We all love origin stories. Because they break our hearts, but they build our favorite characters. Because they offer credibility and psychological background to the heroes we identify with. Because they explain why the action had to be like this and no other way. Because they’re the foundation of anything the protagonists stand for, fight for, love or hate. Does it sound a bit familiar? Yeah, an origin story is just like a brand story, right?
Origin story = brand story
Origin stories are for the movie industry exactly what brands’ stories are for brands. A well structured, fairly emotional, true, and motivating narrative that offers subtext for any mission, value, or action the brand takes. It’s like what the brand was before becoming a brand. And even though it’s all about the past, it’s important because a good brand story can motivate the team, can inspire the audience, and can even back a higher price.
In a world where the old advertising, aggressive and demanding, starts to fade and the power of storytelling starts to infiltrate into most of the successful brands, a brand story can start a great conversion and get the brand noticed.
As Simon Sinek explained, the target cares most about your “why”. About the reasons you started the brand, struggled to make it visible, fought to benchmark against its competitors. A big reason why the target will buy your service or product, in the social media era, is because they relate to your cause, to your principles, to your fight. And that’s why you have to clarify all of them into your brand story.
You’re not just a food brand or a travel brand, you’re an inspiration
You might think: “Hey, I’m just your average Joe trying to make a living. There’s nothing inspirational about me. Grow a pair and leave me alone”, but really, average Joe? You just had the most uninteresting life and the idea of a hotel just popped out of nowhere? Or if you chose to do the olive oil business, why didn’t you choose dairy products instead? It must be a reason. And of course, not all reasons are romantic and screen-friendly to be played by Meryl Streep, but for your type of target, it might be just the right thing.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Why did I choose this specific product or service to sell?
- What was the biggest struggle?
- Who helped me along the way?
- What was I dreaming while building this business? Did it happen?
- What’s my next goal?
A brand story I love? I’ll give you two
My favorite food brand story is the story of Re Restaurant, a small place that serves fish stew in Brazil. The owner, a lady who struggled all her life with stuttering, found her calm and passion in cooking. She tried to gather money to open a restaurant, but she had so many financial problems, that she almost gave up. She actually did, but one day a team of graffiti artists decided to help her decorate her backyard so that it looks like a welcoming place for people to come and eat. It worked. And now dona Suzana doesn’t have a big chain of restaurants making tones of money, but travelers from all around the world visit her and eat her famous moqueca.
Another brand story that I love is Mihaela Noroc’s, a photographer that travels the world and takes photos of random (not so randomly) women and tells their stories. It all started with her wish to travel the world. She had some money she could have used to buy a car, but instead, she decided to take a year off and just wander in different countries. While in Ethiopia, she realized that she wanted to redefine women’s beauty in a more natural, diverse, and including way and make this her life mission.
Storytelling. Origin stories. Get to the point, lady
OK, average Joe. This is my point: don’t miss the opportunity. Don’t get the human part out of your human brand. Don’t pretend it just happened, when there might be so much juicy stuff to reveal about your brand’s struggle. You might not have the time. You might not find this interesting or useful. You might not like storytelling. It’s business that’s your focus. Good for you.
But I’m here, my superpower is storytelling, I’m crazy about food and travel brands and I believe there’s a narrative everywhere. You target might think so, too.
If I can help with your brand’s story, I’m here.
DM me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Unsplash.com