3 Exercises to evaluate your brand story

You’ve probably heard the term “brand story” being tossed around a lot lately. It’s not a new concept, but it’s certainly all the rage at the moment.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, you’re certainly familiar with this question, “So, what do you do?” In conversations, your brand story starts there.

In short, your brand story is the narrative you use to describe your organization and how it came to be, who you serve and how you serve them, goals for the future, what you stand for, and even the emotions that your mission makes people feel.

It’s both the facts and the feelings.

It’s (hopefully) memorable and creates empathy.

It’s a journey to take people on.

And it could mean the difference in having more sales or donations, interested partners and sponsors, and enthusiastic advocates—or not. It’s that vital.

With so many amazing nonprofits, social enterprises, and mission-driven small businesses out there, conveying your brand story in a way that engages others is critical.

Think about it. A story can make people laugh, cry, nod along, move to the edge of their seat, throw up their hands in frustration, hold their breathe in anticipation . . . and pull out their wallets.

What does your story move people to do?

It’s your story. How are you telling it? And, to take that one step further, how are people talking about you? Are they saying what you want them to? Are they able to repeat the most important aspects? Are they passionate when they speak about you? If not, it’s time to re-examine your brand story.

As I mentioned above, there are multiple components to your brand story, but for the moment, lets focus on your words, which are part of your brand voice. What are you saying when people ask, “So, what do you do?” The explanation you give in conversations, on your website, on social media, and in any other number of places makes a huge difference.

  • Does it make people care?

  • Does it make people want to hear more about you?

  • Does it help people see how you’re organization is different from everyone else?

  • Does it state what’s important to you?

  • Does it demonstrate how your brand is the solution to a problem?

  • Does it convey struggle and triumph?

  • Does it entice them to take action?

Your brand story is what helps people decide if they want to take the next step with you.

If you’ve realized some confusion in your messaging, aren’t connecting with your target audience, have brought on new team members, feel like your words lack luster, or have shifted focus, this is a terrific time to evaluate your brand story.

Let me give you three, simple exercises to make what you say matter more.

 
 
 
 
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Kristi Porter, founder of Signify

I'm Kristi Porter, and I started Signify to help small nonprofits and for-profits with a social mission get noticed and grow through effective marketing and communications. I also teach solopreneurs and small businesses how to incorporate philanthropy and giving strategies. I believe that cause-focused organizations like yours are the future of business. You're proof that companies can both make money and do good. And I'm here to make sure you focus and shine. When you succeed, we all win.

 

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