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How to Write a Brand Story in 2024: The Complete Guide

how to write a brand story
Table of Contents

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. i.e., if you sign up for their paid programs, I will get a commission, at no cost to you. Please rest assured that I only recommend software/ products I genuinely believe in, and trust to be good for you.

How to write your brand story

First, define your brand by identifying what makes your business unique and who your customers are.

Next, design your brand by choosing visuals and a style that reflects your business’s personality and values.

Finally, craft your message by telling the story of why your business was created, the challenges you’ve overcome, and your goals for the future. Keep it clear and engaging to connect with your audience.

Even a decade ago, the business world was product and company-centric.

It was mainly push marketing and the brand dominated the conversation.

A brand story was not even a thing, so you didn’t need to know how to create a brand story.

Now, unless your brand is authentic, emotional, and centered around the customers and solving their problems, you can’t continue to win.

70% of consumers say that trusting a brand is more important than in the past. They are also connecting more to stories and experiences.

So, as a marketer or a small business owner, you need to build a powerful brand strategy and website with the right messaging to help you connect to your audiences.

This post will clarify what a brand story is, and guide you through the 3 steps to create your brand story.

It will also help you understand how to write your brand story for a website or other marketing material so you can attract the right audiences for your business and grow your small business.

Chapter 1.

What is a brand?

A brand refers to what a business stands for and how it is perceived by its audience. A brand can have many definitions, and it is difficult to pin it down to one specific thing.

But in general, a brand can be explained in this way:

A brand is a promise of value. An identity. Share on X

A brand has to have a promise to deliver some benefit to its target audience, through each product or service.

Usually, this promise is of 2 kinds:

  • Solve a problem: Meet an existing need in the market
  • Generate desire: Create a craving/ new need
A brand is an experience, an association in people’s minds. Share on X

The audience absorbs the brand message consciously and subconsciously while engaging with the brand and the people who mention it.

This creates a perception in the audience’s minds about what the brand stands for, and what makes it unique.

Here are some definitions of a brand:

  • A promise of value.
  • An identity.
  • A brand is a go-to expert.
  • An association in people’s minds.
  • A go-to expert.
  • A catalyst for growth.

A brand needs to establish itself as the expert or as one providing the ‘best value’ in its specific expertise.

If the business actually delivers the value it promises, it can generate investment from its target audience, which over time leads to growth.

what is a brand

Chapter 2.

What a brand is not

If you are trying to build your brand, it’s important to understand what a brand actually is – but just as important is knowing what a brand isn’t.

A brand is so much more than a logo or color scheme. It goes far beyond the visuals.

It is actually an experience created by how consumers feel when they interact with your product or company.

Here are some of the things a brand is not.

  1. A brand isn’t just a logo, although often branding efforts focus on creating the perfect logo or slogan.
  2. A brand isn’t merely a greeting when customers call into customer service, it’s how customers feel after the call has ended.
  3. A brand is not just an email sent out to the target audience, but the value and purpose of that message or what happens after someone interacts with it.
  4. A brand is not an advertising campaign, although it can be used to build a strong brand identity.
  5. A brand is not even about the products produced by the company – although those products may represent the company and its values.

Instead, a brand is about creating an emotional connection between customers and your business or product.

It’s about understanding who you are and showing that clearly through design and messaging in ways that make people care about what you do.

A brand is not just a logo, a product, or a website. It is an experience. Share on X

Chapter 3.

What is a brand story?

A brand story is the core essence of a brand, expressed through simple brand narratives and design that evoke emotional reactions in the target audience and helps them to connect to the brand.

The ’emotion’ part is important because people don’t always buy the lowest-priced item or make decisions solely on logic. People buy based on how they feel about a brand.

That feeling could be anything from familiarity, trust, or even personal relationships (like you know someone who works there).

Your brand story includes factors like your origin, experience, mission, product, pricing, quality, purpose, values, location, recommendations, and the experience your audience has interacting with and buying from you.

