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A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well. – Jeff Bezos
Stephen slouched over his desk with his head pressed against his forearms, which were holding him up. A dim lamp illuminated a pile of crumpled sheets of paper in the corner of the room. He sighed, knowing that sleep was not an option tonight.
“Think, Stephen, think,” he frustratingly thought to himself. “You’re usually so good at brainstorming!”
He hastily propped himself back up, reached for the closest sheet of paper strewn across his workspace, and unfolded it to reveal his latest and potentially most disappointing idea: “Stephen’s Formal Wear: Looking Good!”
Taking over the struggling family business was no joke. The pressure had been getting to the new CEO. He was the company’s last hope to create a new brand image that would hopefully keep his family afloat. But the most formal thing about Stephen was that for three generations, his family owned a formal wear shop.
He heard little scurrying footsteps in the distance growing closer and looked into the hallway, where he saw his daughter curiously approaching his office.
“Whatcha working on?” she asked. “I can’t sleep.”
“Just a new brand slogan for the company. It’s late, though. You should go to bed.”
She begrudgingly agreed and slowly dragged her feet back into her room.
“Think, Stephen, think…”
And then he got it.
He thought of how much he loved his daughter and his family. He took on the company for them. He thought about dressing up for weddings, reunions, and banquets that brought all his favorite people together.
It wasn’t about the formal wear itself, but the occasions for which someone would buy from his company. Stephen’s Formal Wear was a family business for a reason. He found one of the last remaining crisp sheets of paper from underneath his mess and scribbled, “Stephen’s Formal Wear: For Your Family Affairs.”
Sharing a brand story is crucial for letting customers understand why they should invest in your brand over your competitors. A strong brand story strengthens customer relationships and increases brand loyalty.
An authentic brand story is relatable, compelling, and attracts the right kind of customers. For Stephen, focusing on family events instead of looking good adds dimension to his brand. Not only will that keep customers coming back, but it’ll also spark the excitement of seeing loved ones associated with a formal wear purchase.
Take a look at Nike and how they execute their brand story effectively. They put their customers in the role of both hero and the villain in the familiar story of wanting to work out and be active, but feeling more compelled to take the lazy route. It’s a story virtually everyone knows well.
Nike’s “Just Do It” logo, alongside their signature swoosh, has created extreme brand loyalty at the international level. Customers agree with and relate to the story Nike has created, and feel supported by the brand. “Just Do It” is the motivational drive they need to keep coming back to accomplish their workout goals.
Your brand story matters. Tell it with heart and authentic intentions. Not only will it attract the right kind of new customers, but it’ll turn them into returning customers, as well. Think about what drives your business and motivates your customers, then create or revisit your brand story. See where it takes your company!
With a smile on his face, Stephen gathered his family around the dining room table the next morning and proudly announced the new direction that Stephen’s Formal Wear was going to take. Everyone in the room grew emotional and knew at the root of the business there was the joy of treasuring precious moments with family and friends. It was an unbeatable story, because it was a true one.
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TL:DR: A strong brand story strengthens customer relationships and increases brand loyalty.