This is normally the starting point. However, most brand storytelling agencies, like The William Agency, will take a 360-degree approach.
Brand storytelling isn’t just a rehash of your history. It is an important facet of brand building, which also includes branded content and content marketing. This covers both print and online.
Storytelling in a branded context is the art of making every product, every service and every decision seem purposeful and driven by a core ethos or brand point of view.
How Can Brand Storytelling Boost My Business?
Let’s say a garden centre is feeling the pressure. There are another three competitor garden centres in a five mile radius and they are selling very similar products. How can the owner of this particular centre stand out?
One way to do this is through brand storytelling.
The garden centre owner tells his storytelling agency that his family has owned a garden centre on the same plot of land for 100 years. He has pictures of his great grandfather working at the site from the 1930s. He also points out that his family are all local to the area and have watched it change and develop over time.
A brand storytelling agency would take this information and run with it. By crafting a story that incorporates this history, the garden centre stands out from its competitors not because of its product, but because of the long ties it has to the community and the area. Customers will be encouraged to think that supporting this centre, instead of its competitors, is a way of bolstering their own local identity and history.
From this starting point, branded content specialists could spin this story into a whole host of related marketing, like a timeline on the garden centre’s website, an in-store display showing the history of the local area, ‘family’ Christmas cards to its most loyal customers and social media posts.
What To Look For In A Brand Storytelling Agency
We think we have curated the ideal mix of skills and services at The William Agency… although we are a little biased!
Brand storytelling success must start with a conversation. Expert copywriters cannot work in a vacuum and they will need to find out more about your business, often in-person. A strategic meeting or one-day workshop should prelude any attempts to draft a new brand story.
Your storytelling specialist should ask about your history, heritage, ethos, brand values and, crucially, about your customers. If you don’t have these branding fundamentals in place, agencies like ours would offer to help you create a stronger brand identity. This normally starts with a strapline and mission statement, otherwise known as an elevator pitch.
A brand storytelling agency should be willing to complete multiple drafts and incorporate feedback from numerous stakeholders.
Finally, we always offer our clients multiple versions of their brand story for different platforms, including online, print marketing, ‘Notes to Editors’ in press releases and for social media bios. This ensures consistency across all brand touchpoints.
How Long Does This Process Take?
How long is a piece of string? A good storytelling agency will work on a case by case basis. There is no one-size-fits all. Our advice would be to allow a number of weeks or months depending on the scope of the project, the number of opinions that need to be considered and the specificity of the story.
How Should You Prepare For A Brand Storytelling Project?
Arrive prepared to discuss the who, what, where, why and how of your business
‘Why’ is especially important. Take our garden centre example. The ‘why’ would be continuing a long family tradition, paying homage to the local area and its people, and continuing a legacy of gardening excellence that can be traced back 100 years. That’s far more engaging than ‘we sell plants’.
Decide what you think you do well and what needs improvement
Perhaps there are parts of your business that already perform well? Be prepared to share them with your storytelling copywriters. This may be indicative of aspects of your brand story that customers are resonating with. At The William Agency, we would immediately start thinking how this can be capitalised on to grow your brand.
Consider where storytelling will live
What will you do with your new brand story? How do you envision it will look on your website or in your next product brochure? How can you optimise the story across your store, e-commerce site, window displays and email marketing? Brand storytelling works hand-in-hand with branded content and it is important to choose an agency that has skills in both areas.
Prepare to be flexible and creative
You may be asked questions you’ve never even considered before. That’s okay, it’s all part of the process of thinking strategically and critically about your brand. Have a think beforehand of how far you want to take the storytelling process… would you be open to a new colour scheme, logo or visual makeover? Or are you more interested in the words that will bolster your communications and support your sales staff?
Be open-minded to change and let your brand storytelling agency guide you on your journey.
Do you have branded content or brand storytelling questions? Get in touch with us today to chat through your ideas.