Your brand story isn’t relegated to a single billboard, banner ad, or sales brochure. There are a million ways to share your brand story—through every touchpoint and every interaction, both big and small. Yet many brands let it go untold. Why? Because they don’t take advantage of every tool at their disposal.
Although a brand story can come in many forms (for some brands, even a scent can tell a story), content is one of the easiest ways to communicate it. With words and images, there are endless opportunities to tell the story of who you are, what you care about, how you help, and why you exist.
Some brands know this inherently, using content to tell their story in all sorts of creative ways—and those are the ones we love to learn from. (We think they can help you too.)
10 Tips to Tell Your Brand Story
If you’re not sure how to tell your brand story, don’t worry. From clever emails to totally unique multimedia experiences, here are some of the best ways to tell you brand story—inspired by truly unique brands.
1) Demonstrate Radical Transparency
Brand inspiration: Zendesk
How they do it: With a unique “People” page
We’ve seen just about every iteration of an employee page—and they usually include some blanket statement about their “diverse” and creative teams. But Zendesk does more than pay lip service. With their unique Diversity & Inclusion page, they peel back the curtain to show you exactly how much their brand is committed to creating a truly diverse team.
As the brand says, “When a business talks about diversity, it can feel forced. At Zendesk, we try to keep it simple. Diversity and inclusion are more than buzzwords, and bigger than the bottom line.”
Here, they embrace radical transparency, detailing exactly how they’re taking steps to build a strong team and mentor underrepresented groups. They even include data visualization that breaks down gender and ethnic diversity across the company, showing that their commitment to equality is an integral part of their brand story.
2) Show People You Understand Their Unique Problems
Brand inspiration: Slack
How they do it: Through tailored messaging
One of the biggest challenges many brands face is telling the right story to the right person. One message doesn’t work for everyone, especially when you have a product or solution that solves multiple problems. This is where Slack shines. Slack is all about simplicity. Their platform consolidates communication, making it easier and simpler to help you communicate more effectively. And they translate this philosophy to their messaging, with simple, direct, and enticing copy that communicates a single, unique benefit to different customers.
3) Ask a Powerful Question
Brand inspiration: Tank Garage Winery
How they do it: Through a modal popup
There are great tools to help you capture your site visitor’s attention, but many brands use generic copy or a simple “how can I help you?” with their modal popups and contact pages. Tank Garage Winery changes the game by asking a powerful and somewhat unusual question the moment you land on their site: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
It’s a question that might throw you, but it’s a perfect introduction to the brand’s story. (The winery is the brainchild of two friends who decided to pursue their dream—an adventurous and scary undertaking.) Leading with such an interesting question is a great way to create a personal connection from the jump.
4) Turn Your Negatives Into Positives
Brand inspiration: Harmless Harvest
How they do it: Through honest ads
Harmless Harvest aims to create healthy food and beverages that are good for everyone: the people who consume them, the people who make them, and the environment they come from. That said, their commitment to fair trade means that their product is more expensive than other brands. Instead of seeing that as a negative, they tackle the issue in their ads, acknowledging the price as a reflection of their company values and their unwavering support for ethical commerce.
5) Turn Something Boring Into Something Entertaining
Brand inspiration: Native
How they do it: An entertaining order confirmation email
Being immersed in branding 24/7, it’s rare that something causes a buzz in our office. But that’s what happened when one of our Account Directors shared one of the wildest order confirmation emails we’d ever seen. These types of emails are usually boring, conveying just the basics. But Native, a natural deodorant brand, turns their confirmation email into a hilarious, ridiculous story about your exciting order. (We have redacted our employee name to protect their natural deodorant-buying identity.)
This clever and creative twist makes you instantly fall in love with the brand’s personality—and proves that even the most mundane communication can become an entertaining extension of your brand story.
