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    What Is a Brand Story? (With a Brand Story Template)

    May 21, 2024
    10 minute read
    What Is a Brand Story? (With a Brand Story Template)

    As more and more consumers head online, it’s increasingly important for brands to foster relationships with shoppers instead of relegating themselves to faceless entities — if they want to win sales, that is.

    According to a study by Sprout Social, 57% of consumers increase their spending with a brand they feel connected to and 76% will choose to buy from them over a competitor.

    The easiest way to do this is to develop a brand story. Stories have brought humans together for centuries, and it’s no different today.

    With fierce competition in the ecommerce arena, shoppers actively seek brands that share their values and have a compelling brand story. 

    What Is a Brand Story?

    A brand story is a framework that outlines what your business is about, where it came from, and how it’s relevant to your customers today. It tells consumers the who, what, why, and how behind your brand and products.

    A good brand story goes beyond product features to connect with shoppers emotionally. In addition to differentiating you from the competition, a solid brand story can inspire deeper connections with customers, establish trust, and cement loyalty.

    The Core Elements of a Brand Story

    A brand story helps customers relate to your business. But, to encourage those deeper connections, you need to cover a few bases.

    Brand Origin and History

    What is a brand story for your organization? How did your brand begin? Taking consumers back in time to your brand’s beginning is an excellent way to build trust.

    Not only does it confirm that you’re a legitimate business (and not just a one-hit wonder), but it also brings customers into your world, inspiring an emotional connection.

    Your brand story should include why you started your business and illustrate the early days: Was the business born out of a pain point you experienced? Did you see a gap in the market? Were you dead set on helping a specific audience segment?

    brand story screenshot from homeware brand panda

    Image Source: Panda

    Bedding brand Panda shares its origin story on its website. It takes readers back to 2015 when the brand was created to counteract existing issues in the luxury homeware industry. 

    Core Values and Mission

    Research by Consumer Goods found that 82% of shoppers want a brand’s values to align with their own, and 75% will part ways with a brand over a conflict in values.

    This part of your brand story should highlight what you stand for. Are your products made using only natural ingredients? What causes do you believe in? How are you doing your bit for the planet?

    Shining a light on your business's purpose builds trust and establishes long-term loyalty with shoppers who share those values.

    sustainable fashion brand paneros's brand story screenshot example

    Image Source: Paneros Clothing

    Fashion brand Paneros Clothing openly shares its mission on its website, which has a dedicated page for its ethics and values.

    Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

    What makes your brand different from the competition? What makes you unique? Your unique selling proposition (USP) tells customers why they should buy from you instead of a competitor. Maybe you’re the cheapest option, only use local ingredients, or are committed to serving a niche market.

    screenshot of timberland's brand story and unique selling propositions

    Image Source: Timberland

    Timberland is no stranger to sharing its story. On a page dedicated to its backstory, the brand spotlights what makes it different, including the unique materials and processes it uses to create its products.

    Customer Personas and Target Audience

    What is a brand story through the lens of customers? It’s important to know who you’re targeting — and not just a broad, sweeping statement here.

    You need to get specific and go beyond the age and location of your top buyers. Instead, dig into their psychographic tendencies to discover their challenges, fears, dreams, and interests. The best way to understand your audience is to speak to them directly.

    Here are some ways to hone in on your target audience:

    • Send surveys: Ask existing customers to complete a survey about their interests, purchasing motivations, and values.
    • Conduct interviews: Ask a handful of your best customers to speak to your team one-on-one and share a bit about themselves. This can be a great way to understand the characteristics and attributes of your most loyal fans.
    • Analyze data: Dig into your sales analytics to get top-level data about your customers, like where they live, how much they typically spend, and their purchasing cadence.
    • Social listening: Track relevant hashtags on social media and join industry discussions to see what your target audience cares and talks about.

    In particular, look out for specific words and phrases your target audience uses — this can help you refine your brand voice and ensure you’re writing great product copy

    Bonus: Craft a Unique Brand Personality

    To stand out today, your brand benefits from having human characteristics so you can connect on a deeper level with shoppers. One way to do this is to craft a unique personality and a memorable tone of voice.

    Here are some ways to craft a unique brand personality:

    • Use the same words and phrases as your target audience.
    • Create a “brand persona” to give your brand a human feel.
    • Develop a tone of voice guide highlighting whether your brand is casual, serious, tongue-in-cheek, or authoritative.

    You can use a sliding scale system to determine where your brand’s tone of voice sits. For example, is it more informal than informal or more playful than serious?

    screenshot of brand story and personality from dollar shave club product listing

    Image Source: Dollar Shave Club

    Dollar Shave Club is renowned for its laidback, casual voice. It’s not adverse to a swear word or two and uses plenty of questions on its product pages to draw shoppers in.

    5 Tips For Creating a Compelling Brand Story

    What is a brand story without your brand’s special sauce? There’s no single formula for getting your brand story right. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure your brand story is the best it can be.

    1. Have a Clear Purpose

    Identify your business's sole purpose and mention it throughout your website, product descriptions, and marketing materials.

    2. Be Authentic

    Don’t make up your brand story — be genuine to create a real emotional connection with shoppers.

    3. Keep It Simple

    Don’t overcomplicate things. Develop a meaningful, easy-to-understand value proposition.

    4. Stay Consistent

    Ensure your messaging reflects your brand story across all platforms.

    5. Humanize Your Brand

    Most importantly, make shoppers feel like they’re interacting with another human when they communicate with your brand. 

    Brand Story Template

    Ready to put pen to paper and write your brand story? Here’s a template you can copy and paste to get started.

    Brand Origin and History

    • When was your company founded?
    • Why did you start the business?
    • What was your goal with the business?
    • What milestones has your business celebrated?
    • Why did you give your company its name?

    Core Values and Mission

    • What’s your brand’s mission statement?
    • What are your three big values?
    • What causes do you support?
    • What does your brand believe in?
    • What’s the main purpose of your brand?

    Unique Selling Proposition

    • What do you do?
    • What makes your brand different from others?
    • What do customers love most about your brand?

    Customer Personas and Target Audience

    • Who is your target customer?
    • Where do they live, and what do they do?
    • What are your customers' interests?
    • What are your customers' challenges and fears?
    • How does your brand help customers achieve their dreams and goals?

    Brand Personality and Tone of Voice

    • If your brand were a person, who would it be?
    • What words describe your brand’s personality?
    • What words does your brand use regularly?
    • How does your brand speak to its customers?
    • How do you want customers to feel when they interact with your brand? 

    Your Brand Story: The Secret to Standing Out on the Digital Shelf

    It’s easy to feel like there’s too much competition. But you have a superpower: your brand story. It can set you apart from the competition and help you establish deep, meaningful connections with your customers.

    Once you’ve written your brand story, you can infuse it throughout your marketing materials and product descriptions to develop trust and win more sales. 


    Product Description Template: How to Write Great (Not OK) Product Copy

    Download the template to create winning product copy that drives sales and builds your brand story on the digital shelf.


    Written by: Lizzie Davey

    Lizzie Davey (she/her) is a freelance writer and content strategist for ecommerce software brands. Her specialty is combining customer research with actionable copy to create pieces that people actually want to read. Over the past 10 years, she's worked with top industry brands to bring their vision to life and build...

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    Product Description Template: How to Write Great (Not OK) Product Copy Download the template to create winning product copy that drives sales and builds your brand story on the digital shelf. DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE