A brand, by definition, is the combination of visual elements and an entity’s messaging. It could include a company’s name, logo, colour palette and fonts used as well as its messaging and reputation. But more than that, it’s also about the emotion a brand invokes from its customers that matters.
Why is branding important?
Two of the main reasons for having a strong brand no matter the size of the business is recognition and trust. There are a lot more reasons why businesses strive to have a strong brand, but I will be discussing just only two here.
- Recognition – It is important to have a consistent look or ‘face’ for your business so that people who see you can get familiar with your business and may choose to repeatedly visit your page, store or whatever it is you’re selling your products or services from.
People like certainty and anything outside that invokes fear and doubt and customers are likely to steer away from you. And as a business, this isn’t what you want to happen. You would like people to get to know you and recognise you within just seconds.
- Trust – Gone are the days that people are only left with two choices (or even none) to purchase what they need. In this information era, competition is at its peak and there’s an oversaturation of ‘friends’, influencers, companies, sellers and EVERYTHING online and offline.
Just as how an HR manager asks an applicant, people tend to ask ‘why should I trust you?’ to every business and influencer they see online. It could be created for different reasons, but it’s why people keep coming back and engaging with the brand, and eventually, make a purchase. This is what you want to happen as a business!
Why use storytelling, then?
As technologies continue to develop, and still more to be invented, there has been a massive shift in our society from getting centralised messages from the government and the church to having a decentralised community that flocks together based only on commonalities and interests.
Various start-ups and small businesses start to grow, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to survive the economic crash. And you know what this means, more businesses mean tougher competition, which will also make it harder for you to get people’s attention, more so make a sale.
But as stated above, people gravitate towards those they recognise and trust.
How to use storytelling for a stronger brand?
Humanising brands and companies make it easier for people to relate and eventually gravitate towards the message you’re trying to pitch or sell to your customers.
You have to know what appeals to them:
- Who they are
- What stage of life they are in
- What they do for a living
- What their struggles are; and
- What they are interested in.
Think about what your services or products can offer and how you can connect it to the things listed above and tell the stories you have about it. Afterwards, think about what emotions you want your customers to feel about your brand. Do you want them to feel freedom, success, beautiful, artistic, feel good about themselves just the way they are? It depends on how you want your products to be perceived.
Build a community with people and continuously engage and communicate with them. Make them feel cared and important and seen. You want them to stay and trust your brand. Trust me, it may be quite laborious and hard at first and may even seem pointless at times, but this would be beneficial for your business in the long run.
Think about Adidas (sporty), Coca-Cola (happiness), Chanel (luxury) and more brands. I know, these brands don’t even seem to sell stories, but they have already built their brand over the years over various marketing strategies and improvement of their product. Even with that, some of them still reach out to smaller and more niched down influencers and communities for their products to be advertised.
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