Brand story

How to write your brand story by Susan Payton is a short book that expresses the importance of using stories to build a business brand. Even if you are running a small side hustle you can still use stories to strengthen your own personal business brand. In this book Susan uses the stories of five businesses to illustrate how effective stories can be to building brands. She uses the stories of:

Innocent the drinks company founded by three university friends. They started with very little and built a strong brand that became well known. This is used to illustrate the idea of having a business idea, overcoming challenges and finally succeeding.

Gandys which was founded by two brothers who lost their parents family to a Tsunami in Sri Lanka. They started their business to give back to the Sri Lankans who helped them get back home to the UK after the loss of their parents. Their story shows how they overcame a personal tragedy to create a successful business that now gives back to the community.

Leaner Stronger You, a business started by Jenny Nim, a health and fitness coach. Based on her experience, she wants to make health and fitness easy to understand and save people from all the misinformation that the industry feeds to people. She wants to help as many people as possible by making things simple.

Coca-Cola are well known for their advertisements all over the world which tells a story of happiness and excitement. The story that Coca-Cola keeps pushing is that drinking Coca-Cola will make you happy.

Cameron James Legal, founded by Ben and Emma Marsh is a company that specialises in estate planning. They give regular talks and use stories to enlighten people about the dangers of not having a will. They even use stories of various celebrities who’s estate are still being contested long after they had passed on. Though not an exciting area, their stories show people the importance of something that people don’t want but is needed.

Using these five stories, Susan educates us about the importance and power of stories. The book is divided into two parts. In the first part of the book she tells the stories of the five businesses and she also identifies why their stories work and how we can apply them. 

In the second part of the book she focuses on where our own business story fits into the customer’s story. According to Susan, we must tell our story in such a way that the customer sees us in their own story. Specifically she says that:

Telling your story is about positioning yourself as the guide your customer need – right now!

It is about telling our story in such a way that the customer can see in our story exactly what they need.

So why should you read this book? Well, there are a couple of lessons in it that you can apply to your own business or side hustle and here are some of them.

  1. We are encouraged to stop focusing on selling  and to start telling stories that will show potential customers that we are the perfect guide for them.
  2. Each of us has a unique story. No two stories are the same and it’s one of the things our competitors can’t copy.
  3. Your story is unique and the way you tell it will be unique too.
  4. There is no one-size-fits all template for telling your story.
  5. Your story is an opportunity to share what you are about, what’s important to you and what you stand for.
  6. By telling the story of why you started your business, people will get a sense of your motivation, passion and commitment.


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