Brand story

Aren’t the corporate story and brand story the same thing? No, there are differences. They lie in the weighting of facts to feelings, experiences, values, and visions. The brand story touches, inspires, and has the potential for identification.

The story that triggers emotional reactions.

What makes a good brand story?

A good brand story tells a coherent story that combines facts and feelings. It is the story of the events that led to the founding and of how the ideas and visions from the founding period still shape the mission of the company and the brand today. Values, attitudes, and unique selling points are important parts of the brand story. They take a look at people, situations, and decisions; make actions comprehensible; and create identification. A good brand story makes interest grow and empathy develop, and the connection to the various target groups become strengthened.

Far before the picture was the word

The history of stories is as old as humanity itself. Even before the first cave paintings or first written characters existed, people were already telling each other stories and thus passing on information and important messages from generation to generation. To this day, it is the voice and empathy of the storyteller, the style of storytelling, and the storytelling situation that create a special connection between reason and emotion, touch the listener, and make what is heard memorable.

Perhaps the human connection to narrated stories is also owing to the fact that the ear is the first sensory organ to be fully developed even before birth. Hearing provides orientation. Tone colors, pitches, and sounds are associated with emotions. The ear is considered to have essential functions in terms of perception, learning, and emotion. These functions enable people to decode messages, evaluate them, and align their own behavior accordingly.

A memorable brand story can create a special connection with customers, users, employees and other target groups. Why? Because it can touch the listener and trigger a response that ideally leads to further telling and recommending. It can lead to reflection and consideration of one’s own attitude or expectations, and thus to a more intensive engagement with the brand. This strengthens the memory. In the case of a positive basic attitude and positive brand experiences, there is a high probability that the brand story will be passed on.

Connection. Resonance. Reflection. Remembrance. Narration.

Here is what a brand story should fulfill:

  • The brand story must be simple in its structure, language, and message. The simpler the story, the more memorable it is and the easier it is to tell.
  • The brand story must be emotionally moving. Facts alone are not enough. Events can be experienced through the description of fear and hope, disappointment and relief, pity and joy, or anger and gratitude. Understanding, appreciation, and identification can grow out of “putting oneself in someone else’s shoes.” Emotions build the bridge to memory.
  • The brand story must be genuine. That means it must be told firsthand and the experience must have been truly lived by a person or the organization as a whole. Even if the brand story is passed on and perpetuated from generation to generation, the true core and the narrator’s perspective must remain constant.

What is part of a brand story?

Brand stories can sell, motivate, convince, connect, explain, lead, or impress. What they all have in common is that they have a vision at their core and there are one or more people who have a concern or a determination to change or improve something in a big or small way.

The brand story is also about what you have failed at, how you have risen to the challenge, how you have grown from situations, and what influence that has had on your overall development and will have in the future. Characteristics, values, and attitude make every brand story even more moving, because listeners and readers can put themselves even better in the position of the actors and reflect on decisions. Problem and solution become even more tangible.

Building up suspense appropriately and the suspense arc turn an ordinary true story into a brand story. There are numerous approaches to the structure. The brand story is the blockbuster or bestseller in miniature and uses similar paths as those in film and literature. But there is always an anchor for identification, usually a person who has mastered tasks in a special way and looks confidently to the future with this experience.


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