Supercharge your brand with a Compelling Brand Story

This post originally appeared on the Singapore Business Review, where I regularly contributes articles about leveraging branding in small business.

In a competitive market like Singapore, many businesses are struggling to market their products or services among others. With a limited budget, many business owners will find that branding is a good to have or only for companies that are cash rich.

On another perspective, majority of the people whom I’ve talked to always think that Branding is about having a nice logo design, savvy brochures, stunning advertisements or an interactive website.

Contrary to common belief, branding is not only about a nicely done logo or big budget spending. It is as simple as having a compelling Brand Story.

Use compelling Brand Story to stand out among your competitors

A friend of mine brought me to an ordinary coffee shop two months ago to try this stall selling Bak Kut Teh (a Chinese soup popularly served in Singapore and Malaysia). This stall is quite ordinary looking but my friend told me that the boss actually found this Bak Kut Teh in Malaysia which he really loves. After much consideration, he have decided to not only spend a considerable sum of money to buy the recipe over, he actually spent many months there to learn the skill before setting up the stall here in Singapore.

At this point onwards, I will always remember the story behind this stall of Bak Kut Teh among so many selling the same here in Singapore. This infuse a virtual “flag” within my mind about this particular Bak Kut Teh stall in which it’ll always “pop up” whenever I wanted to eat or introduce one. After all, this is exactly the same reason this friend of mine introduced it to me.

Using this day-to-day example, we can tell just how simple yet powerful a story can help any businesses to make a brand established. Most importantly, you don’t have to spend any money to craft your own brand story. Here is how to start crafting your Brand Story.

  1. Know the difference between a Unique Selling Point and an Emotional Selling Point.
    Many people got this wrong. Shouting the benefits of a product or how the product functions does not engage people emotionally. To tell a good brand story, you have to touch people emotionally and get them to “feel” your brand. Apple did this point perfectly, by claiming their iPad “… invisible, where your conscious focused only on what you’re doing, not the device you’re doing it with…” Watch Official Apple (New) iPad Trailer
  2. Be Positive
    People react more effectively to a positive story. Instead of saying the hardship and problems you’ve been through before the product is developer, focus on what you’ve gained from the challenges and issues you’ve encountered that makes your product at its best.
  3. Ask your employee or client
    If you’re already established, the most straight forward way of writing a brand story is to ask those who knows your business. Ask them how they feel about your business and why do they choose you. You’ll be amazed at how different their opinion might be and will allow you to build a powerful brand story crafted by people who depends on it.
  4. Check on your competitors
    Nevertheless, you should check how your competitors are telling their story. The worst scenario is to craft a brand story similar to your competitors.
  5. Craft an attitude and belief
    Having a unique attitude to life and or a belief makes any person stands out. Same goes to any brand. Be it a belief in social responsibilities or an uncompromising attitude towards quality, it adds another level of depth in portraying your brand.
Last but not least, creating a brand story that you’re proud to tell everyone around you is vital. A brand story will form the very foundation of any branding development or strategy you may have. Go ahead, start telling everyone your story today.


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Johnny Koh

A project manager and a brand strategist, I have over six years of experience in advising businesses of various industries as well as the public sector in their branding and communications need.

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