The Power of a Strong Brand Story

Thomas Cree
5 min readFeb 15, 2023
Image of ripped paper revealing the words “Everyone has a story…”

A brand story is a narrative that defines a brand and explains its reason for existence. It highlights the brand’s unique qualities, values, and beliefs, and provides a connection between the brand and its customers. A strong brand story helps to create an emotional connection with consumers, which is essential in today’s competitive marketplace.

A strong brand story is a crucial component of a successful brand. It provides context, creates an emotional connection with consumers, and differentiates a brand from its competitors. A brand story goes beyond a simple description of products or services, instead, it encompasses the values, beliefs, and purpose of a brand. This makes it an essential tool for building brand awareness, customer loyalty, and driving growth.

The Power of Emotion

A strong brand story evokes emotion, which is a crucial factor in customer decision-making. Research shows that consumers are 50% more likely to purchase products based on emotional advertisements, in comparison to advertising which doesn’t tap into emotion.

Lesser(2022), when writing for Forbes magazine, explains that a consumers motivation for purchase often has a functional aspect. He points out the importance of understanding the target audience and how your brand can satisfy their needs. These motivations to buy into a brand are called emotional triggers. Although there are hundreds of identified emotional triggers, Leeer(2022) provides the following as a list of the most common:

  • To stand out from the crowd or be successful.
  • To build a better future.
  • Feel a sense of well-being, belonging, safety, peace of mind or freedom.
  • To experience instant gratification.
  • Protect the environment.

By understanding the emotions that drive customer behaviour, brands can create stories that resonate with their target audience and create a deep emotional connection(rockcontent blog, 2021). This connection leads to increased customer engagement and loyalty, as consumers feel a sense of connection and purpose when they interact with the brand. This can be proven by looking through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As you can see below the hierarchy lays out the specific needs for people to be happy and emotionally fulfilled. The hierarchy is placed in a primed format with the most basic needs at the bottom. As you can see within ‘psychological needs’ is ‘belongingness’. This refers directly to the human need of wanting to belong/ identify to a select group or tribe.

Image of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

By assessing the emotional needs within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, brands can create an overall image, principals and products which emotionally connect with the desired market group.

Differentiation

A brand story that sets a brand apart from its competitors helps to create a unique identity, making it easier for consumers to recognise and remember the brand. This differentiation is especially important in highly competitive industries, where consumers have numerous options to choose from. By having a strong brand story, a brand can position itself as the preferred choice for consumers.

When writing for Forbes, Paunovic(2018) provides 5 great ways to differentiate your brand from the others in the market:

Create An Experience

Consumers are looking to be brand advocates. By providing a great and personalised experience, your consumers will be more likely to remember and even promote your brand.

Stay Fresh

Whether you are releasing a new brand or even a new product within an existing brand, newness can help generate a buzz within your consumer base.

Offer A Solution

Customers often turn to a product or service as a solution to an issue they are facing. In order to achieve significant success, it is important to identify a challenge that is simple yet difficult for consumers to tackle on their own, and to offer your expertise and abilities as a solution. This approach not only provides a solution, but also cultivates trust and loyalty among customers, increasing the likelihood of long-term support and advocacy.

Be A Know-It-All

Establishing credibility is crucial for brands striving to become market leaders. By emphasising expertise, knowledge, and exceptional customer experience, you can attract customers and position your company as the premier choice. Utilising tools such as testimonials, explainer videos, informative content, and informative packaging effectively convey your leadership position.

Show Your Status

Achieving iconic brand status requires persistence and consistency, but a company can begin to establish itself as such from the start. By prioritising consistency, determination, and a strong connection with your target audience’s culture, your brand can become the trusted and preferred choice.

Building Trust

A brand story is an effective way to build trust with consumers. It allows a brand to share its values and beliefs, and provides consumers with insight into the brand’s personality and culture. And as written by Cvetkovic(2021) whilst writing for shoplift.com, “Consumers are smart and can sniff out a phony a mile away”. As you may have heard many times before, trust is something that takes a great deal of time to build and only seconds to break! the same can be said for customers trust in a brand, especially if the brand is new. A high level of transparency and honesty is crucial in building trust, and when consumers trust a brand, they are more likely to make a purchase (Wall, 2020).

The Edelman global survey(2019) was conducted to assess consumers trust in brands.The results from the survey identified that consumers trust in a brand relies on a combination of three points:

  1. Product Experience87% of the consumers questioned by the survey revealed their personal experience with the product effected their trust in a brand.
  2. Customer Experience56% stated that their customer experience with a brand formed their view on how trustworthy a brand is. This focuses more on how a company treats its consumers e.g handling complaints.
  3. Social Impact38% of consumers who took the survey confirmed that a companies ethical and social stance effects their view on how trustworthy the brand is.

To Conclude

A strong brand story plays a crucial role in building a successful brand. It evokes emotion and creates an emotional connection with consumers, helps to differentiate the brand from its competitors, and builds trust with consumers. A brand story encompasses the values, beliefs, and purpose of a brand, and highlights its unique qualities. Understanding the emotions that drive consumer behaviour and assessing the emotional needs within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are key to creating a brand story that resonates with the target audience. By providing a unique and personal experience, prioritising transparency and honesty, and emphasising expertise and knowledge, a brand can become the preferred choice for consumers and establish itself as a trusted and iconic brand.

References

Cvetkovic, A. 2021. How to Build a Brand Story: Lessons from Experts (2022), Shopify. Available at: https://www.shopify.com/uk/retail/brand-story#4

Lesser, H. 2022. How To Leverage Emotional Storytelling In Your Branding, Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2022/06/29/how-to-leverage-emotional-storytelling-in-your-branding/?sh=6d87b20f284a

N.a. 2021. The Role of Emotion and Storytelling For Brand Building, rockcontent blog. Available at: https://rockcontent.com/blog/emotional-branding/

Paunovic, G. 2018. Brand Authenticity: Why Differentiation Is A Game Changer, Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/11/16/brand-authenticity-why-differentiation-is-a-game-changer/?sh=5b07eb6a560b

Wall, D. 2020. Why brand trust is so important, Dusted. Available at: https://www.dusted.com/insights/why-brand-trust-is-so-important

--

--