Building a Brand Story that means something, and makes an impact in your customers lives, is no easy feat. But I’m here with 50 of the greatest Brand Stories in the world to help guide and inspire you. As we edge towards 2016, I want to share some of my favourite brand stories from 2015, and those about to shake the industry in 2016 and beyond.
Today we countdown from 35 – 21, but in the coming weeks I’ll share the best brand stories I know, link to what makes them stand out, and detail why I love them so. And at the end of this brand story journey resides a FREE Ebook you can download, devour, and keep handy for when you craft your own epic brand story.
Ready to feel inspired and learn from the best? Good!
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Read The Complete Brand Story Series Here
50 – 36 I 20 – 6 I 5 – 1 I Complete List
35 : KICKSTARTER
It’s not nearly as impressive these days, and at first I considered booting them off this list of brand stories. But then I changed my mind because it again shows how powerful a less is more approach can be. But the true gamechanger is how they filter their employees based on their hobbies and likes.
Not by department. Not by title. By what they love. By what makes them tick as people. Because your staff are people, not things… not job descriptions. In my opinion this says a lot about Kickstarter’s culture, and offers the type of brand story I adore.
34 : MOZ
I love Moz’s brand story and style, which maintains a simplicity to it, whilst also being playful, clever, and feature-rich. Through their timeline, quickly little value robot, and interactive way that introduces their team, Moz knock it out of the park.
It’s easy to get carried away when crafting your story and sharing your tale, and through this approach Moz could have ruined all their hard work. But they didn’t, because despite the maze of features on offer, they maintain that simplicity and boldness. It’s one of the first brand stories I fell in love when embarking on my own journey, and they continue to inspire me to this day.
33 : GRAVITY PAYMENTS
When Dan Price decided to raise his entire team’s salaries, he added to an already stand-out brand story that places its culture at the forefront. Whether you agree with Dan’s $70,000 minimum wage or not (and plenty of people do not), it certainly sends a very strong message.
A message that says: we care about our team. We want them to feel comfortable.
It’s this that places them on this list of great brand stories, because it’s easy to say you care about your staff, value your culture, and share a great tale about how your business is a great place to work. But how many brands literally prove it? Like I say, you may not agree with Dan, but he put his money where his mouth is. It’s a fascinating story, and shows how powerful action can be.
32 : FOUR CORNERS CAFE
Oh my, when I came across this little coffee shop in London one day, I fell in love. Four Corners know who they serve. Do they serve fine coffee and pastry delights? YES! But it’s the traveller they strive to meet, and whether you go in store or on their website, it’s a brand story full of quirky means and globe-trotting tales.
This is more than a coffee shop. It’s a destination, which is what good brand storytelling is all about. It’s about turning who you are and what you do into an experience so your VIPs fall in love; so they feel something. Four Corners do a grand job at this, involving and immersing and incentivising their customers to take action – not just when it comes to buying a coffee, but taking part in their bucket list, sharing the love whilst you travel, or planning your next big trip.
If you’r in London anytime soon, be sure to head to Waterloo.
31 : NEIL PATEL
Like Lewis Howes before him, Neil Patel portrays a certain story and style wherever he goes. I love his simple yet quirky about page drawing, and although it doesn’t tell you a great deal, it says everything you need to know at the same time.
Besides this, Neil’s bio and most of which he shares tends to be rather long-form, which is fine if you ask me. Neil writes long articles. He shares in-depth information. It’s part of his brand story, and it’s why I believe he shares one of the better personal brand stories online.
Whether you’re on his site, one of his companies, or you come across him on a podcast or on social media, he stays true to his brand story at all times. He walks instead of talks, and I think this is important to remember. Because your brand story has to remain true to you every single day!
30 : GETSTORIED
As a storytelling lover, I have a special place in my heart for Michael Margolis. when it comes to brand stories, business storytelling, and impacting messages that stand out, he’s rather top notch!
They actually keep their brand story (in a visual sense) rather simple, but the action in which it takes… massive!
Once you read a few articles, listen to a few interviews, or watch a video or two, you KNOW. You know what these guys and gals are about, who they serve, and the impact they have. This is all a brand story should achieve. The fact they do it so effortlessly is worth taking note.
29 : KENDAL HYDE
I’m a sucker for manufacturers and makers. After all, this is who I serve with my work and skill set.
Another brand I found through Kickstarter, and to say their product videos are gorgeous doesn’t do them justice.
This is some of the finest product storytelling you’ll see, and it’s why they land on this epic list of brand stories. They invite you into their work, their process, and their world. It’s immersive and informative, and I for one love their approach. Not all videos need special effects and the like. Keep it simple, ensure the message matters, and let everything else fall into place.
28 : PEBBLE WATCH
The Kickstarter success stories continue, and this is one of their finest ever. But placing their uber riches to one side, marvel at their quirky story page, for I’m sure you’ll love it!
It’s simple. It’s short and sweet. It’s not all that different to Moz.
It’s visually fantastic and shares an epic tale. Brand stories don’t have to be rocket science. Less is often more. Could Pebble expand this and better it? Certainly! Should they? I’m not too sure. I think it’s a fine effort, and a great case study for fellow tech stardom-seekers.