Your brand story is an authentic snapshot of who you are, how you intend to help your target audience, what makes you different, and all the reasons and ways that your audience can build a connection to you. Share on X

Every brand has a story, even yours. But you may not even be conscious of what your brand story is.

This guide will help you identify and craft your brand story so you can get the most out of your brand to drive your business growth.

Create a Powerful Brand Story

Chapter 4.

Why do you need a brand story?

A brand story can benefit your business immensely, especially by helping customers and potential customers to relate to your business, which leads to greater loyalty and trust.

Think of any small business you buy from and evaluate why you buy from them.

When I had to buy my son’s first walking shoes, for example, I ditched the big brands to a small store specializing only in children’s shoes.

The store owner used to work in the shoe industry. She explained to us what kind of shoes we should buy to help my son walk better and personally helped us to pick out the right shoes.

Here are four reasons why you need a brand story.

1. Brands build awareness and set you apart

A brand is a promise of value and experience that makes an impact. It is a personality, a purpose, a message, a voice, a set of values and beliefs.

It is YOUR value, and it is unique. Brand life cycles are longer than those of products.

2. Stories connect to the heart

Stories promise emotional experiences and benefits for consumers, whereas products promise primarily direct functional benefits.

Research shows that people buy more based on emotions, then use rationals to justify the emotional decision.

So investing in brand storytelling, instead of simply creating marketing messages about your products, can move your target audience from considering your product, to actually purchasing it.

3. A brand story can attract investment

Besides attracting clients and leads, a well-told story through a brand, with a clear vision, not only has the ability to let your audience connect to you and buy from you, but also gain trust and investment from venture capitalists and other financial investors.

Check out any of the Dragon Den episodes to see how every pitch starts with a brand story and how that impacts the investor’s decisions.

This video is one of my favorites.

I have a baby and a toddler, so I am the target audience of this entrepreneur.

I realize from her brand story that she understands my challenges, and the solution she offers through her brand is perfect for me!

4. Brands inspire repeat purchase

Have you ever experienced a situation where you just liked a product, but it was one of many?

But the service was so great, and you think the people really understood you, and you connected to the brand, believed in it, that you just retained your loyalty to it?

And maybe even went on to recommend it to others?

Think about the recent Coepernick campaign by Nike.  That is the true power of brand stories.

Chapter 5.

Essential elements of a brand

Creating a brand story is a crucial step to succeeding in business, and understanding the essential brand elements is a key aspect of that.

While brand elements can vary from business to business, there are 7 brand elements that are fundamental for any brand.

1. Customer Focus

A brand’s biggest objective should be to match its core offer with the needs of its specific audience. So your customer should always be at the center of all that your brand does.

2. Uniqueness

A brand needs to stand out.

Every brand should have a differentiated competitive positioning and a unique value proposition, even for a niche audience.

3. Simplicity

The core offer, positioning, and promise of a brand have to be simple, clear, and easily understood.

If your brand offer and messaging are too layered, your audience will have to work hard to understand and connect with you, in which case they simply won’t.

4. Authenticity

If you feel stumped wondering how to come up with a brand story, remember one very crucial point.

Be genuine.

A brand needs to be honest, transparent, meaningful, and true to its stated values.

Only then can it touch the audience’s hearts with its story. 77% of consumers buy from brands that share their values.

5. Credibility

A brand needs to have a reason-to-believe on why it can claim a particular expertise.

Your brand can claim that it creates the best or the most low-cost product, for example, but how it does that, needs to be believable to your audience.

6. Consistency

A brand should maintain the same tone and message at each touchpoint.

Together, all the messages will create a consistent image subconsciously in the minds of the audience, about what the brand stands for.

7. Fulfillment of the promise

A brand promise is the core offer of a brand, about how it can make the lives of its audience better.

To gain and retain the trust of your audience, just ensure that your brand consistently delivers the value you promised.

Chapter 6.

