Generations mourn as an institution of fun closes all stores in the US, UK and Australia. But what can brands learn from Toys ‘R’ Us and their mistakes?
All right, time for a story. And today’s story is about stories – we’re going to talk about brand narratives and what they can mean for your business. So, without further ado, let’s begin a four-part meta-saga about the power of narrative.
The first clear benefit to arise from constructing a comprehensive brand narrative is direction. When you map your brand’s topography, from tone of voice to taglines to personality, you plot a course for the future.
Knowing where your brand has come from, where you’re going and how you go it about keeps everyone aligned. When everyone speaks the same language, things are clearly going to run smoother.
A shared narrative also means that responsibility for the presentation of your brand is shared throughout your whole team. So not only do you safeguard against inconsistency, you create a sense of harmony and camaraderie that stems from upholding the same values.
The sense of community you can build through narrative is by no means limited to your company. Your story is an invitation to your audience to join you.
Brand authenticity, experience and emotional appeal are all grounded in the narrative. Ticking these boxes are what can transform someone from a customer into an advocate.
Remember, stories are shared. When you have a story to tell, you lead them to pass it on to others; and this is where growth can flourish. Which brings us to our next topic: growth.
We’ve already seen how stories foster engagement with your brand. From that engagement (so long as it’s positive and the story that’s told is relatable) growth is inevitable.
On an internal level there are clear advantages to a strong narrative as well. Understanding what your strengths are and what your vision is can lead you to discover new opportunities for growth that you may not have considered otherwise. Is there content that could be produced in connection to your brand? Are there any services that can be offered? What subsidiaries added to your portfolio? Thinking in these terms opens you up to the exciting realm of “What if…”
By understanding who you are, you understand what your potential is. The next step is to strive to meet that potential and exceed it.
OK, so you’ve grown. That’s great news – who doesn’t love growth? But we want to be able to sustain it. And often times, rapid growth can be a real whirlwind. Amongst a whirlwind every sturdy ship needs an anchor. What’s your anchor? Your brand narrative!
Whether you’re onboarding new employees, putting together a brief for fresh content ideas or considering future investments in light of the revenue that’s just come in, you’re going to want to return to your story arc and use it as guidance.
Anchorage is especially important now in the ever-changing digital age. Consider always-on content and applications, which weren’t a factor 10 or even five years ago. Today, they’re a part of everyday business – and they’re most successful when they tie in seamlessly with a brand’s narrative.
The scope of your brand’s dealings may be vast and amorphous. But with a strong brand narrative you ensure that you’re always consistent, no matter where you’re at or which touch-points your audience interacts with.
See what a strong brand narrative looks like – check out some of our work.