What is a Brand Story and Why Do You Need One? • Rebecca Ellison Creative - Brand Coach and Photographer
What is a Brand Story and Why Do You Need One?

I help online service providers understand how to build your personal brand through strategy, marketing and photography for greater impact.

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What is a brand story?

Your brand story is your guiding light to why you’re business, and how you want your clients to see your business. It’s the impact you want to have in the world.

It is the emotion and connection you want to convey to the world telling them why your business is here, and how you are changing the world.

Hold on, you may think. I’m not trying to change the world….

But, aren’t you?

All successful businesses are here for a point, and if you really want a business that connects and isn’t seen as a commodity, it’s essential to have a reason you are in business, and why you are different. By being different, you stand out.

It may not be a huge change, but on a personal level, to the people you are serving, you are changing their world.

The crazy thing about your brand story is that while you are leading the story, you don’t control it’s evolution.

Your brand is essentially a living, breathing thing and how your clients and customers see your brand helps shape it. Especially in a social media world.

20 years ago, brands were what the companies made of them, and because the number of ad dollars needed, only big companies were seen as brands.

But with social media, it’s changed the playing field to make it attainable to create a brand no matter the size of your business, but it’s also made that brand and the story driving it open to interpretation along the way.

 Found in the show room of Sholdt Jewelry in Seattle, is owner, Kalee's grandpa's safe with a family photo from the 80s as well as a current family photo of Kalee's wedding. Showing that this is a family business, and they care about family and relationships. When you buy from Sholdt, you get a jeweler for life, not just a pretty ring. Found in the show room of Sholdt Jewelry in Seattle, is owner, Kalee’s grandpa’s safe with a family photo from the 80s as well as a current family photo of Kalee’s wedding. Showing that this is a family business, and they care about family and relationships. When you buy from Sholdt, you get a jeweler for life, not just a pretty ring.

Your brand story doesn’t need to be huge, it just has to evoke emotion, a reason to feel connected.

It can be as simple as a homemade soap maker focusing on baby soaps wanting to use all natural, dye free products so that our babies sensitive naked skin is less inundated with chemicals. That is a worthy brand story.

It could be that you want to have the smoothest tasting cappuccino this side of the Delta because you believe that taking a moment to savor the little things makes life more enjoyable.

Or, like for me, my main brand story has to do with helping small businesses succeed by creating a feeling of relationship and connection before they’ve even inquired.

Can you have more than 1 brand story?

In today’s social media and content-heavy world, I think yes. Especially for small businesses where you want clients to connect on a relational level.

You can have an overall brand story and then smaller stories in the in between. The story that is why you are in business, and the stories that create connection to who you are.

The smaller stories are more about you, who you are and ways to connect with your clients. All with the intent of leading back to your customers and how it matter st othem.

Do you love dogs, are you super family focused, do you say silly things on accident and just have to roll with it (raising a hand here)?

One of the gals I enjoy following is Jenna Kutcher. She has created a brand for herself that is all about letting people know they are enough. Her business is a mix of wedding photography, online education and speaking, but when you see all her messaging, it is about being enough in your own skin and being worthy of your wants and needs. It fits in with what she sells because she educates small businesses on how to be better at business, but her brand story isn’t about making money or selling things.

When you look at her website and her Instagram, it’s rarely about the course she sells, and always about being comfortable in your own skin, loving mac and cheese, yoga pants and her dogs. It’s about her marriage and life a successful entrepreneur. She’s quite inspiring, you should take a look

The smaller parts of your brand story need to fit within the same overall tone as your main brand story but can be useful for creating a more personal connection within the brand itself.

For example, while my main brand story is to help service based businesses create a recognizable brand the customers seek out. I also love sharing knowledge, deal with the constant jumping between being a business owner and a mom while trying to succeed at both, have a deep love/obsession with Oreos ( I’ll share!) and say silly things from time to time and just know how to break the silence and laugh.

Those all fit within my main goal, but the smaller portions tell you who I am, and creates a connection on a personal level.

See? Don’t you want Oreos now too??

This type of connection is what helps us small businesses who don’t have those crazy ad budgets succeed and thrive.

The key is that your brand stories should always relate back to your customer. They want to know know more about you, but only as long as it helps them relate more to you alongside how you can help them.

So if your story does not do one of the above, then you can keep it as your personal story. But if your story builds on that human connection and helps convince the reader that you know what you are doing and that you are the perfect person to help them, then share away!

Now, tell me. What is your brand story? If you don’t have one, grab this free brand stories guide.

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