Typically, when you think of branding your small business, you think of logos. So, if you’re looking to brand or rebrand your small business, you might call a graphic designer or someone who specializes in logo design.
The thing is, your logo is only half of branding your small business.
Your brand is how potential customers or clients think, feel, or talk about you. To be sure, your visual brand is an essential part of branding.
The thing most small businesses don’t consider, though, might be to the most significant detriment to the growth of their business.
Narrative Branding! A great brand has a strong brand narrative.
What is Narrative Branding?
Narrative Branding is crafting the words you will use to talk about your business and the words you want potential customers or clients to use to talk about your small business.
Whether you’re a local mom-and-pop Indianapolis small business near us, or a company like Apple or Google, you want to be sure people talk about you in a way that helps grow your business.
Why is a Strategic Brand Narrative Important?
Donald Miller is the author of Building a StoryBrand. He tells a story in his book that illustrates why narrative branding is essential and led him to dream up the StoryBrand messaging framework (what we use to help small businesses clarify their message/brand).
Before he founded StoryBrand, Donald Miller was a bestselling author of memoirs (you might have read Blue Like Jazz or A Million Miles in a Thousand Years). One day, he was on an airplane to our hometown of Indianapolis to speak at a conference. He looks over, and the guy next to him on the plane is reading one of his books.
Miller asks him about the book and jokes he heard the author was kind of a jerk. Realizing this guy had no idea he was sitting next to the author, Miller decided this was the perfect opportunity to find out what his audience thinks of his work.
The passenger next to Miller said the book was the most impactful book he’s ever read, and he’d read it multiple times. Naturally, Miller asked what about the book changed this guy’s life.
The guy couldn’t articulate one reason the book changed his life, only that it had.
This was when Donald Miller realized he had not given this guy the words he needed to articulate how Miller’s book (his product) changed his life.
The idea for StoryBrand was born.
Don’t Make Your Customers Guess How You Make Their Life Better
When branding your small business, you need to consider your overall messaging in addition to your visual branding and logo design.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What does your customer want as it relates to your brand?
- What is preventing them from getting what they want, and how does it make them feel? These are the pain points you often hear talked about in marketing.
- How can you as a brand articulate empathy (I feel your pain) and authority (I can guide you out) to your customers?
- What is your plan for guiding your customers through their problems and toward success?
- What is the one thing you need them to do to start the journey (call to action)?
- What does THEIR success look like?
- What are the consequences of them not buying your product or hiring you and continuing to struggle with the problem you solve for them?
These questions are each a part of your brand story. They are the key questions of the StoryBrand messaging framework and the questions we guide your brand to develop your clear brand story. Together, they make sure you have a compelling brand story to invite your customers into.
Successful brands have great brand stories.
Branding Your Small Business Should Invite Your Customers into a Story
Everyone loves a good story.
When branding your small business, you need to find the words that invite your customer into a story. That is what narrative branding is all about. The questions above? The answers to those questions are the story you’re inviting your customers to join.
You see, each of us is the hero in our own story. We view the world through the lens of our own two eyes. We’re not looking for someone to take over the hero role from us. We’re looking for someone to guide us through the storms and lead us to a better ending.
It may sound a little overblown, but that’s what your product or service does for your customers and clients. You help them through whatever storm or problem they’re experiencing and lead them to a better ending. You make their life better.
“Don’t assume your customers know how you make their life better. Tell them!” Donald Miller, CEO of StoryBrand and Business Made Simple.
Is Visual Branding or Narrative Branding More Important for a Small Business?
Yes. The answer is yes.
People buy things because of the words they read or hear. However, an ugly brand will leave a bad first impression and might prevent your ideal customers from ever hearing your message.
We like to do visual branding and narrative branding at the same time. Here’s the Moonflower Marketing Full Branding process.
- Brand Messaging: We’ll walk you through a brand messaging session to clarify your message, so your brand invites its ideal customers into a story.
- Visual Branding: Once the brand messaging is complete, the visual branding design process begins.
- Website Copywriting: Overlapping the visual branding stage, we will take your new brand messaging (your narrative brand) and write website copy for your homepage and internal pages that reflect your clear brand story and invite your customers into a story of their own success.
- Website Design: Your visual branding should be complete by the time we’ve written everything for your website. Then it’s on to make it all beautiful and simple to navigate for your customers on your new website.
The process overlaps quite a bit and is typically completed within eight weeks or so.
Story Branding Gives Your Customers the Words to Talk About Your Business
When you have a clear narrative brand, your customers will have the words to talk about your business to others. Not only will your website and marketing be more effective, but you’ll also grow your business through word of mouth.
Imagine your customers knowing exactly how your brand helps them find success and avoid failure, and being able to articulate that directly to their friends and family.
You’re going to get more phone calls through word-of-mouth marketing! This happens regularly with our clients. Not only does their website perform better, but they get more referral business too because their happy customers know how to tell others how you made their life better.
A Clear Brand Narrative Ignites Your Social Media Marketing
Go back to the seven questions we asked earlier. Think about the answers to those questions. Now, think about how difficult it can be to create a great social media calendar to grow your digital audience.
Social media marketing just got easier.
When you have clearly defined the segments of a good brand narrative, you have the perfect elements of every social media post you ever need to publish.
Simply use each question as the starting point for a new post. Then, get creative in how you talk about that point. If you do this, you will better connect with customers on social media and further building a brand.
Let’s Rebrand Your Small Business!
Is it time to rethink both your visual brand and narrative brand? Together they provide a firm foundation for your overall brand. Let’s get to work! Schedule a Free Discovery Call with me, and let’s invite your customer into a story they won’t forget, and they’ll always share with a strong brand story.