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 20 – 6, 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 35 – 21 I 5 – 1 I Complete List
20 : OSSETT BREWERY
Considering I’m from Yorkshire and my father worked in a brewery for a long time, I have a certain affinity towards the brewing process. I find it remarkable, but unfortunately not enough brewers share their story. The thing is, they happen to have one of the finest brand stories to share. Period!
Ossett Brewery, I’m happy to say, outdo most of their brewing brethren. Now, they’re not perfect. I still feel they could share and show a great deal more, but you cannot deny their visual appeal. As soon as you land on their site, you cannot fail to lose yourself in the hops and what not.
Simply put, this is great visual storytelling. It could still delve deeper, and hopefully they will as their brand story evolves. But when I compare them to other brewers, they stand head and shoulders above most. This is why they’re so high, because it’s often hard to break away from the norm. Ossett Brewery have, and I believe it will set them in excellent stead.
19 : REVOLUTION VIEWING
I’ve known Tom and the Revolution Viewing team for a while now, and I’ve loved watching them grow and spread their wings. So much so that I wrote an article in their honour not long ago.
There’s a lot to love about their brand story, but again it’s their approach to their team and about page. They literally introduce you to them, which goes a long way in the building of a relationship. They remind me a lot of Wistia in many ways, but with a Yorkshire and North of England feel to things.
Now, you would expect their videos to be good. This is, after all, what they do each day. But it’s the way they approach these videos, and show you their team and culture and what makes them special. This is why they’re in this list of great brand stories. This is why they’re in the top 20. Lots to learn from these guys. Lots and lots to learn.
18 : CAMIRA FABRICS
Another Yorkshire brand, and another business I’ve written an in-depth article about. I’ve already said how much I love manufacturers and makers in this series of great brand stories, and Camira Fabrics is one of the first I’ve come across.
Their site, their Brand Film, their approach to keeping things simple yet stylish… they hit the nail on the head. It’s that simple!
When you’re lucky enough to physically make something, be sure to share this process with the world… your world… those people who need to see it and hear it and touch it. Are Camira perfect? No. Could they achieve more and go deeper? Yes. But do they stand out in a crowd of manufacturers who live by the same rules as yesteryear? Absolutely!
It’s a fantastic manufacturing brand story, and one I reference often with my clients.
17 : WARBY PARKER
Ah, Warby Parker, what’s not to like about these glasses wearing mavericks?
But placing their great business model and product to one side, they personify my love for minimalism. The way they share their culture… the way they show their purpose… and the way everything remains crisp and to the point at all times gives me goosebumps!
They do some great things with videos, and they turn their case studies into real life people with names, but it’s their less-is-more approach that first attracted me, and it’s this that continues to attract me today. If you’re in the process of building or designing a new website, this is a great place to head for some inspiration.
Warby Parker show how to share a great brand story without overthinking or overkilling a single damn thing. I love it!
16 : EVERLANE
In a world where too many people are exploited, and we generally pay far too little for things like clothes and food (seriously think about paying $3 for a pair of shoes for a second. How is this good for anyone?), Everlane brings their message into perspective with a rather simple page that focusses on where their clothes come from.
The way they share the stories of their suppliers, SHOW you where their items come from, who makes them, and the process they go through is damn brilliant. The Everlane brand story isn’t about them at all. They’re the middleman. The true story is between you (the consumer) and their supplier (the maker).
Who cares about Everlane or a website like this? Everlane isn’t important, which is why their approach to brand storytelling makes theirs one of the finest brand stories you’ll come across today.
15 : JASON ZOOK
We’ve got another solo dude on this list of brand stories, and if you’ve yet to come across Jason Zook, now might be a good chance. He’s quite the interesting guy, after all.
He’s another one who appreciated the less is more approach. His sites, his marketing, and his projects always look fantastic, and when it comes to crafting compelling content and copy, he’s the man with a plan. But everything remains simple and on point. His text is large. His images are crisp.
There’s never too much on the page, but it’s enough to know who he is and what he’s all about. And best of all, he lives by his story. He’s different, an outlier, and one quirky son-of-a-gun. Everything he does, and everything he says, resonates with this.
14 : ASANA
I feel for some brands, because they want to share a simple story but find it difficult to, because they offer a complex product that helps lots of industries. It’s hard to keep things simple and on point in such a situation, and it’s easy to lose sight of your brand story’s purpose.
Asana are one of these companies, but they keep a solid reign on things. They shine through their videos (not only functional and informative, but attractive and immersive), and the way they share their client’s stories. If you’ve been following this list of great brand stories throughout, you may have noticed how I keep harping on about making your customer’s story your own.
Or making your brand story, theirs.
I do so because it’s powerful, and Asana do it better than most.
13 : HAMPTON CREEK
I love Hampton Creek’s ‘Dear Letter‘ Series. When you land on their site, you’re not met by their product or their service. You’re instead met by a more important message, and the type of approach that creates a movement. This is about community. And when you make your brand story about community, you’re bound to do okay.
Whether they’re writing about presidential candidates or you, you’re put in a position where you either get it or you don’t. If you get it, you delve further. If you don’t, you leave. I prefer brand stories that make people feel something, even if it’s negative. Because why do you want passive people part of your journey?
