Day #02: Back It Up
Updated: May 18
Writing Your Company Back Story to Build Connection
Brands that see the most success, gain loyal customers, and grow profits organically are ones that connect with customers on a deeper, emotional level.
Quick Summary if you're in a rush.
Talk About Your Journey > People enjoy being along for the ride.
Connect to ALL the FEELINGS > aka., people want to know if you're relatable. Are you like me? Do you have the same struggles, fears, anxieties, wants, needs, desires?
Are You the Customer's Hero? > Answer: You should be! Once upon a time ago, you had the same problem the customer had. How did you solve it?
PLUS: How To Steps to help write your back story
KRD/Brand Spin: The real point of this activity! This story, that's literally about you, is not actually about you. It's about your customer.
Back Story Steps
Answer any/all these questions about your business to get you going, or download and fill out the free worksheet if it's easier.
Why did you start your business?
What problem were you experiencing?
What were your major concerns, issues, obstacles?
How did you feel while you were experiencing this problem?
How did you start it? What did you need? What was involved in building your business?
How did you solve the problem you had?
How did you feel after realizing the solution? How were you feeling as you made the jump? What struggles did you face? How did it feel after you started to succeed?
What motivates you to share this solution with others? How do you hope others will feel or benefit from this solution?
What have been the reactions to your solution, business, offerings so far?
What's your bigger vision for your business?
>> Noticing a pattern? There's a point, I'm intentionally asking you to pull out all the different feelings you experienced at various stages for a reason.
Want to see an example? I filled this out too! Click here to see mine.
The best stories connect to feelings. Feelings sell. I say it over and over again, but...
People make purchasing decisions based on how they perceive a product or service will make them feel.
And you can't genuinely FEEL something for someone or something else without knowing something about it!
Try it. Imagine buying a product online if you could only view the front of the packaging. If you weren't able to look closer, inspect product or packaging, read any description about it, see reviews, or any other details about it. Would you buy it? It doesn't matter how beautiful or well designed it looks, you don't know if you're willing to invest until you've learned more about it. Following that, it becomes a battle between benefits and price comparison. Which is where story telling gives you a competitive advantage.
Are you your customer's hero? Not just as in, their knight in shining armor coming to rescue them from certain doom. (Woo bonus points if that's what you do.) But what I mean is, are you the hero of their story? Are you the person who faced a problem, battled it, overcame it, and THEN, like the shining light you are, decided to share that victory solution with the world?
The Real Point?
It's easy to feel like this Brand Story (BS) is BS (ha!) but it's not as much of a me-me-me activity as it seems. While sure, you and your business are the topic of the story, but any time you write "About Me" type content, what you're really writing about is your customer. Because your story, is their story.
When the customer reads your story, what they really want to hear is that THEY can become the hero. They want to hear every part of your story, your struggles, fears, anxieties, obstacles, because those are the things they are facing. When you voice these parts of your journey, in an honest, authentic way, it validates and confirms their struggle. Then, as you walk them through your journey and glorious outcome, they feel hope and envision their own idyllic outcome.
Examples + Resources
Because you shouldn't just take my word for it.
Jennifer Garner for Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time's brand story of "bringing baby food back to the roots with organic fruits and veggies harvested from local farmers" spoke to mother of three, Jennifer Garner, so much, she now serves as their Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer! Bet they value the impact of a well told brand story!
Artist/Feeler Blends Illustration with Honest Conversations About Living with Anxiety
What I love about her posts:
They're SO on brand. Colors, font styles, all of it, so consistent.
She's a great example of thinking, "Well this hero story telling stuff doesn't really make sense for what I sell." Hmm, no it does. If you're in business, you have a brand, whether you're crafting it or not. Whether it's a business brand or an individual brand persona, people want to know about the people driving things, and want to be involved to watch the journey.
How to Create an Authentic Brand Story that Actually Improves Trust by Neil Patel
Neil dives into a bit of the science behind story telling in human communication. When we say stories connect, Neil points out that it's quite literal! He references something called Neural Coupling, brain activity that occurs in two people simultaneously, affecting the same areas of the brain during the process of storytelling. But also goes on to talk more in-depth on why brand stories are effective, and how to improve yours. Pretty thorough read!
"Stories are a vehicle for trust and belief. When people hear your story in more places, it reinforces their trust. And when they start telling your story themselves, they trust it even more." - Neil Patel
5 Secrets to Use Storytelling for Brand Marketing Success by Susan Gunelius in Forbes
The author of the quote you see by Susan Gunelius outlines essentially the same tips given in this article: Be honest and transparent, infuse your personality, create characters your audience will root for (aka. their hero), include a beginning, middle, and end, and don't give it all away.
Some of the best goodies from her article:
Make sure your brand stories are page turners by focusing on the use of perpetual marketing in your efforts where one piece feeds off of the next.
Even brand stories must adhere to the three primary steps of brand-building: consistency, persistence, and restraint.
The important thing is to create characters that enable your audience to become emotionally connected to them to such an extent that the audience wants to follow their character arcs
...you need to take your reader along for the ride. If they enjoy the ride, they'll stick around, tell other people about it, and come back again and again.
As with all brand building efforts, your goal is to surround your consumers with brand experiences (including stories), so they can self-select how they want to interact with your brand.
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