How to Enhance Your Brand with Your Story


I’ve been watching a lot of music videos lately. Truth be told, I recently converted to a standing desk and have been playing some of my favorite songs of late on YouTube, and I dance while I’m at my computer. It’s awesome. But some of the videos—the ones that tell a story—captivate me. As much as I might have liked the song initially, seeing the video enriches the song all the more, creating a deeper connection. It resonates with me even after I see the video, and is evoked in my mind whenever I hear the song thereafter.

This connection is identical to that which is created by infusing your brand’s story into your branding and marketing. When you see a product that is just a product, it just is what it is at face value. You recognize it as a product but you don’t connect with it—it’s faceless, meaningless. But when you see a product that is rich with information, messaging, ideas, history and intention, it stirs something within you and gets you thinking, wanting and acting. Most importantly, it builds trust.

How do you infuse your brand story into your marketing?

Just tell it like it is. 

Tell your story, simple as that. Your story is the how and why of the brand—people just want to know. They’re curious. Your story is also what your brand stands for, its values and what’s important to you. This will align your brand with your audience, showing them that you understand them, their lifestyle, their needs and desires. Tell them why this product is important. Why was it created? Why are you putting it out there? Why should they buy it?

Remember, marketing is telling people what to think of you. You are painting a picture in their minds with your story. Make it resonate.

Don’t be so literal.

Incorporating your story into your branding does not always mean actually telling your story. It may simply be present in the tone of message you use, and it should certainly shape the look and feel of your branding and packaging design. It could influence the type of container you choose for your packaging. Everything comes into alignment with the core of your brand.

Know when and where.

There are appropriate times and places to go into the full detail of your story, other times you just want to touch on it. Your website is a great place to go deeper into the story, whereas your packaging might have only a phrase or a couple sentences. Your marketing might involve some of the story, and social media is a great place to expand on your values and interests, and really personalize the brand.

Don’t forget your audience.

As you tell your story and integrate it into your marketing, remember whom you’re talking to. Make sure you are staying pertinent, relative and interesting to your audience. What’s in it for them? It might be getting to know your brand more and strengthening the connection, or sharing information that builds upon shared values.

Go further.

As you connect with your audience more deeply by infusing your brand story, they see that your brand understands them and their lifestyle, shares their values and is a brand they can trust. Also bring the product into the conversation and make sure they know how to use it, how to integrate it into their lifestyle and how it enhances their life. This will bring the brand story integration full circle with the consumer.

Tell the story of the product.

Think of the product has having a story of its own. Tell about the product—so many products don’t and are missing out on an opportunity to connect. What does it taste like? What are the flavors and notes? What’s the story behind the ingredients? How is it made? Who is it for? Again, infuse this into its design, packaging, marketing and messaging.

Who are you?

One of my favorite exercises with clients is to describe their product as if it were a person—what are its characteristics? Personality traits? Is it serious and sophisticated? Casual and fun? This gets them thinking in a way they haven’t before about their product offering, and sets the platform to build branding and marketing around this personality.

If you’re designing a brand without meaning, you’re presenting your products as a stranger. It might be a nice-looking stranger, but it’s still a stranger. When you create from a place of meaning, you create a foundation for authenticity, credibility, longevity and trust with your audience.

What is your brand promise to your customers?

What do you want your brand and/or product to be known for?

Dig deeper into your brand with our free guide, How To Make Your Gourmet/Specialty Brand Rock, and schedule a free workshop session with us.

Hi, I’m Jenn David Connolly, creative strategist and founder of Jenn David Design. For over 20 years I’ve partnered with specialty food brands to create powerful, distinct, strategic design that commands attention and gets results.

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