How to build a brand narrative

Anna Guerrero
Anna Guerrero

Humans connect with stories. Thousands of years ago, history was recorded through narrative cave paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Today, books, movies, art, and various multimedia platforms have created a new narrative landscape that is evolving more rapidly than ever.

How to Build a Brand Narrative

Quite simply, it’s just how we’re wired.

Brands populate this landscape in many shapes and forms. In an experiment conducted by a London research firm, it was discovered that in just 90 minutes a person could be exposed to 250 different advertising messages from more than 100 brands.

Of those, it was revealed people are most attracted to brands with authentic or unique narratives. These tips can help you connect the world to your story:

1Know why you’re a great brand

In a video titled ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’, author Simon Sinek uses a basic philosophy to describe Apple’s success as a brand. Explaining why they continue to surpass other computer brands such as Microsoft and Intel, Sinek points to the technology giant’s narrative chief philosophy:

"Everything they do, they believe in challenging the status quo. They believe in thinking differently."

From this standpoint, Apple has created several narrative campaigns about connecting the world and communicating in new and interesting ways. In doing so, iPhones, iPads and Mac computers have become tools for change.

By determining why your brand is great, you’ll be confident about what kind of narrative you want to share with the world.

2Put names and faces to your team

Introducing the members of your team will add a personal touch to your brand narrative as the characters of your story. This will ensure that your brand becomes ‘real’ and authentic, rather than generic.

This blog presents some useful tips about how to present your team on your company website. Photos are a great first step, but adding your staff’s background, online social presence, and quirky facts will personalise your team even further.

After all, what’s a great story without people to tell it?

3Make sure your story is evolving with you

Blogs, social media platforms, and press websites allow content to be updated quickly and regularly, a great advantage for showing the evolution of your brand.

Social media campaigns can be a great way to incorporate new features, products, or additions into your brand narrative in the online environment. Having a good relationship with the press will also give you a chance to have the greatest scope for storytelling as you grow and evolve.

4Match your story to your style

Visual storytelling is just as important as writing or speaking about your brand. This blog explains how visual interpretation is actually our strongest developed sense.

Choosing colors that reflect your mission statement and target audience can be a great way to develop a more direct brand narrative.

5Make it easy for your audience to share

Allowing your users to comment on your social media posts, blog or website can be a great way to add numerous voices to your narrative. Facebook has even created a function to integrate blog and social media commentary. Social sharing can also increase by adding social media ‘buttons’ to interesting posts.

Another useful tip to remember is that people share content that reflects well on them. Creating content that is visually interesting, insightful and newsworthy will make your brand more sharable.

Here at Canva we’re inspired by great stories. How will you take your brand story to the next chapter?