Your brand story is exactly that, a story. It should tell me who you are in a story format.
I wrote previously on the process of writing your brand story and who should write it – Your Brand Story – Who Should Write It?
There are 3 key elements to a brand story.
A Strong Opening
We want to open the story with a compelling message to entice the reader to want to read on. I use ….
I have had an eclectic career to say the least!
Carol Ross, a career coach from Denver, starts her story:
Everyone has a story, waiting to be told.
Tonya Clement has a bit more thoughtful opener:
Perhaps the most important lesson of my life is this: there is a big difference between being alive and truly living, and trading one for the other often means heeding destiny’s call.
Be creative but authentic!
A Memorable Label
You will want to label yourself with a phrase that is memorable. In my previous post I mentioned that I used to refer to myself as an articulate techno-weenie and I now refer to myself as a recovering engineer.
In the Carol’s, Tonya’s and my brand story, we want you to remember our company names. In my case, that is Career Pivot.
Your story and your label should enforce what you want people to remember about you. You should come up with a catchy phrase that says who you are that is memorable but authentic. Marketing that sounds great but doesn’t really tell who you are is a bad idea. Find a group of your friends who can brainstorm on the topic and share what they think is a true expression of who you are and what you bring to the table. Come up with 20-30 phrases and then you may want to test them out… You have to be comfortable using the phrase!
This is not different from the key phrases from brands like Nike, Just Do It, or Allstate, You’re in Good Hands with Allstate, or Capital One, What’s in your Wallet or M&Ms, It melts in your mouth, not in your hands.
A Brand Theme
What do you want people to think and/or feel after they have read your story. There should be a common theme that accompanies your label.
In Tonya Clements‘ story that I referenced above, it was all about how mountain climbing was inspirational and how she climbed Mount Everest. Which led her to building programs to inspire people to reach their peak performance.
It is a great theme that could easily inspire you to contact her. The story is about inspiration.
My story is much simpler. It is about how a near fatal bicycle accident provided me the push to do what I really wanted to do with my life, helping people make career decisions. The story is about finding career direction and satisfaction.
Are you ready to write your brand story?
Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.