Brand authenticity simply means honesty. It is the extent to which consumers believe a brand to be faithful towards itself and them.
The term has gained momentum in recent years as the importance of brand loyalty grows. Recent studies show that millennials consume differently to previous generations and are choosing authentic brands over their more transparent counterparts.
Today, more and more companies have recognised that tapping into their own unique experiences and using their stories creates brand authenticity and builds trust, something customers and clients crave.
Why storytelling works
Humans are natural storytellers and stories are one of the most powerful tools in communication. We use stories to understand and explain what is going on around us and teach ourselves important lessons. We are attracted to stories.
Brands play a major role as storytellers in our world. They shape popular culture, shaping our experiences of the world. Our day-to-day lives are filled with stories and characters that invoke thoughts and feelings in us all. These make us feel connected to a brand, we recognise it wherever we go and learn to trust it. A mouse becomes a childhood friend, an apple becomes one of the strongest symbols of communication and the image of a red Coca-Cola truck driving through the snow becomes synonymous with a certain time of year.
Stories can be a drive for all areas of your business. They can also solve a problem your business is facing and overcome some of the most difficult obstacles. Brands that create stories, both through their branding or marketing, demonstrate honesty and create loyalty, which allows us as consumers to become part of their story.
How to create authentic brand stories
While it has been proven those with the best stories succeed, crafting the perfect story can be challenging. Here at All Good Tales we want to help you craft your perfect brand story.
1. Identify your Magic Slice
Finding the right story that both you want to tell and that your audience wants to hear can often be one of the hardest tasks. But once you identify your story, coming up with ideas becomes easier.
To help identify your brand’s Magic Slice some of the questions you need to ask yourself include:
- Can you describe what you do in a single sentence?
- What three exciting things are happening in your industry right now?
- What are your brands topic areas?
These simple questions can help brands begin to develop their own brand story.
Our Storyteller’s Manifesto is a guide that brings you through identifying your Magic Slice. It outlines how you can find your company’s unique story and how to use it. You can request your own copy of the Storyteller’s Manifesto here.
2. Make customers part of your story
Once you have identified your Magic Slice and have developed your stories it is important to include your audience.
When a customer purchases a product or service from a business that is telling a story they are engaging in the story itself.
One example of this is Patagonia’s Worn Wear campaign. Customers have the opportunity to buy previously loved garments that have been carefully repaired. The initiative also allows Patagonia users to repair their own damaged clothing or trade in clothing and receive credit to put toward a new or used garment.
Patagonia has called this campaign “the stories we wear” and has creating numourous stories around it, including blog posts and videos.
This initiative works well as it places the story in the product itself. When a customer repairs a garment or purchases one through the scheme they are buying the story. The customer then owns a piece of the story and becomes a part of it.
3. Get other people to tell your story
One of the best storytelling tools is customer experience. While a great story should be naturally shareable there are a number of ways you can help it along.
- Use social media—being active of various social media channels can enhance your story. Share snippets, extracts or anecdotes that can be retweeted, liked and shared.
- Encourage your customers to tell your story—customer testimonials are one of the most effective ways to broadcast your story. If customers are happy with your product or service they will be happy to talk about it. Use these customer stories across your marketing and website, this will reinforce your brand’s story and demonstrate how it is trusted by others.
By getting other people, outside your organisation, to tell your story it demonstrates your brand’s authenticity. If other people are willing to vouch for your brand it shows how trustworthy and genuine it is.
Want to learn how to tell your brand story? Currently we are doing great work for brands like Kingspan, Glandore, Ancestry.com and daa to name just a few. We are building brand newsrooms, executing exciting PR strategies, and training key staff how to source, structure and tell great stories. For more information please click here or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845.