27 : FIGS
I’ve already written about Figs and their worthy brand story, but I’m happy to recap things here because you can never have enough memorable and meaningful tales.
Although their threads for threads program may seem like just another one-for-one model, it isn’t. Why? Because although they focus on a niche (medical professionals), they make it relevant for the masses (aka: you and me). You may not need to ever buy scrubs, but can you emphasise with developing countries who need medical help?
Of course you can. This ability to craft empathy in their brand story – not just with their customers, but everyone they touch – is massive! Like I say, I go into this in more detail in my previous post dedicated to Figs. And no, it isn’t only socially centred businesses that can learn from them. We all can!
26 : CHEANEY
I love shoes. I especially love shoes made in Northampton, which has more heritage than most can handle. I wrote an entire post in honour of Cheaney, and although I sense they can delve deeper, it’s another fine example of what a brand story can achieve.
When you combine rich heritage with the making of an everyday item, magic occurs. Don’t get me wrong, their videos aren’t anything special, but the way they invite you into their world and show you the process behind how something you place on your feet each day is made… like I say, I’m a sucker for manufacturing and their brand stories, but I can’t be alone in admiring this.
If you happen to make things, have a heritage full of tales, and a culture overflowing with craftsmen, don’t waste the opportunity to share your story!
25 : CHURCH’S SHOES
From one prestigious shoe company to the next, Church’s Footwear possess a similar aura and prestige to Cheaney, but share a more contemporary and stylish peek into their world.
I love a good timeline, but so few do them justice. They tend to be boring and static, but Church’s bring theirs to life without doing a great deal at all. And the way they approach video…. I love it!! In essence, they share the same type of brand story as Cheaney do, but in such a different manner.
For me it proves you can become an outlier and go against the grain, whilst remaining true to your audience and industry. After all, Church’s and Cheaney share the same customer. This is why I’ve placed these two brand stories next to each other. They’re both good, but approach their brand story in such contrasting ways.
24 : MISFIT INC
I have much love for AJ Leon and his crew of misfits, but I must admit I was rather wary when they built their new website. After all, they work on such different projects, touch so may different types of people, and are forever adding to their arsenal of work and awesomeness.
I feared they would share too much and ruin their brand story all together, but I needn’t have worried because they kept it simple and lovely.
But here’s the thing… they don’t share a great deal. Their website alone doesn’t do them justice, but I sense this is rather purposeful. Because the thing that makes Misfit Inc so special is the community they’ve created. You don’t get to understand or appreciate this on the surface. You need to delve deeper, which is what this site, and dare I say all their communication achieves. It says, “Welcome to our world. But if you want to truly understand our tale, you have to take the time to discover it… to join us.”
23 : WISTIA
I love me some Wistia, and one of the things that drew me to them (ahead of the many other video services out there), is how they share, show, and visualise their brand story. And, like many companies in this list of great brand stories, it’s their culture and team that sit behind the wheel.
This isn’t a complex approach. They keep it simple and minimal. As you may have noticed by now, I like such an approach 🙂
But they share their one true story at all times, and as you might imagine from a video company, their videos are aces. But again, not full of special effects or complexity. They understand who they are and who they serve, they make it about people (in this case, their staff), and they stay true to this each day.
I wrote about One Play World recently, so if you wish to unearth the complex love I have for these guys and gals, be sure to check it out. Overall, it comes down to two aspects:
The first… One Play World Project began life centred around football/soccer. But it grew. Their brand story evolved. They don’t hide this, and they didn’t fight it. They appreciate brand stories and ideas evolve with their times; they stretch and they breathe. It remains their story, and they still live by the same values.
The second… They make everything about people. Real people. Actual human beings with names. It’s one thing to share a story about helping a community and children and the like, but it’s another to actually introduce you to girls like Martine and Camila. We’re all people dealing with people. We’re all part of the same species. In my opinion, the best brand stories realise this and humanise every step along their process that they can.
21 : MINNETONKA MOCCASINS
Okay, so Minnetonka Moccasins appeared on my previous list of brand stories, and I tried, honestly, to keep them off this list too. But I couldn’t. It’s too good!
Here’s another brand that takes the simple timeline, gives it a shake, and makes it important.
Here’s another business that crafts simple yet meaningful videos. The best brand story videos tend to be easy and somewhat simplistic. You don’t need to impress with fancy features, so much as impress through your message and narrative. This particular brand story is as good today as it was in 2013.
There we go, the brand story countdown stops for now. We’ve just worked our down from number 35 to number 21, but fear not for there are many great brand stories still to come.
I hope you take serious inspiration from these brands and their stories. They’re amongst the best I know, and they tend to be the type of business that continues to evolve, tweak, and adjust their stories as they move forward in time. Your brand story never ends. As such, the above examples may change, but I sense they’ll remain amongst the world’s greatest brand stories for quite some time.
But this is just my list. Be sure to share your own favourite brand stories with me via Facebook and Twitter. This is where the conversation continues, where we become friends, and where you introduce me to new brand stories each and every day.
Cheers for now.
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