. Brand imagery plays a key role in helping to develop your brand story. The images you select have a huge effect on how successful your brand story gets developed.
Custom crowdsourced photos can be the perfect way to get the images you need. Companies, such as FOAP, can help you get a complete set of custom images that can help you develop your brand story. These pictures are unique, authentic, and geared specifically toward the image you want to convey when it comes to your business. If you would like to learn more about creating a visual brand identity or how imagery can help you to develop your brand story, be sure to download our infographic: The Who, What and How of Creating a Visual Brand Identity. This infographic will help to answer any questions you may have about brand imagery and explain the reasons why it is so important to your business.