Find your brand story’s universal truth

Business benefits

Relate more to your audience by using empathy to understand their emotions and needs and building a brand story they identify with.

Define who your audience is, where they are, and where they come from.

In many brand stories, the main character reflects the same attributes as your target audience, like Hinge’s main character, who is a 20-something white male because that demographic matches a prominent sector of their target audience.

Evaluate the current psychological, historic, geographic, and societal climates and conditions that are affecting your audience.

For example, during COVID-19, people had different wants, needs, interests, and worries. Read industry reports, trending topics, trending news stories, and look at your audience’s social media presence to gauge current audience sentiment.

Conduct audience interviews and surveys to gain insights into your audience’s emotions and challenges.

For example:

  • This vs that Instagram story polls to gauge audience sentiment about a specific topic.
  • One-on-one audience interviews.
  • Asking email subscribers to hit reply on an email newsletter to tell you about how they feel about the topic.

Research your audience’s social media presence and interests with tools like Hootsuite and SparkToro. Ask your customer-facing teams what people are asking for.

For example, customers might be requesting a vegan version of your food product.

Practice empathy by reflecting on your own emotions about the conditions that are impacting your audience.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • How am I currently feeling?
  • How is [current event] affecting me?
  • What do I want right now?
  • What do I need right now to feel better?

Brainstorm how your brand as a whole is feeling and what your brand can do to show compassionate empathy to your audience.

Think of your brand as a person. Ask the same questions you asked yourself, like how your brand is feeling, what it needs, and what it wants.

List the feelings and emotions your story will take your audience through.

Consider:

  • What do you want your audience to feel in the end after reading your story?
  • How does the main character feel at the beginning versus how they feel in the end?

Choose the one word that best describes the feeling you want your story to evoke.

Example feelings, or universal truths, include empowerment, belonging, comfort, body positivity, and health.

This should be a benefit, something with “relate more to your audience…”

The tools could be worked into the step here for more relevance to the reader.

I think this should be “Consider these questions:”

Edits made to address feedback

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