Every brand needs a legitimate, relevant, authentic and unique story to stand out in this noisy digital business landscape. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to have it down and clearly told.

So, how do you make your brand story stand out?

Differentiate. Differentiating is the key to branding.

Your brand has characteristics and strengths, but it is the differentiation factors that make it unique and carve out its identity and story.

This 4-step mini-guide is crucial to know and understand your Brand’s Identity and Story so people know who you are and what makes you different in the industry.

Humanise

When creating brand values, characteristics and objectives for companies, I normally start with a fact-finding drill. That is the first layer for me to understand what exactly the brand stands for and the values it is built on—it is like analysing what makes a person tick.

What is the reason your company was started? Your a-ha moment? Or how has your business pivoted within the changes taking place in the respective industry?

This process of humanising a brand is essential today to make sure the brand’s distinct attributes are known and understood by you, your co-workers and consumers. Only then can your messaging be clear, simple, effective and most importantly, HEARD.

Your brand needs a human voice, and a personality, but it’s hard to assign those qualities to a logo or a corporate name. Instead, try assigning them to an actual personal framework.

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Come up with a fictional character who represents your brand, and flesh out all the details. Who is this person? What’s their name? How do they dress? What’s their favorite food? What are their likes and dislikes? Are they excitable or calm?

Personalise

Once you have your Brand ID sorted, the next step is to identify your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA). I want to know who he/she is, how old they are, what sites they visit most often, what socio-economic bracket they come from and what their dreams and aspirations. What makes your consumers different from your competitors?

The list is long and extensive. Are they Instagrammers or Facebookers? Trump or Obama?

The more specific, the better. We need to dig deep. Then personalise your communication to this specific group of people. Communicate like you are only talking to this specific group of people in their lingo.

Contextualise

Read, research, gather data on the industry and your competitors to further fine tune your narrative and communication so you can further differentiate your brand and make its characteristics stand out.

You should know your industry inside out to make a difference in your offerings.

Guide

Remember, don’t take over — GUIDE THE CONSUMER.

Once you communicate your differentiation factor clearly, you will not only attract the customer you want, your community will gather and build organically because you are speaking their language and addressing their specific problems.

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Your brand or product should play the role of a guide to your consumer as opposed to taking over—the empowered consumer of this era needs to know they are still in control and the hero in your story.

By Puja Disha Bharwani, Chief Storyteller, What’s The Story?