The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Create an Epic Brand-Story Video!
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
I recently started to initially focus on creating and producing a deep, honest “brand-story” video for new clients. It is truly the ideal way to understand and define who you are and set the stage for all that is to come in terms of your messaging, and I'm not just talking about the marketplace. It is a way of putting first things first. Engineering a creative piece that contains the DNA of your brand is not an academic exercise but a vital brand-building one about how and why you are changing the world. (See Patagonia.) This post will not dive into how to build your brand story in video—that will come later—but it is focused on why you should do so!
Well, as someone who has created many brand-story videos–and hundreds of videos of all genres and for all platforms–I thought it was best to share the many reasons why this is crucial. Whether you undertake this process yourself for your new fledgling brand, or you aim to tackle it with your in-house team, or even your agency of record, I thought you’d find these considerations helpful in getting it made. (And feel free to call or write me. I'd be happy to offer all that I’ve learned from two decades of hands-on experience.) Here are my top 5 reasons why you should create a brand-story video.!
1. You should create your honest, dramatic brand story–in video–so that your current customers know the whole story about your brand. They are spending money with you, so, they trust you. This is your primary audience! Well, in my experience, a brand’s customers may know about one aspect of their business but, when they see your story, they may come to realize that you can fulfill another need for them. (Especially relevant in B2B.) For example, one major client of mine makes premium, battle-proven radios for military customers but they also build radios for first responders in the civilian world where the stakes are also high. It might sound obvious, but a story point about empowering marines in Kabul and also firefighters in Akron, may open many doors for your brand. Tell the whole story; it will bring greater perspective.
Also, your epic video–and yes, it must be epic–will make your customers proud to work with you! It is the same pride of ownership we all have with our favorite pizza shop or neighborhood florist. With this pride of ownership, they will want to tell the world. Make a great brand-story video and create deeper bonds. This will turn your customers into fans and, in turn, evangelists who spread the word. It works in B2C (see Apple or Patagonia) but it also works in B2B. Everyone likes to look smart and share good advice. You may even want to ask your best customers if you can share one of their stories in your video. This further invests them in you.
2. Many think prospects are the primary reason for marketing and telling your brand story, and they are surely vital, but be sure to focus on deepening your bonds with current clients before looking outward. (See #1 above.) Well, if you let the world know how you empower current customers, you’ll connect with liked-minded prospects who will also become customers. Being made into super-heroes is something we all want. (And, if you tell your story deeply, you'll actually connect with some that you didn’t even anticipate.) So, growth awaits, when you create and share in the right way. And, once you connect and find where your new customers reside, you can certainly use paid media to super-charge your efforts. Connect, then amplify. If you do it the other ways around, and aim to amplify with media dollars before you've connected with an audience, you'll squander those dollars. Might you need to recalibrate your brand-story video if it’s not connecting? Yes, perhaps if you work with those who don't understand "storytelling," but it’s not about adding on a new Hollywood-style ending; it’s about digging deeper!
3. Your brand story is also for your internal marketing team and colleagues throughout the brand! This is very high on the list. The marketing team and/or your leadership team are the very people who actually bring your brand to life every day. Your story must be inspiring and, of course, it must ring true to ensure it has a positive impact. I have created quite a few brand-story videos that end up being used for the onboarding of new employees, even though that wasn’t the original intent. Yes, a great video is a surefire way of instilling pride and purpose to those who come aboard. Everyone sees the same piece, so they get the same direction. And, for your marketing and creative teams, it can also be a guiding force on creative and messaging fronts. It contains the DNA of the brand and will help guide them forward, daily, and ensure that work is aligned on a conceptual level. And it can streamline your production process too, to make your teams more efficient. Pride, guidance, onboarding, efficiency, and more, all from a brand story told on video. That is power!
4. For publicly traded companies and start-ups, your brand-story, well told, can be a point of pride and also establish or reinforce your mission for investors. Now, this audience is important, they may be your lifeline, but they should not be a driving force for the shaping of your story, since this can skew it to the financials and turn others off. So, be sure to tell your story from the heart and your customers perspective. Yes, the why is crucial. Why do they want to get healthier, or work more efficiently, or communicate effectively 24/7? The investors will feel it too, just like everyone else, and they'll be rightly impressed. and reassured that their money is in the right place.
5. This point is arguably the ultimate reason to research, write, plan, produce, edit, and distribute a brand video, and that is—to truly understand your brand. It sounds like a college creative-writing exercise, so I put it last. But this in-depth “exercise” must be undertaken and, yes, one video can and should contain your whole identity. And typically, it can be done in under two minutes, maybe three, and, yes, sometimes longer. But this does force you to distill and define who you are now. And, it’s okay to also infuse it with a little bit of who you want to be! This is like proclaiming to your friends that you are going to eat right for your long-term well-being or take up coaching your kids in sports to be a more involved parent. It’s putting out a challenge, in public, that you now must meet. So, yes, your brand can aspire a bit, but it must already be going down that road. That is important. We are all becoming, and brands are no different. That said, make sure your brand-story video is mostly about who you are, so, when customers come calling, they recognize the brand you put out into the world. Or, they may go running. And don’t be afraid to tell everyone “how” you are saving—or at least changing—the world! More about this in future posts. Don't shy away from this.
Well, those are five key reasons on why great brands, yours included, should make a video that deeply, honestly, and boldly tells your brand story! Start from the beginning and show why your origins matter. It works with superheroes, and it usually works with super-brands. But make sure you spend most of your time on your present-day mission. Yes, there are even more reasons for creating your brand story in video (I'd love to hear your thoughts), but I am aiming to arm you, and your team, with many ways to best state your case! Do you already have a brand video from a few years ago? Well, it’s probably time to start anew or at least undertake a refresh. A brand is alive, as you know, and it's best to tell your story in the present tense to show how you—and your customers—have evolved and prospered. And, show everyone how you continue to change the world. They will take note!