There’s a great independent coffee shop in Glasgow called Toro Coffee, and for most of lockdown they’ve been open five days a week. I’ve queued for that coffee, rain or shine, just about every single day.

Don’t get me wrong – I love coffee, and their coffee is particularly amazing. But I’ve also got an espresso maker at home and yet, Toro is still at the top of my frequent locations on my Monzo card.

I stand in that coffee queue every day because of the affinity I feel with their brand. I get a chat and a smile every time I go, and I’m on first-name terms with the owners. Their personalities and values come across on their social media, and they’re really honest about the challenges they’ve faced during lockdown, and how important it is for them to support other small businesses, including their suppliers. They frequently share their customers’ Instagram posts of their coffee cups and their dogs waiting in the queue along with them. I also see a lot of familiar faces in that queue, who I suspect are there for the same reason as me – they’ve got an emotional connection with the coffee shop and therefore also the brand.

Brand storytelling isn’t a new concept; the idea of sharing the human aspects of your business that helps your customers connect and feel an affinity with you.

For a long time, it’s been lost in amongst a focus on making more revenue, getting more followers, or generally just being bigger and better than our competitors. But we’ve seen something different emerge during the past few months. The brands that we as consumers connect with are the ones that pull at our heartstrings, share memorable stories and enable us to trust them.

That’s why Boohoo shares plummeted after they were linked to a sweatshop-style supply chain, and customers called for boycotts of Wetherspoons and Sport Direct after news of their poor treatment of staff emerged. On the other hand, Gymshark continue to build their loyal following after a hugely successful Black Lives Matter social campaign and donating £180,000 to NHS charities. It’s also why we’re shopping in our local independent stores more than ever before. How brands behave and appear to us really does matter.

So how do you tell your brand story? Here are our top tips:

  • Think about why your brand exists – and why it matters to your customer
  • Remember that emotions drive consumer behaviour, and think about which emotions you want to evoke in your customers
  • Let your audience know who you are – as they come to get to know and like you, that’s when trust builds
  • Don’t be scared to be honest – it’s your choice how much you want to share of yourself and your story. But, we as humans respond to other human beings and it doesn’t always need to be sugar coated and perfect!
  • Be your own brand ambassador – as a brand ourselves, we’ve found that some of our social content that gets the best response is the stories we tell about us, and it helps people to connect with who we really are

So, are you ready to share your story? If you need a hand figuring it out, get in touch for a chat about brand storytelling, and look out for the second part in this series as we share our Yellow Bird Digital story!

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