6) Create Personalized Content
Brand inspiration: Adidas
How they do it: Through personalized film
Adidas is all about helping people enjoy the sporting lifestyle. As such, they look for content opportunities to help people celebrate that lifestyle. In 2018, they took it to an entirely new level with their Here To Create Legend project. To commemorate their 30th year sponsoring the Boston Marathon, they partnered with This Is Grow to create a unique media project that captured the marathon “story” of 30,000 participants.
By filming footage at key check points along the course and collecting runner data via RFID-enabled race bibs, they created unique, personalized highlight films for every single runner—delivered hours after the race. The result was a completely unique piece of content that helped the brand build a personal relationship with every participant.
7) Continue the Story
Brand inspiration: LetGo
How they do it: By telling the story of what happens after you buy
LetGo is a convenient app that lets you easily buy and sell used stuff. But they aren’t just invested in the transaction. With the philosophy of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” LetGo likes to tell the story of what happens to that stuff once it finds its new owner. From beautiful home décor to unique fashion, their Instagram is practically an inspiration board of all the ways these used goods enhance people’s lives—plus a tip or two on how to sell or buy more effectively. It’s a smart way to blend their brand story with their users’ life stories.
8) Show Your Work
Brand inspiration: Patagonia
How they do it: Taking people behind the scenes
Patagonia’s model is “Don’t test on our customers.” Instead, they put every product to the test before it hits the shelves—using professional testers. In this clever video, they show the extreme lengths that their professional tester/Alpine Climbing Ambassador Kelly Cordes goes to during his tests. From rock-climbing to weather testing, it’s an entertaining (and slightly terrifying) look at their commitment to creating the best products.
9) Give Them Something Extra
Brand inspiration: HelloFresh
How they do it: With a custom playlist
HelloFresh is all about helping people create delicious, healthy meals, but healthy living means more than eating well. The brand also created a lifestyle blog to encourage people to incorporate healthy activities into their life.
The post “5 Easy Exercises You Can Do In Your Kitchen” is a great example of this brand storytelling, and it even includes a customized own Spotify playlist (cleverly titled “Cook, Dance, Repeat”). Not only are the exercises easy to do while you’re waiting for your HelloFresh meal to cook, the playlist is a brilliant way to showcase the brand’s personality while providing a genuinely helpful tool—that’s totally free.
10) Let Users Show Their Creativity
Brand inspiration: Fiverr
How they do it: User-generated content
Fiverr helps you find freelancers for your business. As such, they have an enormous talent pool available on the platform. To showcase their users’ talents and generate creative social content, the brand asked contributors to design something inspired by the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year (Classic Blue).
This helped the brand celebrate their contributors’ creativity, provide exposure, and build a larger creative community through a simple, entertaining challenge.
View this post on Instagram
Introducing the Pantone Color of the Year 2020, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, they describe it as “a timeless and enduring blue hue elegant in its simplicity.” We tasked a handful of our Fiverr sellers to take a spin at creating something with the color of the New Year. Swipe 👉 to check out their creations. #Pantone2020 Artistic credit: @pantone / @lamonastudio / @zofiagoss / @melinarobledo / @karwozniak
How to Tell Your Story Through More Than Content
Your brand story is communicated through everything from your logo to your content. If you want to tell a cohesive story, you need to make sure every element of your brand is aligned and primed to reinforce it. For more tips on how to do that:
- Know who you are. Use our free Brand Heart workbook to identify your Brand Heart (aka purpose, vision, mission, and values). This will help you ensure your brand stories reflect who you really are.
- Say the right things. Find out how to articulate your brand messaging, follow these tips to write compelling copy that converts, and make sure you’re writing in your brand voice.
- Design a strong visual identity. Learn how to design an effective visual identity that visually communicates your brand, and make sure every piece of content you create is on brand.
- Tell the right stories. Learn about the keys to telling a good brand story, and get more brand story ideas from these 15 smart brands.
- Create better content. Follow our guide to optimize your production process to create a steady stream of high-quality content.
And if you hit any roadblocks at any stage, consider bringing in extra support. Check out our guide to find the right creative agency for you, or hit us up. We’d love to help you tell your brand story in any way.