Got to Be Real: How To Create A Brand Story That Resonates

When telling your brand story it can be very tempting to include all the high points: the biggest harvest, the largest number of bottles produced or the highest number of countries your winery distributes to.

On the surface, it sounds like a great story; a highlight reel of all your most significant accomplishments. Except that when you remove all the conflict, you also remove all of the action, all of the story that keeps people reading, engaging and following along. Think of it as a movie trailer, one that consists solely of car chases and explosions. It may be fun to watch once or twice, but after that, your attention wanes. 


People are hard-wired to respond to stories; from the earliest stories passed around by a campfire to modern day social media, we engage with them in a way that is much more profound than traditional marketing. The relatively recent addition of a “stories” component of social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram is no accident- engineers and developers know that creating a vehicle for storytelling is the best way to keep people engaged with their software. Today, over 500 million people use Instagram stories EVERY DAY. [1]


Creating an impactful brand story, one that resonates with your audience, is easier than you may think. Here are five key steps to keep in mind: 


  1. Make it personal: who are the people behind your brand? Who are the founders and the other key personnel in the business? Consumers are more likely to engage with a brand they feel they “know” and the first step in that process is an introduction. 
  2. Keep it simple: what does your winery do? What type of varietals do you produce? Be as specific as possible and keep it brief. “We make Ribera from old growth vines” is preferable to “we produce 1 million bottles of great red wine”.  
  3. Make it meaningful: how does your brand do business? Are you a small, family owned operation? Or, have you grown from a boutique sized winery to a local powerhouse? Do you employ lots of local people? Farm sustainably or reclaimed land? Talk about these things clearly and succinctly. Why do you make your wine the way you do it. What prompted you to make those decisions.
  4. Appeal to emotions: Do not shy away from conflict in your brand story. People respond well to tales of others overcoming challenges and becoming successful. Consider these two examples and ask yourself- which one is more impactful: “we grew our winery from 10,000 bottles a year to 15,000 a year over the past five years” and “we are proud to say that despite a severe drought and lower than normal rainfall, we have been able to grow our production by 50% in the past five years.”
  5. Be authentic: Creating a genuine brand story means being true to your business and your mission. Great brands do not try to be everything to everyone and your business does not need to be either. If, for example, your winery has specialized in producing Rioja for generations, focus on that instead of highlighting all the different types of Cabernet and Merlot you have been developing recently. 

Creating a great brand story can seem intimidating at first. Just focus on your core consumer and tell them why you do what you do, how you do it better or differently than others and why that is important, you will be able to generate an engaging and authentic story that will resonate with your audience.