Branding for Bucks: Your Brand Story

Yesterday, after taking eight blog posts to explain the branding platform and thethis is the tenth post in the series brand vow, I said I�d address naming today. But I forgot a branding activity that really should be tackled before naming your business or product.

That element is your brand story.

It should precede naming because quite often the brand story can trigger name ideas.

So what is a brand story?

For a new business, it probably hinges on why the founders are gung ho about starting up. What caused the founders to think about a problem the company sets out to alleviate? Who are the founders and what makes them so passionate about the company�s vision and mission? What was the defining moment like? Things like that.

It could be a bad experience motivated the founders to pursue a need going unfulfilled through existing organizations. Or perhaps a technological discovery leads to a �what if� revelation. Or it might be a family tradition with a twist.

If the business has a history � perhaps it began in a dorm room and is now ready to introduce its first product or service three years later � then you could make that the nub of the story.

It need not be a dramatic story � most aren�t. But it does need to stir people within the organization and help establish a relationship with prospects without. Yes, it should be shared with the world.

At least the first draft should be written by the founders. It can then be �polished� if need be, so long as it retains two characteristics: honesty and simplicity. This is gut level stuff.

Once fashioned and published, it will grow over time as the company and the brand grow. So the brand story is a living document, one that should probably be reviewed at least once a year. For public companies, the brand story will be publishedin the annual report.

In years to come, the brand story will be a story of the company�s heritage. But in the beginning it is a story of vision.

Now, we can address the name. Beginning with tomorrow�s post.

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