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Building a Brand Out of Your Story

Updated: Mar 23

“Brands are built around stories. And stories of identity – who we are, where we’ve come from – are the most effective stories of all. This storytelling is a powerful way to bring brands to life.” –Bill Dauphinais

A newspaper article about Jillian's story and how she turned it into a brand

Stories have been a major form of communication among humans for a long time. Aside from being a means of passing vital information clearly & accurately to our brains, stories have been a good tool for building connections and acceptance. Scientists have enumerated this as a condition called “Neural Coupling.”

Neural Coupling has been proven as a process of synchronisation between the brain of a storyteller and that of the listener. Stories cause our brains to create similar emotions and feelings as a storyteller felt in the real-life events of the story. This causes a deep sharing in the experience conveyed in the story.

Huge gain can come from turning your story into a brand that sells. You can turn your story into a book, documentaries, a presentation, a training series, a talk show, a speaking business, or even into a movie as I am in the process of doing. You can become a brand with your story as the message that drives the brand, the sales, and at the same time lifts hearts and minds in a way that no other marketing tool can do.

Everyone has a story

One of the usual lies that you can tell yourself is that you don’t have a story or that your story is not convincing or inspiring enough to turn into something big. But the truth is that your story will be as interesting as you like it to be.

The interest a story will generate is more in the way the story is told, not so much in the story itself. You need to overcome self-sabotage and look back at your journey for a story that highlights your heroic journey to attain success. Looking back will allow you to realise how far you have come, the hurdles you have scaled, and the challenges you have overcome.

For instance, have you been able to weather the storm of unemployment, or the loss of an important member of your family? Was it an abusive relationship perhaps, or an unexpected divorce? Probably it was picking up the pieces of your life again after a major loss, or persisting with resilience to come out of poverty and a humbling background to a place of success like me?

If so, you have got a story to inspire you into a brand. The battles we have won are here to inspire and encourage others to face and conquer their devils as well. You need to stop commonising your victory, and instead turn it into a personalised brand.

You can use your story to project yourself as a brand, a consultant, a public speaker, a counselor, a therapist, or a published author. The story can also be used to propel your business, like the case of the individual who was engaged in newsletter production services.

What your story should say

Turning your story into a brand is not about a pity game, but a motivating, inspiring, and captivating venture. Great stories do not make others feel sorry, but increase their desire to take action and be more confident they can attain great heights. Every hero has a model that they draw inspiration from. That is what your story should ideally be able to achieve.

My childhood experience in the slums of Kidderpore in Kolkata, India in the claws of poverty and abuse was an ordeal that has taught me resilience. I have been able to climb the ladder of success and build a brand around my story of resilience. Preaching the message of the irrepressible mind as an essential tool for success that we all need, and that we can all possess.

The story must drive passion and show you as a victor in the villain story of hardship and seemingly insurmountable situations. You may not be a victor over poverty, but yours could be self-esteem, or repeated business failure, or any other aspect of life. You must be seen as a trusted ally that has seen and experienced the course ahead of your listeners.

Building a brand: What you must do

To build a brand out of your story, you must have the right understanding of the hero you are seeking to inspire. Like it is with any form of business, understanding the target audience is key to success. For you not to be like a boxer fighting the winds, you need to have a clear definition of who your story is going to motivate.

A brand can only be birthed when the story is in sync with the needs of the audience. The times are hard, and it is only the tough that can sail to the success port. This is a situation that sets the stage for a story of resilience and perseverance to become a trusted brand.

“You are your greatest enemy, it is your negative thoughts that hold you back” —Leon Brown

It must be made obvious that the greatest enemy of any man is himself. Self-sabotage remains the most potent killer of dreams and potentials. The bottom line is that every man needs to stand up for himself and that the enemy to conquer is usually the self.

There is always room to grow as a person, but it all depends on the person’s willingness. Without coming forth with a better version of yourself, failure is imminent. You must make your brand send the message of hope and assurance that success is within reach for those willing to respond positively to change.

“The unsuccessful do not have friends” is what they used to say, and that everybody is a friend to success. There is a deep satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment that accompanies breaking new grounds. Eliciting these emotions with an accompanying positive action in people is the way to build a brand from your story.

In closing

I am a successful professional public speaker, author, and philanthropist today because I have been in the fortunate situation of turning my life experiences into a message that can be shared with the world and inspire even those bereft of hope. I am grateful to have inspired countless lives who have turned their life around and rose to the challenges they have been faced with.

That is my story becoming a brand, and given what I have gone through, I believe it is possible for each of us to inspire lives with our personal story. And especially so considering adversity is something we all experience at some point or the other.

The question is whether we can rise up to the challenge. And as we do, probably make a brand of that unique story. Could that be you?


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