Brand Narrative

Brand Narrative

Storytelling is the most important tool in your sales and marketing toolbox. Creating and deploying a consistent brand narrative that paints a vivid picture of how you help your clients drive success does far more to elevate your business than almost any other tool in your sales and marketing toolbox.

Even if you don’t have a blog or plan to have one, it is still critical to define the tone of voice and intent for every one of the major landing pages on your site.

Our dedicated team of marketing, branding and graphic design specialists, led by our Chief Identity Officer Monica Poling, have decades of experience helping people create compelling stories that help them stand out.

What Is a Brand Narrative

Traditionally Brand Narrative and the related editorial guidelines are tools that is most frequently used by major publishing and media organizations to guide the format and ethics of their content. (See the BBC Editorial Guidelines here.) Many universities and government entities also use similar documents to define their editorial policies.

A few corporate entities also use similar documents. (See MailChimp’s Editorial Guidelines) But by and large, corporate entities have not yet adopted organization-wide editorial polices.

As business identity specialists, we find it surprising to see so many businesses spend extensive time and budget on creating multi-page brand guidelines that define very specific usage of their logo and brand colors. But their brand narrative guidelines are largely absent.

Not defining the tone, voice and purpose of your brand narrative is one of the biggest oversights in today’s marketing environment. (In our humble opinion.)

No Brand Narrative?

What happens when you don’t define your brand narrative? Memes and cat videos take the place of thoughtful, compelling content. We aren’t opposed to either, per se, but we’re not fans when they lead to confusion over what your business stands for.

Inconsistent messaging can lead to a lack of trust and even a potential loss of business among clients and potential clients. Being crystal clear about your content plan is a critical element in the identity building and branding process.

Brand Narrative

Although every process is different, we generally start our Brand Narrative process with a one-on-one Business Strategy Meeting to clarify your overall brand strategy. In other words, what do you stand for and how do you stand out?

Then we build your Brand Narrative, which includes the following elements:

Introduction

How do you plan to use this document to govern the voice, standards and integrity of of your content?

Brand Manifesto

What does your brand stand for and how will your content reflect your purpose and your passion?

Brand Pillars

Does your brand have multiple pillars? How will you differentiate those pillars in your content?

Voice & Tone

What is your Brand Voice? whether you choose to be serious, cute, funny, accessible or emotional, your Voice & Tone should be consistent across all marketing channels.

Key Messages & Themes

What are the main stories you wish to communicate? What do you want your brand to be recognized for?

Content Heroes

Who are the heroes (target audience) of your content? What are their challenges and what do you want them to do after reading your content?

Editorial Guidelines

Although we recommend our clients use the leading authorities, Associated Press Manual of Styles or Chicago Manual of Style to set the rules for their writing, we also understand each industry has its own “language.” Sometimes this language isn’t codified in these guides. Do you spell out percent or use the symbol, for example? Our Editorial Guidelines present you with a lexicon of terms specific to your industry and recommended standardized usage for those terms.

Publishing Schedule

Our Brand Narrative includes a high-level overview of the top content platforms, newsletter content, and social media platforms for your business and a recommended publishing schedule with suggested post types for each platform.

Pricing

  • Brand Narrative: $2,500; includes a Brand Narrative document, editorial guidelines, content publishing schedule, and two one-on-one Business Strategy Planning sessions.
  • Brand Narrative + Content Development: $4,500, includes all of the above, plus original written content or significant developmental edits for eight landing pages; this level also includes a social media review and recommendations for upgrading your “About Us” elements.

Be the Red Umbrella

If you’re looking for more tips on standing out in a crowd, follow Monica Poling & Be the Red Umbrella on Linked In.

Which Pages Does My Website Really Need?

Building a superstar business identity starts with letting clients know what you do and why you are the expert at what you do. To demonstrate your expertise,, we recommend, at a minimum, your business website should include the following pages.

About Us

Our Services

Our Team

FAQ

Testimonials

Case Studies or Client Success Stories

Although we highly recommend creating a guiding narrative, we do offer one-off executive storytelling services. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

“Monica, I can’t thank you enough for your support and guidance. As someone who was initially worried I might be too mature to enter the world of entrepreneurship, I can’t believe how you boosted my confidence and helped me create a plan designed specifically for my career goals. Working with you and Sounding Line Consulting was a game-changer.

– Sue Berrie,
BLU IV Wellness

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Brand Report Card: If your marketing efforts aren’t delivering their intended results, let us take a look. Our Brand Report Card evaluates your messaging and your overall brand strategy, and includes insights and actionable tactics.

Brand Narrative

Brand Narrative: Storytelling is the most important tool in your sales and marketing toolbox. Our Brand Narrative document helps you paint a consistent, vivid picture of success across all your marketing and social media channels.

Brand Narrative

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