Your backstory doesn’t have to be about you. It can be about why your brand came into being, who it serves and where it is headed. The backstory of your company is an important, if not crucial part of your brand’s future success. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, a well-told company backstory can shape every aspect of your content marketing strategy.
What Is a Backstory—and Why Is It Important?
While brand storytelling is an ongoing conversation between you and your customers, your company backstory is much more than a mere narrative or website copy. It’s a story that sets you and your company apart from the competition, highlighting the value you can bring to customers in contrast to other businesses in the same industry. Your backstory is not simply what you tell people about your brand, but also what they will come to believe about your company based on the signals you transmit. Your backstory paints a picture of your brand based on facts, feelings and interpretations, which means part of your backstory isn’t even told by you! It’s told by the lives of individuals and businesses you have helped shape or change.
In the simplest terms:
- Your backstory must illustrate the reason(s) your company came into being, such as a pressing problem that needed to be solved and why you felt called upon to solve it.
- It should also reveal your company’s mission—the various factors that motivate your team to wake up and work every day to advance the interests of the company.
- It must appeal to your customers; much like an underdog team appeals to fans.
- Every company faces obstacles and setbacks, so your story should focus on these roadblocks and the various ways you overcame them. It’s all part of brand marketing and content strategy.
- Contrary to popular opinion, your backstory is not entirely about your company or journey. It’s about your customers and the value they will reap when engaging with your product or service. The most powerful backstories are those that assign starring roles to the customer base, with companies acting in a supporting role.