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  • Writer's pictureJeni Whitchurch

Do you have a strategic brand narrative, or just a brand?

What's the first thing you did when you decided to start your business?

I'll bet it was to design a logo.

And pick some colours.

Ooh and a font!

This was my priority as well. It's a bit of creative fun after all, eh?

But perhaps, like me, you missed the point.

You created a brand in the visual sense of the word.

Yes, it was recognisable. But it doesn't get you noticed as much as you'd like.

And it's not that different to so-and-so who provides a similar service.

Also, creating the colour scheme and logo didn't help when it came to the words you should say.

So, you said some stuff about what you do, and why, and how you got started.

But it doesn't pack a punch for your target audience.

They don't really care.

Story is Everything

'Everything starts with story'

Hadrien Chatelet, Brand Designer

I remember lying on a sun bed at our hotel in Turkey.

My husband and I had gone on holiday and, I was crying.

Teardrops were falling onto the floor as I lay on my tummy.

It's not because the hotel was a bit disappointing.

Or because my husband got food poisoning and had to be ensconced in our hotel room for a couple of days.

Nor is it because I got stung by a bee. (Yep, not the best holiday.)

It's because I was reading the end of The Time Traveler's Wife.

I had become drawn into the story and the emotion I felt reading the end stayed with me for a few hours. I felt like the main characters were out there somewhere.

A good story does that to you.

As social creatures, humans make sense of the world by making these connections between other people's stories, and our own experience.

"Stories about people being heroic or villainous, and the emotions of joy and outrage they triggered, were crucial to human survival. We're wired to enjoy them."

Will Storr, The Science of Storytelling.

Your marketing messaging needs to have a story that underpins it.

But what makes it strategic?

Well, every story has a conflict and the question is, whose conflict are you centering your story around?

If it's yours, your About Page might include your business origin story and the challenges you've been through and your favourite X, Y, or Z.

And it may resonate, but it may not.

People can be quite simplistic when they say everyone has short attention spans and they don't care about you, only themselves.

I don't think it's like that.

People are looking for connection with others. Even more so when they're about to part with money for a service.

If there isn't that spark of recognition and empathy when they're reading your stuff, they will tap out quickly because time is finite and only a fool would spend it reading blurb that's not relevant.

So, who should be the hero of your story?

Your customer!

You need to position yourself as the guide, in which case your About Page and brand story need to convey empathy and authority.

That's where the strategy process comes in.

You take your customer's problems and your genuine business story, values, and personal interests and mesh it all together to create a brand story that is unique and powerful for your ideal client.

I want to end this blog post with additional value from elsewhere (the SEO Wizards may call me foolish but I'm trusting you'll be back at some point or other).

Here is a podcast from 'Marketing Made Simple' where they talk about how to position yourself as the guide.

Ps. I'm not an affiliate, nor am I a certified StoryBrand person but I love their approach and though I don't directly use their framework in my process, I have been influenced by the StoryBrand book by Donald Miller and recommend it.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!

Have a good one.


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