What is your brand’s story, and are you telling it? Every business, from HVAC repair to Silicon Valley tech startup has a story to tell, but it’s more than just the “About Me” section on your website.

How a brand’s story is told sets the tone, and possibly even the definition, for the brand itself, so you want to tell it right.

When crafting your company’s brand and telling its story, consider these four success stories to make it the best story ever told.

BRANDING sketch on notebook

1. Authenticity is Everything

You can’t learn to be cool, you can’t learn to be funny, but you can always be yourself.

While brands like BarkBox yield 1.3 million Instagram followers with amusing and adorable pet videos, its success can’t be replicated if it isn’t real.

So many brands try to be “the next X” when they should be more worried about being themselves.

Few people know more about personal brand building than entrepreneur and media guru Gary Vaynerchuk.

His continuous stream of Snapchats and Instagram stories are raw, sometimes vulgar, but always very authentic.

It’s clear that he is himself at all times and that energy draws millions to his channels.

2. Make Personal Connections

People don’t buy products, they buy a lifestyle — that’s what branding is all about.

A good product is central to a lasting business, but it’s personal connections that drive emotion.

If you look at the most successful brands in any industry, they all talk about people using the products more than the products themselves.

It’s why Apple shows you customers using the iPhone rather than just the iPhone itself.

Amway, a multi-level marketing company, uses this to dispel the “pyramid scheme” myth that often plagues its industry.

Rather than inundate its audience with the facts of the business, it tells personal stories about real people who have benefited from its services.

Those are personal connections that will resonate with prospects.

3. Humor is Powerful (When Done Right)

The bigger the brand, the tougher it is to keep a cool factor without seeming fake.

There are countless examples of companies using “hip lingo” on social media and it totally backfiring.

And if Pepsi taught us anything with its complete blunder of a protest commercial, it’s that nothing is worse than a tone deaf ad.

But when companies get humor right, it’s big for the brand.

Taco Bell, probably known more for its unbelievably cheap fast food than brand-building humor, recently found a huge audience on Twitter by doing nothing more than just being funny.

If you or your social media has a real sense of humor, use it.

4. People Love Humble Beginnings

In sports movies, everyone loves an underdog. The same is true for independently owned gyms in the real world, which are constantly building a brand to compete with chains like LA Fitness.

People love small gyms like CrossFit or boutique studios, not just for the workouts, but because many of those gyms start out in a garage before building into a legitimate business.

When a company starts from the ground level, rather than just paying to play, customers are attracted to that company’s vision.

Guest Contributor
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