What makes products and services compelling to consumers? Quality, right?
Sure, but for a brand to really succeed, it also has to have a strong identity—one that goes beyond just offering the lowest prices or the quickest service. It should be the part of your brand that’s personal and approachable. And one of the best ways to illustrate that is with an awesome brand story.
Brand stories are quick narratives that let customers know why your company exists—what consumer needs it fills. Let’s take the brand story of Clif Bars to see how a personal brand story can build the brand into something more.
Here’s the condensed version: the future founder of the company took a few nutrition bars with him on a 175-mile bicycle ride—the only such bars on the market at the time. When it was time to take a break and grab a snack, he realized that the bars he was scarfing down tasted bland, and he couldn’t bear to eat another bite. So he decided to make a bar containing all those nutritious ingredients, plus some great flavor to back it up. After experimenting in the kitchen with his mom’s help, the Clif Bar was born.
This brand story is so terrific because it shows a clear need in the market: existing bars were high in nutrients but low on taste. Anyone who’s had to cram down a bland nutrition bar can identify with the company and its brand. On top of that, the founder personalizes himself. He’s not only a very fit outdoorsman—like many of his existing and potential customers—but the first person he goes to for help is “the best baker he knows,” his mother. After the bars were born, the founder names them after his father, Clifford.
This brand story is printed on the back of most Clif bars. If a customer is browsing the competition on the shelf, they’re going to be comparing this inviting tale with the typical list of ingredients the other bars offer. Clif bars already have the edge.
So whether you’re wondering what makes your brand unique or appealing, or you’re just trying to get to the heart of your own brand story, ask yourself this: What made you set out to build your company in the first place? What made you passionate enough to put in the work and make something?
The answer is likely the heart of your brand and the beginning of where you’ll find your own brand story.