What is it about your favorite TV show that keeps you coming back? Why do you still think about the characters when you're not watching? It's simple. A great story creates an emotional connection, the more you care, the more you anticipate next season, order episodes online, and splurge on impulse buys.

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Now, great stories aren't limited to just Netflix. You share stories all the time with your friends, family, and colleagues; like the time you recalled your favorite moment from a family vacation or summer music festival. Like you, brands also have powerful stories to share, and it's those stories that inspire customers to anticipate every new feature, product, and upgrade.

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Think about it, there are plenty expensive jewelry brands out there, but why is Tiffany & Co trusted above the rest? It's because their brand story emphasizes their history, innovation, and premium quality, and that story is communicated consistently from print to packaging, creating a deeper connection with customers.

Every brand has a story to tell. While American consumers digest more than 100,000 words each day, 92% simply want a great story to connect with. To make sure your story is heard loud and clear, it's important for it to have authenticity, purpose, and consistency. To find the story behind your brand, let's discuss a few strategies you can use to develop a story that sticks.

Stories Can Project an Authentic Message

People are quick to point out when a brand story is inauthentic. When people research products, they often look for solutions to problems, relatable testimonials, product demos, or facts about ingredients. Since today's consumer is more informed than ever, you can use this to craft a powerful brand story that rings true. Take, for example, Jessica Alba's organic company, The Honest Company. The company started with Alba's own quest to find healthier baby products with honest ingredients. Alba instantly humanized herself to consumers by sharing her own struggles as a mom. That marked the beginning of her company's brand story--an honest solution to an honest problem that many moms share.

The Honest Company represents an authentic brand story done right, but it's also important to note how some brand stories fail in their attempt to establish authenticity. One notable example is Taco Bell. In an effort to communicate to customers that they use real beef, the fast food giant fell flat with their "Where's the Beef" marketing campaign. The message lacked clarity and connection, but the idea of "real beef" would have worked with a better brand story. Instead, Taco Bell should have featured the farms and hardworking people who raised the cattle to spark an emotional connection with customers.

It Gives Your Brand Purpose

Think about what motivates you every day. Is it a great job, your family, philanthropy, or perhaps a new business you're building? If your brand story has a purpose that your target audience can identify with, it will motivate them to engage with your company and share your story with their inner circle. After all, 84% of consumers trust how friends and family feel about brands. That's why you need a strong brand story that clearly communicates what your business stands for. Let's explore a few brainstorming ideas you can use to find your brand's purpose.

Company history: Revisit your company's roots to communicate the powerful reason behind your business. It could be a fascinating family story, innovative technique, or its historical place in your community.

What inspires your customers: Think about what inspires people to buy your product, and build your story's purpose around that. Let's say you own a premium water bottle company and want to target young city professionals who love the great outdoors. Let your brand story connect with their thirst for adventure!

What inspires you: What you care about matters to customers too. TOMS shoes, for example, tapped into this connection with their "Buy One, Give One" campaign. TOMS wish for everyone to have a pair of shoes became their brand story. Customers connected with that purpose, which instilled a sense of pride in TOMS.

Brand Stories are Consistent

The candidate who best communicates their message wins the election. When customers are faced with too many messages, or even conflicting messages, they won't connect with your story. Your brand story shouldn't exhaust customers. It needs to be simple, clear, and consistent among all your marketing efforts--right down to the packaging.

To illustrate, take the luxury clothing company, Vineyard Vines. Now, there are a lot of luxury brands out there, but Vineyard Vines benefits from clear, consistent messaging. They also project a more fun, accessible, and positive story about the luxury lifestyle. Let's breakdown some of the ways their brand story is communicated across different channels:

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Brand Logo: Their pink whale logo is aesthetically pleasing and communicates simple, cool luxury, even motivating teens to feature pink whale stickers on their lockers and cars.

Tagline: Vineyard Vines' brand story is all about the Martha's Vineyard lifestyle. Their tagline, "Everyday Should Feel This Good", literally conjures up images of the "good life" people aspire to, regardless of their income bracket.

Social Media: Vineyard Vines consistently features their catchy tagline in their Instagram posts, Tweets, and hashtag campaigns. Just because you're not living at Martha's Vineyard, doesn't mean you can't have the Martha's Vineyard experience--right?

It's time to wake customers up to your brand. You know how powerful a great story can be, so why not empower your brand with a groundbreaking story that customers can connect with? Successful brand storytelling turns customers into marketers by distributing your story amongst family, colleagues, and social media.

Start thinking about authenticity, purpose, and consistency to find a great story that sticks!

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Adel de Meyer

Social Media Strategist | Live Streamer
Adel de Meyer is a Social Media Strategist, Trainer and Brand Ambassador. Adel is a Top Listed Social Media and Tech Influencer, ranked by Dr. Jim Barry as a Top 20 Social Media Coach and listed by Post Planner as a Top 25 Social Media Blog.Adel works with companies like Pitney Bowes, Huawei, Later, Hootsuite and Brand24 and she is a Personal Branding Advocate.Adel helps Small to Medium-Sized Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Personal Brands globally by using Social Media as a Marketing and relationship building tool. Captivating your audience using Social Media and Technology.