What does it mean to get your brand story straight?
What is a ‘straight’ story? In the context of a police interview room, it means that a story has no kinks, no inconsistencies, no contradictions. It means that the story is coherent and credible and that it stands up to interrogation. A straight story is a compelling tale of innocence.
Getting a brand story straight requires you to tell a compelling tale of relevance.
This is especially true if a brand is a considered purchase. If customers don’t buy from you on impulse, your brand has to stand up to consideration. It has to stand up to comparison.
There’s a deceptively simple way to achieve this. To get your brand story straight, you need to inform, excite, and reassure. It’s a simple model for sure. But it must also be deceptive because a lot of brands, particularly b2b and service brands, seem to find it difficult.
The most common mistake is that, in its eagerness to excite a potential customer, a brand forgets to inform them. The first thing a customer wants to know is whether your brand does the job that they need doing. Is it instantly obvious, if they check out your website, that they’re in the right place? People won’t read the middle and end of your story if they’re not hooked in by your beginning, particularly if there is no beginning. You need to know, in their language, what job your customer needs doing, and tell them that you do it.
Exciting, not surprisingly, is about using customer-friendly language to emphasise the rewards of doing business with you. And, equally unsurprisingly, reassuring is all about playing down the perceived risks. To do these jobs well you need to understand how your customers define your market, what jobs they need doing, and how they feel about your brand in that context, in their language.
I expand on the idea of Inform, Excite, Reassure, with examples, in this blog post.
When you’re right in amongst it, day in day out, for many years, you accumulate a lot of history and clutter. It becomes difficult to see through that smog and understand the true impact of the changes you’ve made. Phil methodically cut through the smog, delivering a concise and insightful analysis of what our brand strategy could be.Founder – SAAS business in the travel industry
You might also find this interesting – Tone of voice: a very important waste of time. All about how to manage the tone of voice of brand communication, an important aspect of getting your brand story straight.