How to grow your business with your brand story

Your business will grow if your audience buys from you. And they will buy from you if they trust you. 81% of consumers need to be able to trust a brand before they buy anything from it.

But how do you gain consumer trust in your brand?

You need to create a brand story that will resonate with your audience, and there is a 7-step formula that you can follow to help you connect with your audience and grow your business.

Just follow these steps repeatedly and consistently.

grow your brand continuously

Chapter 7.

How to create a brand story

You can create a brand story in 3 core steps:

  • Define your story
  • Design your brand
  • Craft your messaging

1.  Define your story

Brand story development starts with creating a brand strategy, and defining what your brand truly and proudly stands for.

Determine what it wants to achieve, why it exists, what value it offers, what its personality is like, and how it wants to change the world.

It is very important to be true and authentic at this stage.

Otherwise, your business journey may not be impactful or sustainable.

2.  Design your brand

Brand story design involves developing an external brand identity that represents your story perfectly.

The brand identity, the tone of voice, and the customer experience will translate the story from paper to a real-life existence.

Jump to details: Design your brand imagery

3. Craft your message

Brand messaging provides guidelines on how to talk about your brand.

Your brand message includes your brand offer, the benefit you offer your audience, and the story woven together with a specific set of words you can share at any networking event or 5-minute conversation.

3 Steps to Create Your Powerful Brand Story

1. Define Your Story

Define your Brand Story

Every brand has a story.

In this step of building a brand story, you just have to define and structure the story, so that it can be expressed with a visual and verbal identity.

The most important principles of a brand story include the following:

1.  Market understanding

The first step to creating a unique brand story is to build a deep understanding of your niche target market.

Understand the ‘real’ market you are operating in. Within a broader market you can have a smaller one, so understand those specific group dynamics.

Next, understand your competition and your differentiation from them.

Identify your core competition’s offer, strategy, marketing channels, promise, and communication.

If you’re unsure whether to start, a tool like Semrush’s Competition Research will help you get a lot of understanding.

2.  Customer insights

Focus on a niche group with a specific problem. Solving that problem will help you build a specific identity and positioning in their minds. And that is the crux of building a brand.

Understand their biggest unmet needs (pain points) or desires and purchase behavior. This will clarify how you can solve their problems best and create your communication.

Get an idea of their lifestyle, where they hang out, where they go to find information, and their customer journey. This will help in your marketing.

Again, if you need help with what your audience is looking for, try out Semrush’s Topic Research. Now that you have all this info, put it down in a structured format.

Download a FREE template to create a buyer persona.

3.  Brand purpose

Your brand purpose is essentially your ‘why’: the reason for your brand/ business to exist, the contribution you will make to the world through your brand.
Ignite-brand-purpose_2

4.  Brand mission statement

Your brand mission statement is the overarching benefit you want to provide for your audience. You can derive it from your brand purpose.

Here are some examples of mission statements:

Google: Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Paypal:  To build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.

See more examples of some inspiring mission statements.

5.  Brand vision

Your brand vision refers to the changes you want to make in the world. What would your brand stand for, a few years down the line?

Some brand vision examples:

McDonald’s: Be the best quick-service restaurant experience

Southwest Airlines: Become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline

6.  Unique value proposition

Your unique value proposition is essentially the uniqueness you bring to your audience.

What you stand for, what you deliver that is different from your competition, and why your audience should believe you. See the template below to guide you on how to write a unique value proposition.

Unique Value Proposition

7.  Brand personality

Define the personality of your brand, almost like it were a person.

Is it more playful/ fun, or more serious and formal? Is it more classic and elegant, or more modern and tech? Is it an everyday, relatable, human brand, or more chic, upscale, and aspirational?

8.  Brand promise

Your brand promise is your brand’s unique value proposition captured in 1-2 lines. Eventually, a story is defined by words and media. Use the right words to describe your brand.

9.  Brand values

Identify the core values that your brand stands for. What it believes in, stands up for, and the principles that guide it.

