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  • Writer's pictureC.E.K. & Partners

What is a Brand Story and Why Does it Matter?

As a marketing research and content agency in Atlanta B2B companies come to us to reveal and write their brand story.

What is a brand story anyway?

A story often referred to as a brand narrative reflects the company culture and its values, and reveals its purpose, the core promise and a competitive point of differentiation. It's more common with B2C brands, but critical for marketing B2B brands. The B2B brand story should come through in the digital content created for your brand or product including its website, case studies, white papers, brochures, social media and blog content creation.

Brands with a clear and compelling story perform better. In fact, brands that leverage storytelling generate an average of 5% more revenue growth and 11% more profit.[2]

Brands that leverage storytelling generate an average of 5% more revenue growth and 11% more profit.[2]

It's critical that B2B brands prioritize their digital transformation and mobile first customer

experiences. Even so, digital in and of itself isn't the message; it doesn’t offer a story. Stories and messaging found on effective websites are researched and vetted. Your B2B brand's narrative acts as a springboard for your brand and product marketing communications.

Avoid overly focusing on where you're communicating.

Many companies – start-ups, innovators, multinationals and global brands – are often overly focused on where they are communicating – social media, search, web – and with the type of content formats – videos, emails, infographics or newsletters. In fact, we just heard a company leader suggest that now that YouTube is considered the No. 2 search engine they would create a presence there. But why? What’s the objective, and what do you want to communicate in this channel? What's the story you will communicate?

Digital is not the communication. It’s not the story. What is your brand story?

It is important to remember that branding isn’t just about what your company sells and the number of likes or fans you collect, but rather how you connect and create compelling experiences. This starts with the story. In other words, digital channels offer a vehicle for communication. Digital is not the communication. It’s not the story. What is your brand story?

What makes a compelling brand story anyway?

To get you started on crafting a great brand story, below are a few pointers from C.E.K. & Partners, a content marketing agency in Atlanta.

Be Authentic

Each brand should have its own personality, whether it’s joyful or optimistic or passionate – and so own. The story needs to be true to your brand voice and values. This is best articulated by Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer of GE at the time, “You have to be true to who you are. Sure, you need to aspire to always be more, to be better. But you can’t be something you are not. At GE, we know we’re not Facebook or Apple – we embrace our geeky side.”

Be Soulful

B2C brands lean heavily on emotions when connecting with consumers. B2B brands tend to skew toward rational appeals. At the end of the day whether it’s B2C or B2B it’s ultimately people connecting with people, meaning that just like B2C brand B2B brands need to have strong value propositions with compelling reasons to believe – and must connect emotionally. B2B brands like GE, Interface and Cisco all do this well.

Does your brand need a soul? Read more here.

Be Clear About What’s at Stake

There’s a tension in stories. They often depict a struggle or conflict. This appeals to our emotions and draws us in. For example, Interface, one of the world’s most sustainable companies, looks at the bigger picture – beyond modular design systems and flooring – and elevates its brand’s role with a mission to restore the health of the planet.

Be Visual

Storytelling is emotional. When we listen to stories our imagination kicks in to visualize it. Gone are the days of brand communications telling stories with mere words. Visual formats are more emotional and effective at engaging people.

Using Stories to Simplify a Complicated Subject

Cisco, a corporation focused on networking, doesn’t focus on networking equipment and all the great functionality it offers. Instead the company leverages stories such as its Internet of Everything video. It takes a complicated subject and simplifies it, translating it into everyday life from breakfast to the commute – all of which highlights the main character – Cisco – and its role. Take a moment to watch it.

Leverage Your Narrative to Gain a Competitive Edge

Those businesses that understand the need to create a brand narrative offering the platform and springboard for their stories will reap the rewards of a competitive edge.

When establishing your narrative, we suggest starting with the end in mind and ensuring it will resonate – it should not be created in a vacuum within your company or by your agency. Rather it is important that it aligns with your company on a brand level and that it truly reflects employees and input gathered from customers.

You don't need to go it alone. Our team is here to help through custom designing research to inform your brand story.

Building a brand is an investment that requires energy and expertise – that’s why we’re here to help. Contact us today!


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