Businesses sell products or services – brands sell stories. Sure, they sell products or services, too, but every sale a fully fledged brand makes is built on an authentic, believable brand narrative that compels their customers to invest in them.
Whether you know it or not, your brand already has an origin story – the sequence of events and series of critical decisions that needed to happen to get you and your business where you are today. To truly embrace this origin story, it helps to get it down on paper, so to speak.
At Six Circles, our origin story is a tale of helping businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes access the tools they need to manage, engage and grow. Now, let’s turn the tables and break down some golden rules for writing your own brand origin story so that you can wear this badge with pride.
Tell the truth
If honesty wasn’t already on your agenda, rest assured the benefits of being up-front are numerous.
Besides the fact that users can spot an overbaked origin story a mile off, it’s also true that consumers place a great deal of value on straight-talking brands who are honest about the hard road they’ve travelled to get to where they are now, and don’t retroactively construct an ethos that paints a prettier picture than the unadulterated truth.
Embrace past failures
As part of accepting the authentic beginnings of your brand comes embracing the aspects of your origin story you might prefer to forget – the failures that paved the way for success.
Whether that involves reflecting on regretful decisions at pivotal moments in your brand’s timeline or missed opportunities you wish you’d seized when you had the chance, taking stock of any setbacks and repackaging them as learning experiences is a crucial part of writing an endearing origin story.
Relatability is essential to writing a brand origin story that resonates with your community. To make sure yours is relatable in all the right ways, kick the corporate spiel to the curb and focus on the message you want to convey (as opposed to becoming overly wrapped up in the polished language you use to convey that message).
Speak directly, informally (if appropriate) and in the first person to communicate the personal journey that led you to build your brand, rather than treating your brand origin story like yet another piece of purely commercial content.
Speak your customer’s language
Having built a brand, you’ll be more than familiar with the nuances of your typical customer when it comes to their likes, dislikes, buying motivations, communication preferences and more. These aspects of your existing user persona will serve you well as you nail down the language you’ll need to use to charm and entice them.
If your customers abhor being talked down to above all else, communicate your story in a respectful way. Similarly, if you know their environmental values influence their buying behaviour, make it abundantly clear the part that your own environmental values played in your brand’s journey.
Keep it simple
Just as you might find it impossible to persevere with books that are overly complex and convoluted, so too will your customers struggle to wade through a brand origin story that’s all self-important rhetoric and no substance.
While remembering to tailor your messaging to your customer persona, keep your language clear and straightforward and avoid gilding the lily in any way. Your brand’s origin story is sufficient in itself and needs no distracting embellishments that might take away from the spirit of your company manifesto.
Find common ground
Let’s loop back to the idea of relatability before we wrap this up. As well as speaking to your audience in a relatable way that acknowledges their personality and communication preferences, it’s also crucial to ensure the content of your origin story is likely to resonate with them.
If your brand was conceived to solve an age-old consumer problem, tie this sense of purpose into your origin story to let customers know their convenience is your primary concern. If your professional mission is to innovate your marketplace, make an essential daily routine that little bit quicker or easier, or turn a passion project into an income stream, be as transparent about these motivations as possible to establish common ground with your community and earn their emotional investment in your brand.
Communities are built on powerful brand stories. It all starts with your origins – but after that, it’s over to our state-of-the-art community engagement platform to help you convert loyal customers into committed community members. Request your free online demo of our platform today to take the first step towards a brand community to call your own.