Here are two brand values examples:

Brand Values

2. Design Your Brand

Design Your Brand

Now that you have determined what your small business brand stands for, its differentiation, its mission, and its full story, you must bring that story to life.

You have to express your brand description with relevant visual and written representation. In other words, you have to create the visual identity of your brand now.

This includes the name of your brand, the design, the tone of voice, the colors, and the actual messaging, all different aspects of your brand identity. But that’s not all.

You have to define your customer experiences too, because as you saw above, a brand is essentially an experience for the customer, so at every touchpoint, this experience is crucial.

1.  Brand name

If you’re wondering how to come up with a brand name, these are the most essential factors to keep in mind:

  • The brand mission and promise
  • Emotional connections that the brand can form with the audience
  • The brand personality and values
  • Any other references that your audience may identify with. Like local or cultural references

An ideal brand name is a combination of the above. Of course, if you are a service-based solopreneur, your business brand can also be your personal brand.

But if you would like your product brand to be different from you, and not just have you as an identity, try to brainstorm for a few names that represent all that your brand story stands for.

2.  Brand imagery

Your brand imagery is not just a logo. It’s an entire persona.  It includes but is not limited to:

  • Logo
  • Design elements
  • Colors
  • Stationery (Business cards, letterheads, envelopes)
  • Packaging
  • Store design and furniture
  • Signages
  • Powerpoint template
Ensure consistency among all your brand elements. At every interaction with the customer, the brand should look, behave, and feel the same. Share on X

You can hire a graphic designer to create all these elements for you or even do them yourself with a tool like Canva.

3.  Brand tone of voice

For a consumer, it’s not just what a brand says that’s relevant and important, but also how the brand says it. So this is essentially the communication style that the brand will use.

Identify a brand tone of voice that will help you connect best with your audience. Here are some brand tone of voice examples to get inspired by.

4.  Customer experience

Define the experience customers will have at each interaction with the brand. The key topics to address are:

  • Detailed info & explanation
  • Questions & contact
  • Purchase process
  • Ease of product/ service use
  • After-sales support
  • Troubleshooting

3. Craft Your Message

Craft your Marketing Message

Creating strong brand messages helps people understand what your brand offers and why it matters.

Here are five types of messages you can create:

  1. Brand promise
  2. Tagline
  3. Mission statement
  4. Unique value propositon
  5. One-page brand story

1.  Brand promise

A brand promise is a statement that tells customers what they can consistently expect from your products or services. It is the direct brand benefit, the specific problem the brand solves. This you MUST have.

Examples of brand promise:

  • FedEx: The World on Time
  • Citibank: The Citi Never Sleeps
  • Subway: Eat Fresh

Your brand promise and message are very important as these would be the first messages your audience will see on your website.

How to create your brand promise:

  • Identify your strengths: Think about what your brand does best.
  • Consider customer needs: What do your customers value most about your service?
  • Write a simple promise: Combine your strengths and customer needs into a clear promise.

2.  Brand tagline

A tagline is a short, memorable phrase that represents the essence of your brand. It is the state of being/ feeling that the brand helps you attain. Creating this is optional.

But if you want to clarify your message further with a tagline, look at your mission and take it one step further, with a few powerful words.

Examples of brand taglines:

  • Adidas: Impossible is nothing
  • Nike: Just Do It
  • Apple: Think Different

How to create your brand tagline:

  • Keep it short: Aim for less than 10 words.
  • Make it memorable: Use rhyme or rhythm to make it catchy.
  • Make it reflect your brand: Ensure it shows what’s unique about your brand.

3. Mission statement

The mission statement tells what your company wants to achieve and how it plans to do it.

Examples of mission statements: 

 

How to create your mission statement:

  • Focus on your purpose: Why does your company exist?
  • Include your goals: What are you trying to achieve?
  • Be inspiring: Write something that will motivate your team and customers.

