If only branding were as simple as ensuring everyone knew about your product’s benefits and trusting them to make the logical choice.
Brand stories are more complex than a simple rundown of a brand’s benefits, but they’re infinitely more effective at capturing consumer attention and building loyalty. Stories are one of the most powerful communication methods humans use. They not only contain straightforward information, but also emotional triggers.
When you read or hear a great story, multiple parts of the brain are stimulated, and you tend to synchronize your mind with the narrative. The ultimate effect of a powerful narrative is that you not only understand what’s going on, but you also develop a feeling of trust in the story. When brands do this, they build a firm foundation of trust with consumers.
If enhancing your brand story in 2019 isn’t on your list of resolutions, it should be! Here are five tips for enhancing your brand story in the coming year.
1. Keep It Simple
Your brand story doesn’t have to be the CPG equivalent of The Lord of the Rings. In fact, the simple story pattern of problem-solution-success is remarkably effective. Here are the key elements:
- Beginning: explaining the problem your brand can solve
- Middle: description of how your brand solves the problem
- End: enthusiasm over the results of having the problem solved
When told well and consistently across channels, even a simple brand story resonates strongly with consumers.
2. Make Your Story Connect with Consumers
Consumers want to feel like they’re a part of their favorite brands’ stories, so it’s important to make your brand story relatable. When your story helps the ordinary consumer feel like they could be the hero in your brand’s story, their affinity with your brand becomes stronger. Connecting requires understanding your target consumer and telling your brand story in a way that says, “We understand you. We are like you.”
3. Encourage User-Generated Content on Social Media
What better way to strengthen your brand story than to have your product users tell their stories that feature your brand? Social media makes this possible, and a strong social media strategy means that your customers’ stories become part of your overall brand story. When a customer posts, for example, a story of how they experienced a problem and then solved it using your brand’s products, you not only get the “cred” of a testimonial, you benefit from people who relate to that customer’s story.
4. Ensure Every Piece of Content Has Value
Simply crowing repeatedly about how great your products are is not the same as telling your brand story. Every blog and social media post should contain an element of value. Around 20% of those posts can tout “value” in the form of a special offer or event, but the rest of your posts should offer a takeaway in the form of, for example, a tip for using your product more effectively, or information on a novel way of using your product.
5. Don’t Forget Your Call to Action
Calls to action work. Simply asking the person consuming your content to share their experience, comment on the content, or click through for a special offer generates engagement that you wouldn’t get without that call to action. Calls to action don’t have to be sales pitches. Any call to action that invites people to share their stories or opinions will increase engagement. And consumer engagement is precisely what strengthens your brand and ultimately leads to more sales.
Your brand has a story whether or not you help craft and shape it. Naturally, you’re far better off getting ahead of the narrative and shaping it to appeal to your target consumers. Make it your goal in 2019 to strengthen your brand story, share it, and engage more with consumers, and you can expect to see a stronger brand by the end of the year. PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!