At GROWCO I fell in love with the Life Is Good brand story and with the charming co-founder Bert Jacobs. I had been a long-time fan of the brand. The simple, yet optimistic message has made its way into my t-shirt drawer and is my go-to “wish you were here” gift for family members when I travel. When I heard Bert’s heart-warming story about how he and his brother started their business— living in their van, surviving on peanut butter, and instead of traditional marketing, electing to put on festivals that benefit kids overcoming violence, poverty, and illness—he had me at “hello.”  That shared story is why I transitioned from long-time fan to life-long fan.

Your brand story is not just your logo on a business card—it’s your voice in the marketplace. This is your business essence. If it’s not told in a compelling way, it could break you.

So how do you build an endearing brand story that catches the attention of prospective buyers and helps you attract and retain employees?

Start With Your Purpose

This is not just what you do. Share WHY you do what you do. A purpose defines what you stand for and how you are classified in the minds of your customers and employees. A purpose can be part aspiration, but it also needs to be authentic. You don’t want to make a brand promise you cannot keep.

A sample purpose is simplified in Whole Foods Market’s mottoWhole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet. They emphasize that their vision reaches beyond food retailing. The Whole Foods website states “our deepest purpose as an organization is helping support the health, well-being, and healing of both people — customers, Team Members, and business organizations in general — and the planet.”

Be True to You

Is your brand style a crisp white shirt and tie, or is it jeans and a hoodie? This may seem like oversimplification, but showcasing your personality is a key element to telling your story.

At Red Caffeine, our brand personality is “flava-ful”. In fact, adding our “flava” in everything we do is one of our core values. From our office dogs, branded space and passion for great craft beer, we think different and that’s the +. We have a bold brand personality and our clients embrace our  fearless thinking when telling their stories and setting them apart from competitors. Letting the brand flavor shine through in your story will help potential customers see the real you. At the end of the day we all want to work with people we like.

Tell Them What’s In It for Them

Your story should put clients first. Prospective clients don’t care that your employees’ combined experience totals more than one hundred years. They want to know what you do that can help them. I ask myself “why should I care?” as a test when reviewing brand story content for clients. If I am becoming glazed-over by industry jargon or fluff, I know we need to go back to the drawing board. What problem does your business solve? What questions do prospects ask you over and over? What metrics would be meaningful to your target audience? Create a brand story that serves up those answers and you’ll have something that compels them to act.

It Needs to Feel Right

Working with our clients on their brand stories is a very collaborative effort. Although we help wordsmith and play the role of the audience, it ultimately has to feel right to them. They need to be comfortable telling their story in their own words.

What do you do? Who do you do it for? Why do you do it better? Share your brand story below.