When we first meet with potential clients, one of the essential questions we ask is “Why?”.

Why, as a business owner or public figure, do you do what you do? What is your mission? What inspired your brand in the first place?

In last week’s blog topic, we touched on the importance of storytelling as the future of PR. This week, we’re going to focus on one very important story, and that is of the brand itself. A brand’s story translates to the emotions, values, and ideas it embodies and offers its customers.

Why does it matter though you ask? After all, isn’t business about the products and services companies or individuals offer regardless of the story?

The answer can be demonstrated through the trends of today’s marketplace, and the answer is an unequivocal “No.” People increasingly care about brands having an authentic, meaningful story and here is why:

Stories are interesting

Storytelling is the earliest form of transferring information. It unites people and forms emotional connections. Because of this, our brains tend to focus on and retain information presented in story form really well.  It’s the closest form to word of mouth, which remains the information source people trust the most. Stories are interesting, meaningful, and credible, and those are all the aspects you want associated with your brand.

Stories sell

When clients are aware of a brand story, they feel as if their purchase contributes to the story. This takes brand purchases beyond just the product. Items are no longer just to fulfil a functional need but rather a way people can make a difference in the world and express themselves, communicating with the world based on their values. Although it’s only one factor in their success, small new brands that start with a strong story and align their business practices to it, can compete with larger, more established brands. More and more, people prefer to shop at new stores rather than incumbents like Myers or David Jones, for example, who feel more impersonal and where shopping may have less of a personal meaning to them. This is shifting business strategy, with agencies specializing in bringing out brand stories in malls and centres that did not start with one.

Stories set you apart

The pure diversity of options for any given item or service in the marketplace decreases the meaning of function even more. A story is essential for filling in this space and setting a brand apart from all the other brands that sell ‘essentially’ the same thing. “Lifestyle” brands do this very well in attracting people to a lifestyle that is formed and supported by a brand that is related to the products but extends much further beyond. A brand story can’t be copied, so a real, meaningful story is essential to standing out above other brands and being remembered.

Stories are human

In our age of advanced tech, consumers are looking for the increasingly rare personal connection. People want to see how businesses impact the world positively, and if a brand communicates this, people will loyally support its success and follow along. Efficiency and technological progress are important, but empathy will always win. Purchases are driven by emotions more often than not, and inspiring positive emotions requires a human part of brands: their story.

Intern Agent Sofia