STRENGTHEN YOUR STORYTELLING SKILLS, AND BUILD YOUR BRAND AT THE SAME TIME
Brand control is an illusion!
Well, this is because Digital Marketers, Social Media Managers, and Content Creators are consistently finding ways to distinguish their brands. As well as demonstrate that distinction through creative visuals, messages, voice, and the experiences they create for their prospective and loyal customers.
Your business’s reputation needs to be sustained. That is why Marketers seek out articles, services, templates, books, and other resources which aims to help companies build a strong and powerful brand identity. Whether it’s the seven principles, 11 steps, five proven ways, or how to build a brand in five days. Basically, it seems as if everyone has a take on how marketers can build a strong brand positioning.
So I guess you’re wondering, “how can I stay on top of my brand image?”
You need to master your brand storytelling skills!
But what is the difference between a brand story, and brand storytelling?
Your brand story exposes what you want people to believe. However, your brand’s stories must demonstrate why it’s important for the audience to believe it.
So are you ready to strengthen your storytelling? Let’s begin!
FOCUS ON YOUR BRAND VALUES
Brand values determine your brand’s identity, message, and personality. Essentially, knowing your brand values are fundamental to ensuring your business remains unique in a saturated market.
So, how do you establish your brand values?
Well your brand values (your core values) are the key aspects which constitute to your overall company culture. For instance, Amazon’s core values are: customer obsession, long-term thinking, eagerness to invent, and taking pride in operational excellence.
Basically, within this first step you should take the time to consider what makes you special, what makes you stand out from your competitors, and the “core truths” about your business. Or, you could simply use your mission statement as a guide to how you view your business.
But I guess you’re wondering, “how can I mesh my brand values with my brand narrative?”
It’s simple! Create an experience which invokes a sense of belief in your brand. This essentially means to encourage your audience to care about your brand. This isn’t just the aesthetically exterior part of your business. Instead, it is the deep meaningful aspects of your brand identity which will trigger an emotional reaction within your customers.
Another example of this is Nike’s brand value statement. This is demonstrated further through their Dream crazy ad.
This next step is about the why behind your why. In CMI’s storytelling workshops, I call this the “core truth”. It’s important to create meaning from what your audience are seeing. This meaning we create dictates the thoughts that we think. This, in return dictates how your audience views your brand. This is what you want to help change by telling people your story.
But how can you create a meaningful brand image, when your brand image is constantly changing?
Well, there are three different types of red threading which I will breakdown for you. These will aid in the strengthening, clear acknowledgement, and development of your brand. So when your image is beginning to change, then you will have the tools to get it back on track.
The wonderful storytelling coach and messaging strategist Tamsen Webster came up with the concept of “red thread”.
But what is red threading?
Red threading is the way in which you can connect with your audience on a deeper level.
So I guess you’re wondering, “how can I do this effectively?”
Well it’s simple! Apply these three threads: The Red Thread of Fate, The Rogue’s Yarn, and Ariadne’s Red Thread.
Let’s start with The Red Thread of Fate!
RED THREAD OF FATE
The Red Thread of Fate is the connection between your audience’s query, and the answer your idea, product or service represents. Realistically, this should link up very well with your brand values. Sow he you are establishing your thread of fate, you should think about these questions:
- What problems/queries do your customers have towards your business, and how can you help?
- What is your overall ‘core truth’, or belief, or mission statement?
- What is my business offering to the world, and is this a solution to my customer’s queries?
Here’s an example for you:
Apple’s ‘core truth’ is that they offer the ‘best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, and businesspeople’.
As you aware, Apple is still executing this ‘core truth’ everyday by finding new and innovative ways to provide their customers with the best technology.
But why do Apple care about that?
Well that’s simple! They want to ensure that us students, or Digital Marketers, or even scientists can get the work done that we need to in a very productive, efficient, and high quality way.
Now if you are going to buy a new laptop, then you will most likely think of Apple since it’s brand image has been consistently moulded as having ‘the best, high-quality technology’.
So apply this example to your own business. Remember to think carefully about what you’re offering to your customers, whilst also understanding what your customers really want. These should always be the same! Keep the connection alive!
