how to tell a brand's story

Do you tend to root for the underdog? Have you ever watched Undercover Boss and randomly welled up because an employee who is genuinely good to the bone, works multiple shifts, is a single parent and fighting cancer simultaneously finally gets the break they have long deserved? That's a story! People always have and always will love a good story. The power of emotion grabs people's attention, drawing them in like rescue dogs outside a pet store. You don't even realize it until it's too late...

Understanding your customers' needs, personally connecting with consumers and creating an irresistible desire to purchase your product/service is all determined by how well brands communicate their story. Often times bloggers list steps on how to achieve specific executions but since we are chatting stories, I'm going to share my process through a real life client example.

how to tell a brand's story

Recently, a client approached me with a start-up company, the talent to hand paint her products and logistically had determined production, finances, etc but needed a story. Triggering familiar emotions connect the brand and its' product/service directly to the customer so I began crafting both the brand and artist's story. 

jill chancey philips columbus georgia artist

This particular client named her company Knack And Jill so I needed to explain how the name came about. I began by defining "knack" as it related to the company.

definition of knack

Next I needed to introduce Jill and convey not only why her name was a part of the company name, but was also a spin on the popular phrase and poem, "Jack And Jill" as well. It had to be clever and succinct enough to be memorable, understandable and create a feel of nostalgia from anyone's childhood since the entire brand is built around joy, memories and family.

twist of original jack and jill poem

Don't you want to know this real life Jack and Jill already? That's the hopeful intention but my work was not done. At this stage, brands need to define what they believe in. I needed to connect Jill directly directly to the brand's foundation, joy.

life's treasures

The goal is to have resurfaced some happy childhood thoughts, connect them to Jill who embodies so much joy that it overflows via paint strokes on every linen that goes out the door. Promises are powerful and Jill's personal, artisan commitment to every product extends a warm invitation to her customers to feel that same joy.

local artisan jill chancey philips

Lastly, I needed to tie the brand up with a pretty bow because that's what marketers do. I decided to reinforce joy, family and paint a picture of what a customer's home would look like with a Knack And Jill linen in it.

hand painted home full of memories

There's immense pressure in setting the stage for a company's branding but where the rubber meets the road is the maintenance phase. Continually pulling on consumer's heart strings successfully with each product or collection results in repeat purchases. When loyal customers fully convert into a brand ambassador, magic happens...they start to spread the word. This is advertising gold! Not only is it free for companies but doesn't look like, feel like, sound like or IS paid advertising making it increasingly credible to the listener....and there's no faster way to spread the word than social media. We ran a social media campaign where customers send pictures of #WhatJoyLooksLike to them and the winner received a free tea towel.

what joy looks like

But how do you channel such strong emotions to evoke a customer to purchase a hand painted linen? That's when I suggested creating a collector's series of characters who each have a unique story authored by Jill herself. Meet Emily, Danton and PIP. 

branding story collector's series
branding story collector's series
brand story collector's series

To take it a step further, we published teaser blurb's to drive traffic to the website where consumers could read the full story. And because every company should support a cause, customers can donate to Knack And Jill's philanthropy on Emily's story page. Consumers who are driven to angel's, dachshunds, labs and the company's focus, children with down syndrome, are immediately prone to at least notice the collector's series and eventually purchase.

americas mart atlanta georgia company branding

Knack And Jill continues to experience growth and has since created several collections, attend the Atlanta Mart multiple times with great success and spread joy to all who encounter Jill's hand painted linens.