One of the most important things you can do when launching your business is to create a brand story. A brand story takes your company a step further: Instead of just being a normal business like any other, you are presenting your organization as a company with depth, inspiring an emotional reaction from your customers. This is a sure way to set you apart from your competition.

Think of Whole Foods compared to Albertson’s. Both companies sell groceries, but Whole Foods relates to its audience with the slogan, Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet.

Rather than just talking about their groceries, they have a purpose-driven mission that sets the standard of excellence for food retailers. They make it known that things like environmental stewardship, community giving and responsible sourcing are just as important to them as their products are. Their marketing message shows that Whole Foods cares about their customers and the environment. People whose values align with Whole Foods identify with the company and they feel good about spending their money there. They have an emotional connection to Whole Foods and its mission, whereas they may feel indifferent to a grocery store like Albertson’s. Although both companies sell groceries, only one of them is telling a brand story, which has helped to make them very successful.

Every company has a story and a purpose behind what they do.

My story involves becoming an entrepreneur out of necessity. I didn’t have a lifelong dream of becoming an entrepreneur, but I was forced to pivot my career after delivering my son 12 weeks early. I had to be able to be in control of my time so I could work when I wanted to work and still take care of him.

I spent years curating my brand through trial and error until I finally had success. Now, I teach entrepreneurs how to create a brand story and launch their businesses. My story of climbing the corporate ladder, traveling the country consulting TV stations and then delivering my son 12 weeks early is a much more interesting narrative than just saying that I am the founder of D2 Branding and an entrepreneur coach. I’m relatable because I, too, was an entrepreneur who went through ups and downs and risked it all to start a business. My brand story is what separates D2 from other companies.

If you’re looking to start a business, you should work to develop your brand story right off the bat. Here are six steps to creating a brand story that your potential customers or clients will connect to:

  1. Start with your company name. Why did you choose this name? Does it have significant meaning that would be interesting to your customers?
  2. Describe what you do as if you were talking to someone who has no knowledge of your business or industry. After you grab customers’ attention with a simple explanation of the problem you are trying to solve for people, then you can go into more detail about what you do.
  3. What do you want your customers to feel when they come into contact with your brand? I always tell my team that I want our customers to think we are the experts in our industry but also know that we’re a fun team. How do you want to relate to your customers?
  4. What is your vision for the company, or your why? Why do you do what you do every day? This has to be greater than just to make money. If you’re starting your business just to make money and don’t have a greater purpose, you’ll burn out quickly, and your customers will see right through it.
  5. What is your X-factor? What makes you stand out from your competition? You need something that sets you apart from other companies, giving you an advantage. At D2, we offer a whole suite of digital marketing services, from website design to digital advertising, but our X-factor is that we’re also business coaches. Not only do we create an amazing brand for you and get you leads through advertising, we also coach you on how to make money!
  6. Who is your dream client, or your ideal audience whom you want to identify with your brand? Remember, there are riches in niches, meaning that you don’t need everyone to buy from your brand, just your ideal niche. All of your marketing messaging should be tailored to your dream client.

Now that you have the steps to creating a company brand story,  get your team together, answer these questions and start to write your brand story in an interesting, memorable way! A brand story tells everyone your motivation for starting your business, why you get up and do what you do every day, why customers should care, and why they should trust you, like you, and buy from you! Everything you do should incorporate this brand story.

Deedra Determan, Founder

Deedra Determan started her career working in television for one of the top media companies in the country and later became a marketing consultant in the television industry.

Determan went on to launch a niche website for moms in her local market with over 100,000 moms visiting the website each month using the power of Facebook. After one year from launching, Determan sold the website to Oklahoma Media Company, Griffin Communications. Determan went on to launch a digital marketing agency, D2 Branding that was recently recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur360.

Determan is the host of the Do It My Way Podcast Show, empowering women business owners and CEO’s to do business on their terms with no regrets, hesitation or fear. Determan coaches these women on how to create a personal brand so they can live a life of financial freedom, working when they want to work and making the money they want to make!