Although we all love to listen to stories and will engage with them far more than data driven information, it can be quite hard to come up with a story that is relevant for the circumstances that you need it for. Finding and telling stories can be challenging and it’s something that needs to be practiced, so here are some ideas to help develop your brand storytelling skills.
Three quick exercises to find and develop your own stories:
Finding Personal Stories
List 7 personal experiences that taught you something or helped you see things from a different point of view. You might want to start from your childhood and look for a few experiences that you had that helped you learn something like riding a bike or taking an exam. Maybe something that happened in your first job, something that happened to a customer or maybe (if you are brave!) an embarrassing moment. Finding stories within your own life experience will help you identify the opportunities that exist to find stories within your business.
Ways of seeing
Imagine yourself as a completely different character with a very different way of seeing the world to you. You might be a journalist, an athlete, perhaps even a criminal. Spend a little time developing their personality and idiosyncrasies. Then have them describe what happened to you at work yesterday. Speaking about a subject from another’s point of view helps you to understand what can make a story interesting and perhaps what won’t.
Very often a brand or business will have adjectives that express the brand’s personality or that are used to position the customers they are looking to attract. Words like progressive, stylish, aspiring, dynamic, ambitious. But what actually do these words mean to your organisation? Spend 15 minutes writing down lots of other meanings these words have, and what emotions they emit. Look around your organisation to find evidence that these words really are a good way to express your brand. This exercise will help you to explore new ways to explain what you do and the experiences around your brand.
Brand stories are a great way to engage your audience and encourage them to listen to what you have to say, or stay a while longer, so find some great stories and get good at telling them.
Here’s 3 examples of great brand stories that will give you an idea of how you might want to create your own.