Branding Your Business through Storytelling

Hanna Walther, Ytel |  

Let’s get straight to the point: people are addicted to stories. Stories are what make us human, and they’re how we create meaning. You might be thinking, we all know people love stories, why is this relevant? It’s relevant because your brand and business is not exempt from telling a story. Marketing is a storytelling process that will bring your business to life. Your brand is the story of your business, and  little aspect of your brand is a part of your story.

brand-story-teller

Let’s get straight to the point: people are addicted to stories. Stories are what make us human, and they’re how we create meaning. You might be thinking, we all know people love stories, why is this relevant? It’s relevant because your brand and business is not exempt from telling a story. Marketing is a storytelling process that will bring your business to life. Your brand is the story of your business, and  little aspect of your brand is a part of your story.


The most successful businesses are able to create an audience reaction that is somewhat cult-like, because they all focus on answering one question: Why.

When it comes to your business, it’s no longer about what you do, it’s about why you do it. When competition grows, it’s not the what that will differentiate your business, it’s the why. And that is the key to creating a compelling story.

More Than Just a Commodity

You should apply your story to every level of your business. It’s no longer enough to put ideas out there and expect people to care. It’s your job to make them care, to grab their attention, to influence them, and to change the way they think. Through brand marketing, you can make your audience feel something. After all, that’s what they want. That’s the concept behind the why. Bernadette Jiwa explains that in order for your business to grow, it’s important to become more than just a commodity, and to do that, you must attach meaning to your products.

Product - Meaning = Commodity
Product + Meaning = Brand

So, how do you add meaning?

The Not-So-Secret Secret Formula


Simon Sinek discovered the secret of the most successful brands. Businesses, at their core, should exist to answer the why. Why are you in business? Why does the world need your product? Why you? Why now?

As mentioned earlier, it’s no longer about what you do. Why is the intangible piece people are buying from you. They’re buying a feeling, and maybe even a sense of belonging. Your business must have a reason and purpose that’s bigger than your product. Your mission, vision, and values make up that reason. These are the driving forces that will help you innovate and create. They’re the reason people become engaged with your business.

Once you answer the why, the next question you need to answer is how. How do your customers want to feel? How does doing business with you make your customers feel? How are you making sure your business stays true to it’s purpose through branding? How can you support your vision in the day-to-day running of your business?

How does your team uphold the vision and value of your business? How do the words and actions of your leaders and staff make your customer feel?

These questions may seem like a lot, but they’re all important to creating your brand’s story.

Once you’ve figured out the why and how, it’s time to answer the what. The what refers to the tangible things that your customers actually buy. The greatest way to add value to your products is if they come from a place of purpose and passion. Remember, people don’t buy products so much for their features, they buy them for how it make them feel.

Creating Trust

Think of your brand as if it’s divided into two stories or truths. There’s your business’ truth, which includes your mission, vision, values, and products, and then the customer’s truth, which is obtained through experience and interaction with your business. To measure how trustworthy your brand is, evaluate the alignment of these two truths. The more aligned they are, the better. Your goal is to make these truth feel like one.

Start Your Story


Before you begin your story, it’s important to understand what you’re really selling. Here are some other questions that will help you create your brand:
  • What business are you really in?
  • What do your customers want?
  • What can you do to get them there?
  • What can you do that nobody else can?
  • What effect will your business create?
  • What happens because your business exists?
  • What do you believe in?
  • What difference does your team make in the lives of your customers?
  • What do you stand for?
The success of your business relies on more than just your products. By creating a story for your business, and by branding your business, you’re allowing customers to become a part of your story and a part of something bigger than themselves. This is where the why comes in to play. The why is the key to creating loyal and engaged customers.In the land of brand storytelling, authenticity and audience connection are key to success.

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About The Author

Hanna Walther, Ytel

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Hanna manages Ytel's Communications strategy and has worked in Marketing for five years. She has a Master's in Communications and is passionate about connecting customers and businesses by building authentic relationships online.


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