4. Unique value proposition (UVP)

A UVP clearly explains how your product or service solves customers’ problems or improves their situation.

Examples of UVP:

  • Adidas: Impossible is nothing
  • Nike: Just Do It
  • Apple: Think Different

How to create your UVP:

  • List key benefits: What key benefits does your product offer?
  • Highlight what’s different: What makes your product different from others?
  • Combine into one sentence: Put your benefits and differences into one clear sentence.

3.  Write your brand story

The final step is about how to write a brand story.

A one-page brand story tells the story of your brand in a way that connects emotionally with your audience. The words you choose to describe your business or brand are particularly relevant.

How to create your brand story:

  • Start with the person: Who owns the brand, and what are their origins?
  • Answer the why: Where and why did your brand start? Why does it do what it does?
  • Add challenges: What challenges have you faced?
  • Reflect the personality and values: How does it conduct business? What are its values?
  • Show evolution: How has your brand grown or changed?
  • End with the future: What are your plans or hopes for the future?

Chapter 8.

Tips to create a compelling brand story

Every brand has a story, but not every story is compelling and triggers your audience to connect to you.

If you are wondering how to write a good brand story, here are some tips that you should remember.

1. Make your brand story human

As you build a story around your brand, remember that stories that connect best are those that have a human(is) in the brand background.

After all, businesses don’t just appear in the world. Someone, somewhere, starts one.

A brand story that can talk about the origin and value of the people behind a brand, is one that can easily connect to the target audience.

2. Keep your story simple

You don’t need to add layers of information to your brand story structure.

The simpler it is, the better. Simple stories are easier for people to connect with.

Think of it simply in this structure:

  • A hero has a problem or an inspiration
  • The hero thinks of a solution or an idea
  • The hero implements the solution

3. Add emotion to your story

Don’t you remember and share with others those stories best that make you laugh, cry, or be surprised? It is the same with brands.

A brand that has a powerful mission and vision, based on changing the world, making a difference, and genuinely providing value, will draw at your customer’s heartstrings and inspire more connection.

4. Make your story memorable

As mentioned earlier, a brand has to be unique. Otherwise, you’re just one more entity in a sea of billions.

And it is this uniqueness that makes you memorable. You don’t have to be unique in all aspects of your story. You could share a mission with another brand, for example.

It is the combination of your brand definition, design, and messaging, that will create a completely unique and memorable brand story. Share on X

Chapter 9.

Brand story examples to inspire you

Still not sure what a brand story should look and feel like?

Check out the brand story examples of a few small businesses that immediately connect to their audiences.

Cotton:On

CottonOn is a fashion apparel company that started in Australia and has now become a global brand.

This is the brand story including their origins and the value they provide.

cottonon brand story example

cottonon brand story example part 2

Little Dutch

It is a company that makes earthy-looking, sustainable toys for babies and toddlers.

See how beautifully the company writes and shares its brand story.

Little Dutch brand story example

Chapter 10.

How long should a brand story be

An effective brand story should be long enough to convey emotion and include all the benefits of working with you while still being short enough to get the point across clearly and quickly.

Typically, a concise brand story that fits on one page is roughly 400 to 600 words. It’s long enough to cover key points and maintain the reader’s interest.

When integrated into website content, such as an “About Us” page, your brand story can be slightly longer, around 500 to 800 words. This gives space to add more details or images that help reinforce the narrative.

In some cases, such as corporate books or detailed brand heritage pieces, the story can be much longer and divided into sections or chapters. Here, the length isn’t as constrained, and the focus is on depth and storytelling richness.

Ultimately, the best length for your brand story should align with your goals, the medium you are using, and the audience’s expected attention span. Keeping your story clear, engaging, and on-point with what your audience cares about is more important than its exact length.

You have to know how to create a brand narrative with the right amount of information – make sure you don’t cram too many facts into your story, or else it may become overwhelming and confusing.

The best way to determine how long your story should be is to consider how much detail you need to provide in order for your audience to connect with your brand.