You want folk who live and breathe your story, right?
Their manifesto and video and everything else…. I could go on, and more than likely will in the future. All I can say now is, check this out and take note of the powerful message they share.
12 : FLINT & TINDER
Another brand I came across via Kickstarter, and another brand I loved the moment I landed on their about page. Like Everlane, they focus on their factories and their suppliers, and they do a lot of other brand story related things well, too.
But what sets them apart is the Ten Year Hoodie, which struck a nerve within so many (nearly 10,000 people who raised over $1 million). You see, such a hoodie isn’t about a hoodie, but ridding the world of our throwaway nature. Somewhere along the road, we’ve forgotten the value in quality.
Flint & Tinder recognise this, and built a movement from a single idea. An idea that now resonates with them as a brand, and their customers as people. Very powerful indeed, and when your brand story takes on a larger than life entity like this, you’ve cracked it!
11 : EPIPHEO
The way Epipheo share their story, the work they do, their customers, and everything else about their world… Yes, Yes, Yes, with a heap of Hell Yes on top!
Visual and striking, you get a true idea of who these guys and gals are within seconds. You also get to know what they do, who they serve, and it takes barely a moment at all. The reason they’re so high up this list of great brand stories is how impacting their story is. It’s instantaneous, which is difficult to achieve.
You have seconds to leave a mark in this day and age. Don’t waste a second. Be bold. Be beautiful.
10 : BROMPTON
If you’re a commuter and catch trains a lot, you may have seen a Brompton or two. I can’t say I’ve personally ridden one, but they do provide a most epic story, and the way they share their tale is one we can all take note from.
Here lies another brand that keeps things simple. I love how they invite you into their factory, and I like how they share their history – another timeline, but again, approached in the right manner. It all comes together to share a visually appealing and immersive brand story.
They explain why you should buy and why you should choose them, but it isn’t done solely through a page like this one, rather the entire brand story they share. They showcase a great deal, but in minimal fashion. It is, quite frankly, one of the more impressive websites I’ve seen of late, and they deserve their place in the top ten of these epic brand stories.
9 : HIUT DENIM
If you’ve followed my posts for a while, you may already know how much I love Hiut Denim. I wrote a detailed post about them not too long ago, and although you may never have heard of them, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with them in the next thirty seconds.
They do one thing well. They exist in some Welsh town few people will know about. They helped an entire community rise from the cusp of nothing, and in doing so immersed everyone they touch into this stellar brand story example. I could talk a lot about this, but I can sum most of what I need to in a single word: Community!
Their local community, their staff, those who buy these jeans… it comes together to form a single community that cares about one another. In doing so, they produce one of my faved brand stories in the world.
8 : BUFFER
I love me some Buffer, and if you spend a lot of time online like I do, I sense you do, too.
I wrote about Buffer in this post, and detailed why (and how) they produce such a motivational and inspirational brand story. This all centres around transparency, and to say they go above and beyond… are you kidding me?!?!?
They share everything. They’re an open book. They approach business like I hope most will do in the future, and because they’re so damn honest and transparent about EVERYTHING, folk like you and me feel part of everything. Few do what Buffer do. I sense most are scared, and I understand why they are. And this is the reason why theirs remains one of the more powerful brand stories there is.
Because they do what others don’t, focus on who they serve, and invite anyone who wishes to peek as far into the brand as they wish to peek.
7 : SOMA WATER
Another Kickstarter success story, and although much of my love for this brand story centres around beautiful design (seriously, have you ever seen such a beautiful site, brand, and visuals??), I love how they share their tale in general.
Once again they keep things minimal (simple truly is the best approach to take), and here’s a brand that gives a great deal back – not just to their customers, but through worthy causes too. I’d like to see them share some actual stories around this (introduce us to who they serve), but considering they closely link to charity: water, these guys kind of cover that angle for them (more on charity: water soon).
But this is a business (much like Apple) that’s built around design. Sure, there’s a product. Sure, there’s a worthy history behind it. But it’s their design that leads the way, and as such it’s important they share a beautiful story. I think they do this, and it’s why they appear so high in this list of brand stories.
I swear every time I visit Digital Telepathy’s website, it changes. I keep thinking: this is it. This is perfection! But then they tweak it and redesign it, and I’m blown away all over again.
As a savvy website design agency, it’s important they have a cool site. It’s also important they show their process in a way that sets them apart from the pack. Check out this page and I’m sure you’ll agree that they succeed (although I warn you, they may have changed it by the time you do).
Whether it’s their philosophy, the way they share their work, or their take on their team and culture, here stands a brand that puts design high-high-high on its list of priorities, but this isn’t why I love their brand story. The true reason I love it… IMMERSION. The way these mind-blowing visuals come together to form a true narrative is what places them so high on this list of brand stories.
You interact with their story. You’re part of it. It’s as if you’re in the same room as them, which is what good storytelling is all about. Can we all produce an end result like this? Maybe not. Can we all do everything we can to ensure our audience is 100% immersed in our tale? Yes, I believe you can.
There we go, the brand story countdown stops for now. We’ve just worked our down from number 20 to number 6, 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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