THE ROGUE’S YARN
This is the second red thread which focuses on your business ideas, rather than your values. Although, they are all harmoniously interconnected. This means that you should keep your brand values, and your thread of fate in mind.
Ultimately, Rogue’s Yarn requires you to align your ideas with what and who you really are as a business.
So, what does this really mean?
Basically, you need to think about your unique combination of wants, perspectives, and beliefs. This is the time for your business to really reflect on what is most important to your business, and your audience.
So here’s a few questions to think about:
- How can I solve my customer’s query, and how will this be done? (your beliefs)
- What makes my business stand out from my competitors? (your beliefs)
- Where do I see my business in 5 years? (your perspective)
- What do you want to offer to your customers, and how will this be done? (your wants)
- Are your brand values, your business narrative, and your service all in line?
An example of this is: Tesla. This is because there vision is “doing the best, taking risks, respect, constant learning, and environmental consciousness”.
Here, you can see that Elon Musk consistently centres his business around the soul of his company. Essentially, the soul of his brand is to create compelling cars whilst leading the world towards a more environmentally conscious world.
Elon Musk has managed to maintain this image because it is the foundation of his business. As well as being able to solve a worldwide problem.
Now its time to put your thinking hat on and discover your core values!
ARIADNE’S RED THREAD
This final red thread refers to the core idea or theme of something. They talk about is as the “through line” that makes it all make sense.
So what do I mean by this?
Well up to this point, you have established your brand values, your core values, and the key connection between your brand and your audience. So the final thing you need to do is putting everything all together and displaying it within your brand story.
Your core values – your product – your brand image – your audience. They all have a thread! So you need to find a fun, creative, and engaging way to reel your audience into foundations of your business. Help them understand and make sense of your brand’s values.
But how do you do this?
First, you need to structure your brand story! Here’s some statements for you to deliberate over:
- Establish your GOAL: this is what your audience wants
- Introduce the PROBLEM: this is a problem they didn’t know they had
- Reveal a TRUTH: this should make the problem impossible to ignore
- Define the CHANGE: what does your business and your audience need to do to achieve the goal
- Describe the ACTION that creates the change
These will help you establish what your brand story is. This shouldn’t be too hard if you have followed the first two threads properly.
However, if you are struggling then feel free to refer to the previous real-life examples!
Okay, now it’s time to create your story in a creative way.
But how do you go about doing this?
Well it’s easy! Here’s the four archetypes of storytelling which will guide you in creating your brand narrative:
The story architecture pyramid encompasses attributes for each of the four archetypes: Performer, Promoter, Professor, and Poet.
The simplest is the performer archetype. The performer archetype content aims to make you feel something. Typically, it might be a joke, a sad poem, or a juggling act that amazes you. Nonetheless, if you can identify and deliver a narrative which triggers an emotional stimulus then you have done your job.
Then there’s promoter archetype. This third archetype requires you to consider what is the old world? What’s the trigger that’s causing a change, and what’s the new world?
Typically, This is shown in about every 30 second ad you’ve ever seen but perhaps best exemplified in this classic pharma ad.
Similarly the professor archetype consists of: thesis, implication, and POV. So, you should be thinking about what your thesis is? What is the universally recognized challenge? and what are the implications of both solving it, and not solving it?
As well as this, you should reflect upon why is this solution the best approach?
Here’s an example of this: The Story of Content where you can see these attributes in full effect.
Conversely, at the other end of the spectrum there is the poet archetype. Here, there are seven attributes that we must identify and deliver to create a satisfying piece of content for your audience. These are: human, desire, relationships, and truth.
Ultimately, the key is to ask if your story has each of these attributes. For poet content, who is the human hero? What is their desire? What relationships do they maintain? What are their adventures?
Check out the trailer for the LEGO movie, and you’ll see answers for each of the poet attributes.
Now you have the tools to put your storytelling skills to the test. So, get thinking and get creating!
Congratulations! You have just been taught a detailed Byter guide on strengthening your storytelling skills and brand image. Now it’s time to assess and establish your core values, and how your services are going to solve your audience’s problems. Alongside, creative methods to showcase your brand narrative. Don’t forget to let your family and friends know about your newfound skills from a London Digital Marketing Agency. Also, be sure to let us know how you do on your Storytelling path. We’d love to hear about it!