Chapter 11.

How to build a brand story – Concluding Tips

1. Share your story

Creating a brand story is just one part.

To get maximum benefits out of it, you have to share your story with your stakeholders. This could include your customers, suppliers, influencers, anyone else connected to your brand, and anyone else you need to trust you.

You could share your story on social media, on your website, via email, and on any other marketing material you create to promote your brand, get your website noticed, or improve your SEO.

2. Create content

A fantastic way to create more understanding and buzz around your brand story is by content creation: telling your brand story through content.

You could create blog posts for business, videos, podcasts, infographics, or any other kind of media, or a mix of all of them.

Start by creating a digital content strategy that defines how to uphold your brand story in each piece of content.

3. Be consistent

Trust takes time to build. Brand recall maybe even longer. It takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand. So be regular in sharing your content and your story, and be present in the channels where your audience is.

Over time, your brand will build a certain perception and impression in the minds of your audience, and eventually gain their trust.

Brand story template

Creating a brand story might seem overwhelming, but it can actually be a very creative and fun process.

Fill up the form below to download a brand story guide for building your brand story.

Get the full brand story template with worksheets and tips to develop your unique and powerful brand story.

Brand Story Step-by-Step Guide Final

Get a FREE, detailed guide to creating your brand story

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FAQ: Create your brand story

People buy based on emotions, not always logic. So your product/ service, however unique, is not enough.

Especially if you are a small business with not a lot of brand awareness or marketing/ advertising budget, it is your brand story that will help your audience connect to you, buy from you, and even refer you to others.

Every business has a brand story. It can be as simple as the solutions you offer through your business and why you delved into this particular business.

Why didn’t you choose some other business? What made you feel you have the skills to start this particular one? Where did you learn those skills?

If you are still not sure about your brand story, let’s talk about it!

Book a free consultation with me and we’ll figure it out together 🙂

A product story is only a small part of a brand story.

A product story should include the benefits that the product offers to your audience for solving a problem that they have.

A brand story includes all the solutions your business offers, and includes your mission, your purpose, history, and personality.

You can check out tools like Jasper and ChatGPT to create your story or about us page.

But in my experience, they are not able to capture the authenticity and true value of your brand story.

My strong recommendation would be to give your story some thought, grab your laptop, and start writing!

You can fine-tune it over time as you get more clarity.

Anyone can tell a story, even a brand story.
Imagine you are explaining your reasons for starting a business and for what you offer through that business to a 5-year old.
A child will ask you questions like: What do you do? Why?
Your brand story and narrartive can also follow this type of brand story framework.
If you get stuck, you can always schedule a free consultation with me to get some helpful tips.

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Poulomi Basu

Poulomi helps businesses grow with branding, website optimization, and content SEO. She has 17 years of branding & marketing experience in multinational companies and an MBA in marketing. She has been running her business since 2015 with a mission to empower entrepreneurs to grow with their online brands.
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Danielle
3 years ago

I absolutely love this! So incredibly helpful!

John
2 years ago

This is Gold!!! I have not come across a better article than this one on this particular topic. Thanks for being so descriptive on each point Poulomi 🙂

Ryan Biddulph
2 years ago

Poulomi this is an inspired guide. Being consistent goes a long way in building a solid, well-known brand. For me, keeping at the basics of publishing blogging content to solve reader problems along with building strong relationships allows my brand to be seen, and my story to be heard.

Ryan

Ryan Biddulph
1 year ago
Reply to  Poulomi Basu

Thank you for all of the fabulous work you do here, publishing top shelf resources again and again. Keep up the awesome blogging.

Foster Senu
Foster Senu
7 months ago

Hello Poulomi, Thank you for this detailed post; you said it right.Gone are the days when products and services did the talking.
These days, things have changed. You have to be consistent with your brand messaging. Your story must also be on point to have a chance of resonating with your prospects.
I like the fact that you discussed the length of a brand story.

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