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If you want people to really love your brand, they need to feel a connection. This connection is what creates a strong loyalty that ultimately grows into customers feeling invested in your brand. One way to build this connection is through a brand story.

At Hubspot’s Inbound14, Camille Ricketts, the Editor in Chief at First Round Capital, shared 5 actionable tactics every brand can implement to create a connection, a sense of emotion, and build loyalty that will surely lead people to actually love your brand.

Here’s what she said:

1. Know your audience

To tell your your brand story, first and foremost, you must know who your audience really is. The more detail you can get, the better.

Pretend you are having a conversation with your potential customer. What do you know about their daily lives? What are their hobbies? How do they consume media? What situations will they relate to?

Continue to ask these questions until you can envision your ideal customer in your mind. Be specific when it comes to describing this ideal person. Ultimately you want to know how your brand can be a solution to their problems or simplify their lives.

2. Positioning is everything

Once you have your ideal customer in mind, learn how to position your brand. Ricketts presented the following formula to help you construct a positioning statement that will be the heart of your brand story. Fill in the blanks to start your very own positioning statement:

  1. For (your target customer)
  2. Who (statement of their need or opportunity)
  3. (Your product name) is a (product category)
  4. That (statement of key benefit)
  5. Unlike (your competing alternative)
  6. (Your product name) (its primary differentiation)

Once you feel like you have a strong positioning statement, use it to create a mindmap. “Start with one word that represents your brand and freely associate the images and words that come to mind until you hit a word that conveys emotion and sentiment,” says Ricketts. Once you evoke that emotion that represents your brand you’ll know it and so will your customers.

3. Find your brand hero

Every brand story needs a brand hero. Ricketts feels, “people will take action when they feel a unique connection with a person.” Your brand hero should prove that your product works. Turn to your current customer base and see if they can tell your story alongside you.

4. Be authentic

“People hate being manipulated,” said Rickett “if you’re not authentic people won’t buy what you’re selling them.”

Rickett suggests doing a brand audit by asking yourself what message you are sending through “the words you are using, the images, even the color palette and aesthetic.” For each of these questions, then further ask yourself, “What could we be doing that is a little different? Very different? Are they part of our identity?”

5. Design it to be shared

For any brand story to be loveable it also has to be shared.

“Everything you put out is an opportunity for commonality among people.” Ricketts explained there are three reasons why people share content:

  1. To make people think, feel or smile: Does it provide a fuzzy or warm thought that make people rethink what they know about your brand or enhance their love for you?
  2. To define ourselves to others – what we put out on social represents our own personal brand and we share what will make others view us the way we want?
  3. Positive validation: Does your brand to empower your customers to tell a story they already want to tell?

“Come up with a brand and story your customers will love, so they can relate to you, and empower your brand,” suggests Ricketts. Once you’ve created a brand your customers love they will look forward to what you will do next.

How do you tell your brand story? Let us know in the comments!

Photo by Paul’s Imaging used under Creative Commons.

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