Why your brand needs a unified brand story
As your technology company grows, you might face the challenge of maintaining a cohesive brand story that unites all your products—and your product teams.
You’ve set your big, bold vision for the future. Your sales teams are successful. Your marketing team is consistently executing messaging across channels. But perhaps with the launch of a new product or expansion into a new space, you’re starting to feel that you’ve outgrown your brand. Maybe your story isn’t capturing the holistic vision of who you are becoming and where you want to go as an organization.
Having a story and strategy that encompasses all of your products and services, and which unites all of your employees, is key to moving into the future with confidence. And empowering your sales and marketing teams with messaging that inspires them can help boost morale and set a clear north star for their day-to-day work.
So let’s talk about why having a unified brand story is so important for your business. We’ll start by navigating the murky waters of what happens when your stakeholders all tell a different version of your brand’s story.
Overview: Why every brand needs a story
As Jonathan Opp, our Chief Poetics Officer, always says—”Storytelling is about making facts human.” It explains the what by focusing on the who and the why.
Story is one of the most powerful tools that brands have to persuade. It helps you transform dry data points about your organization (which most people are likely to forget) into a narrative that resonates on a deep, human level. Pushing your brand beyond nitty-gritty facts to an emotionally-driven place can do amazing things for your organization: your employees have an easier time aligning their values to your company, and your customers more clearly see their world with you in it.
When your brand tells a consistent, visceral story, you have the chance to build brand loyalty. Your stakeholders start to develop an affinity for your brand, and they start to associate their identities with the goods or services you provide. This connection is strongest when people love you not only for what you say and do, but also for what their connection to you says about them.
Internal impact: Having a strong brand story inspires and unites your internal team
Brand starts from the inside out. And part of having a strong internal culture is having a strong story to tell. Your company’s brand story helps you build meaning into an identity that everyone on your team can take ownership of.
When your organization doesn’t have a guiding narrative that resonates with your employees internally, they may feel less excited about their own work. It’s harder for them to communicate the importance of what they do, because they don’t see how their day-to-day activities ladder up to the company’s larger strategy and vision. This could all leave your employees thinking that their efforts have little impact or that their work doesn’t matter.
Part of having a strong internal culture is having a strong story to tell.
Imagine instead if your company’s brand story was a compass that your internal teams could use to orient their work. Much like the JFK and the janitor story, your organization’s story and vision should be clearly communicated and interwoven into each employee’s role—from interns and support staff to C-suite executives—to ensure that everyone sees and understands the bigger picture.
Having a clearly communicated brand story gives greater context to the amazing work your employees do to support the brand’s purpose. It allows your employees to connect the dots and see how their endeavors help shape the company’s culture and performance. Your team feels more unified and organized, working towards a shared goal. Your employees start to celebrate the things they have in common and what they love most about going to work each day. They feel more confident in their ability to talk about their jobs and the direct impact they have. Your entire organization gains momentum from this upswell of clarity of purpose.
By creating a narrative that incorporates input from the people whose lives will be most impacted by your brand, you bring them along on the journey and help them make it their own. And from a recruiting perspective, having a cohesive brand story makes it easy for your employees to talk about what they do with candidates and peers—giving them compelling material to draw from to help inspire new people to come work with you. It also makes your organization look stable and put-together—and therefore more attractive to new talent.
Customer impact: Having a strong brand story helps you create amazing customer experiences
What external stakeholders (like customers and investors) think about you ultimately defines your reputation—and impacts your ability to attract new business. So if you’re not telling a clear and consistent brand story, chances are you’re losing out on potential sales.
A clear sign that your brand is lacking cohesive messaging is that your sales teams are all saying something different when talking to customers, drawing from their own version of what you do and why you’re in business. This dilutes the power of your brand and can negatively impact your company’s credibility.
Your story isn’t just about what your products can do, but about what people can do with your products.
Another telltale sign is that your customers have trouble distinguishing which of your products or services is best for them. In this case you may need to address whether your product messaging clearly connects to your company’s brand message. A cohesive brand story can help you create messaging around your products and services—so your customers understand your various offerings and how you’ll help them achieve their business goals.
A powerful brand story will also help you stand out amongst your competitors. Your narrative gives your stakeholders something to remember you by, and something to build an emotional attachment to. And when your brand is memorable, you’re likely to be top-of-mind when it comes time for customers to make decisions about where they’ll spend their money.
Having a strong brand story is an opportunity to connect with your customers on an emotional level—to show them what you stand for, why you exist, and why your work matters. Most importantly, they’ll feel that you’re committed to creating products and services that make a meaningful impact in their lives. When you make your customers the real heroes in your story, they can see how their lives are improved when they engage with you.
What story will you tell?
In later posts, we’ll share more about the steps we take with our clients to create powerful brand stories—so that you can get started on crafting your own.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in what a great brand story could do for your organization or have a branding project you’d like to discuss—fill out this form to get in touch, or subscribe below to receive the latest news and insights from New Kind directly to your inbox.