How to create a compelling brand backstory

I love a good story. I mean who doesn’t. 

Brand storytelling, when done properly, allows companies to build an attractive personality and associate emotion with a brand to create (or, at least, attempt to create) a personal connection with the consumer.

Add to that, the prevalence of social media which has driven an increased interest in getting ‘behind the scenes’ of their favourite brand.

If you’re looking for ways to make your brand's backstory more compelling, here are 10 questions you can use, in part or together, to shape a backstory that builds on what your customers feel they already know:

1. How did you get to where you are now? Reveal how and where your brand started, doing what, with how many people.

2. What happened along the way? Disclose anything that was exciting, fun, mysterious, challenging or extraordinary.

A little mystery and intrigue can often go a long way.

A little mystery and intrigue can often go a long way.

3. Who were the main characters? Discuss what they initially brought to the brand and what they failed to see. Mention any heroes and the villains in this part of the story.

4. When did things look impossible? This is where conflict comes in. Tell us what nearly killed the company, and what had to happen to save the brand from going under.

5. Who where the key decision makers throughout the lifespan of the brand? Discuss any mitigating or welcome circumstances at this stage.

6. Why were their decisions that important? Imagine for a moment that their timely wisdom was not heeded. Where might that have left the brand - good or bad.

7. What are some of the side-stories around what your brand is famous for that you can reveal (and were never able to before)? Everyone loves a bit of backstage goss.

8. What well-known people/events has the brand been involved with historically or currently? Mention the nature of your brand’s involvement to add context.

9. How did your journey make your brand what is today? Give some personal emotive insight on this one. It's the possible clincher. 

10. What signs of your backstory are visible (even celebrated) in your brand today? This question is all about legacy. How using what you have learned to create a pathway for others to follow.


We hope you found this article useful. Drop us a line below if you would like help writing your brand's backstory. It might be just the hook your target audience needed to start investing in your brand.

Posted by Richard Etienne.