The Do’s and Don’ts of Crafting an Engaging Story

Behind every successful brand is a successful brand story. Creating that story, however, isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Behind every successful brand is a successful brand story. Creating that story, however, isn’t as simple as it sounds. It requires a lot of thought and strategy on what message to send to what audiences and how to communicate the same messages across different channels.

Marketing teams can learn the necessary skills to make their stories as engaging as possible. Thomas Peham, the vice president of marketing at Storyblok, spoke with CMSWire about how companies can craft an effective brand, what storytelling mistakes to avoid and how to engage audiences across different channels.

How to Tell a Good Story

Authenticity is the most important factor in a brand story, but creating a story that comes across as authentic to audiences is easier said than done, Peham says. This is one reason why a founder-first brand story works well for startups, he added. Founders are genuinely passionate about and committed to their company, and they can tell a story from an authentic, first-person perspective. A sincere story like this can easily resonate with people for companies that are not startups as well.

A brand story should also show that the company is knowledgeable about its field and convincingly exhibit empathy toward its audience’s challenges, Peham says. Marketing teams can start by thinking closely about their target audience, what their personalities are like and what they care about. They should also use genuine language rather than buzzwords or jargon to connect with this audience.

“Fancy words tell a certain story, but at the end of the day, if that doesn’t resonate [and] if that doesn’t create any emotion with your target audience, it won’t do any good,” Peham says.

As you start crafting a brand story that is authentic, empathetic and knowledgeable, Peham suggests that you start with the basic features of a successful story. Essentially, you should be very clear about what the company stands for, what its people are like and what its goals are. Beyond this, make sure the marketing team is communicating and collaborating with the rest of the company so that the messaging is consistent across the rest of the business.

What Mistakes to Avoid While Telling Your Brand Story

The most common mistake businesses make when creating a brand story is making the language too corporate and forgetting about the human component, Peham says. This may look like a broad story that doesn’t send a clear message to the audience about what the company represents. The best brands bring something to the table and stand by their clear, specific brand story, Peham says. For example, Patagonia is known for caring about environmental issues and having a clear, eco-friendly brand story.

“As businesses, we try to not get into too many discussions or fights. That sometimes means we don’t want to formulate an opinion. We want to stay neutral with our message [and] with our positioning,” Peham says. “[But] staying neutral is sometimes the worst thing that happens because it means that you’ll be forgotten.”

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