Tell Your Brand Story So People Will Listen

November 26, 2018

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a participant takes a photo of an imagethink graphic recording.

To Engage Your Client Base, Paint Your Brand Picture

In our 10 years of illustrating meetings across industries, we’ve worked with folks from nearly every sector and every level. And while goals and strategies may differ, one thing has been remarkably consistent: the need for the businesses we support to tell their stories better.

That’s because whether you’re B2B or B2C; whether you’re a single-person operation or a global enterprise; the success and growth of your company depends on connecting with your clients. And your clients, as all humans do, connect with stories.

The most successful businesses know how to describe in real human terms why what they do matters, and why you should invest yourself in it. And they know how to couch it in a narrative that tugs at you emotionally as much as it convinces you logically.

So whether you’re prepping for a big keynote address, or just practicing your elevator pitch, read on for some tips on how to reinvigorate your brand story.

insights from Scott Harrison, founder of Charity:Water, illustrated through digital graphic recording by imagethink

Scott Harrison, founder of Charity:Water, gave an emotionally charged keynote describing the mission of his organization at this year’s Inc. 5000 conference.

When Data Fails, Illustrate With Anecdote

Most of the strategy sessions we illustrate are at no loss for data. But while numbers are crucial to understanding a company’s health, they’re only half of the equation when it comes to convincing others of its value. What you need to do is reveal the human details behind the charts and graphs.

This is exactly what our graphic recorders do every day: part the sea of zeros and ones to reveal something folks can relate to on an emotional level.

For instance, when Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of Charity: Water, described what drives his non-profit, it wasn’t only with a numeric count of wells drilled per mile. He also described the story of one woman who told him that, thanks to the clean water now available to her, she no longer had to choose between washing her husband’s clothing or washing her face—and that it made her feel beautiful. That one anecdote paints a picture much more powerful than org charts ever could.

In other words, sometimes to paint the big story of your company, you need to tell the smaller story first.

an interactive social listening mural for a pharmaceutical company, drawn by imagethink graphic recording

This interactive mural helped our client uncover their audience’s pain points, and address them in a humanizing way.

Tailor To Your Audience By Addressing Their Paint Points

The most creative speakers, the ones whose presentations really stick with an audience and open the door for future collaboration, tailor their words specifically to the people in the room.

That means finding ways that your values resonate with theirs. Or in other words, answering the question: what’s in it for them? Before you build your presentation deck or write your brand statement, think about what your audience’s day to day challenges are, and how your work can help. Couching your brand story in consumer-centric terms will not only gain their interest, it will show that you have put in the time to understand their needs.

That’s exactly what one of our pharmaceutical clients did at ECCO this past year. A large interactive mural captured the challenges of living with IBD, as illustrated by our graphic recorder. The exercise not only gained valuable insights from both patient and HCP communities, it also showed our client’s deep concern with understanding their client bases.

Use Visual Tools To Tell Your Story

Finally, incorporating visual tools like whiteboard videos or hand drawn infographics is a great way of communicating your brand story in a quick and resonant way. 

That’s exactly what the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime did to communicate their own strategy and mission. They told their story through a short animated whiteboard video that wove engaging visuals into their mission for a safer world. The result? Complex strategy plans were clarified in a fun and accessible way, allowing them to connect with the public more effectively. 

Not sure how to uncover the right visuals for your business? Hold a visual brainstorm with your team to identify the five key points in your brand story, and challenge folks to draw an icon for each. 

Want more ways of connecting with your audience through visuals? Infographics, graphic note taking, and animated videos are just a few ways our graphic recorders can help. Learn more on our services page.  


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