Unlock the power of storytelling for your brand. This step-by-step guide explains how to create a compelling Core Story that will inspire your target audience and supercharge your content creation.
Your Core Story sums up your purpose, values, and the special way you solve a problem for your audience. It’s a powerful tool that resonates with your target audience’s experiences and emotions. It positions you as the guide that will help them overcome their challenges.
Developing a Core Story script for your brand creates a strong and consistent brand message. This unifies all your marketing efforts across different channels. It helps to establish a deeper connection with your audience by addressing their specific needs and concerns. It helps to create a sense of loyalty and trust. By positioning your brand as the solution to a problem, the Core Story can also stimulate desire for the products and services you have to offer, driving conversions and growth.
A well-crafted Core Story differentiates your brand from competitors. It highlights what sets you apart. It is also an internal compass for your team, ensuring everyone understands the brand’s purpose and goals. Ultimately, a Core Story is not just a marketing tool. It is a fundamental element of your brand identity that shapes how your brand is seen and felt by your audience.
1) Define the problem that exists for your target audience today.
The problem you solve for your target audience is the heart of your core story. Often this is not what you do or offer, but what it means to your audience. For example, imagine there are three coffee shops. One offers quick service, grab-and-go coffee (time-saving convenience). Another sells locally roasted artisanal fair trade coffee (quality). The third is a cozy place to meet friends (community connection). All three sell coffee, but solve very different problems for their customers.
It’s not just about identifying the problem. It’s also understanding its implications and how it impacts your target audience’s day-to-day life. Empathize with their wants, needs, challenges, hopes, and dreams. Think deeply about what you know already about your audience — and what you don’t know. Insights from interviews, your audience’s comments or social media posts, surveys, or market research can be very helpful to round out the story.
2) Explain the outside forces driving the problem.
Once the problem has been identified, it’s important to understand the factors that contribute to it. These could be economic, social, cultural, or technological forces. For instance, rapid technological changes could make a person’s current solution obsolete, or shifting cultural norms could create new challenges. By identifying these forces, you can present a compelling case to your target audience about why the problem persists and why they should seek a solution. It adds context to the problem and creates a sense of urgency.
Consider our coffee shop example. Why does the first customer need time-saving convenience? What drives the second to seek a higher-quality cuppa? And why does the third need a place to connect with friends?
3) Paint the picture of your target audience’s world without the problem.
Show your audience a vision of what their life could be like without the problem they’re currently facing. This can be a powerful motivator, as it creates a stark contrast between their current situation and the potential future. This vision can be conveyed through storytelling, data, or testimonials.
4) Explain that a solution does exist today.
Here, you’re introducing your product or service as the solution to the problem. It’s not enough to simply state that your product solves the problem; you also need to explain how it does so. What proof do you have that your solution really does meet their needs? The goal is to build trust and confidence in your solution. You want to show your audience that it is not only possible but also practical and possible to solve their problem with your product or service.
5) Call your audience to take action.
The final step is to prompt your target audience to take the next step. This could be making a purchase, signing up for a trial, or simply learning more about what you offer. It’s important to make this call to action clear, compelling, and easy to follow. This is where you leverage the groundwork laid in the previous steps to motivate your audience to act. The call to action should be linked directly to the problem and the solution you’ve presented. Make it clear how taking this action will help them solve their problem.
A well-crafted core story provides direction and coherence to your marketing and content creation efforts. It ensures that all content serves your brand’s purpose, resonates with your audience, and contributes to your overall marketing goals.