With the playing field for small businesses shape shifting by the month, one thing is for certain when instability is the norm…
And that is :
Having a sound understanding of who you are and what you stand for will serve you well and act as your inner compass.
Your brand story
Your brand story is essentially the story of who you are, what you stand for, why you do what you do and who you help. It describes how your business came to be and why people should care about it.
It’s something that I dive into with my clients because you need a firm handle on this before going into the first stages of brand or website design.
It can be so easy though to get stuck thinking that your brand story is just one tune, which you define once and then reel off over and over again.
When in fact, you can instead be singing from a whole hymn sheet.
The elements of your brand story
It's useful here to outline what actually makes up your brand story. Branding experts all have different ways of approaching this, but I like a simple format best:
Act 1 : Brand Journey / The path that led you to here:
Back Story - context setting
Story - your pivotal ‘ah ha moment’
Lesson - what you learnt in that moment
Act 2: Brand Identity / The what, why, how of now as a result of this:
Values - guiding beliefs
Mission / purpose - reason for existing
Vision - aspiration for the future
Strategy - how you align your actions to your mission / vision
What I see is that sometimes people get caught up in trying to pinpoint one specific moment in Act 1…
The truth is there probably isn’t just one perfectly positioned epiphany event where the stars aligned and you knew to the depths of your soul what you had to do in business.
Release the pressure to fit yourself nicely into a pigeon hole.
Your path to here is a culmination of all of the defining moments and beautiful experiences (whether happy or painful) that have shaped you and brought you to now.
The moments that have made you question the status quo and think “it doesn’t have to be this way, it can be better”.
The experiences that have irked you and lit a fire under your arse to do something different - to create positive change. “I can do this!”
If you reflect, there will be defining moments from all stages of your life which will be relevant for your brand journey.
In many instances, on your website for example, you do want to wrap this message up into a succinct statement, because clarity wins and we need people onboard before we lose their attention...
But elsewhere in your marketing, why not spread your wings and experiment a little with your storytelling?
Stories are the ties that bind us humans together and create connection after all. So peppering your marketing with all of the relevant personal experiences and 'ah ha moments' that have defined you will make your message more meaningful and memorable.
Release yourself from a script
The big brands spend thousands defining their brand story, and they stick to it. One story to rule them all.
As a small business owner you make your brand and your story is constantly evolving with you. The ability to dance with your message is your super power - don’t feel the need to stick to a script!
Depending on what you’re talking about, certain parts of your brand journey will be more relevant than others, lean into that.
Don't let your brand story define you. You define your brand story.
Embody the whole of you in your message.
I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website designer based in the UK. I help wellness & creative businesses build their brand and online presence through photography and web, brand & human design, so that they can create positive ripples in the world.
Sign up to my email list to join my inner circle and for help on creating impact in your brand.