You’ve heard the buzzword “brand story” before. You’ve seen the internet call brand storytelling “a skill that every business building a powerful and lasting brand should master.” If you’re here, you’ve probably heard us extolling the virtues of the brand story. But what is a brand story, exactly? What makes it so important? Most importantly: how can you tell your brand story effectively? We’re glad you asked!

Simply put: a brand story is the story of your company. It’s where you came from, why you’re doing what you’re doing right now, and what makes you unique. It’s important because your story is also the story of why you’re the best choice for your customers. When your customers read your story, they should immediately understand how and why you’re the perfect fit for what they need.

Sounds great, right? A good brand story will be the cornerstone of your marketing plan. All you have to do is… tell it right! So: how do you do that? Well, start with these three simple but invaluable tips. If you keep these in mind when you craft your brand story, you’ll end up with an accurate, concise, and persuasive story you can be proud of. You might even learn something about your business in the process!

Keep It Simple

Ultimately, all the best stories have one thing in common: they’re simple. Sure, Romeo and Juliet might get bogged down in family politics, but ultimately it’s about young love. The Count of Monte Cristo is about friendship and jealousy. Game of Thrones… might be the exception to the rule. The point is, the emotions of a story come through best when the story is simple. Your story should be no different.

Don’t bog your audience down in the incidental details. Focus on the core emotion you want your story to evoke. You want to demonstrate to your audience how you triumphed over adversity! How your passion and perseverance carried you this far! If the fact that you used to be called “Tommy’s Rugs” instead of “Rugs by Tommy” doesn’t help tell that story, leave it out. The more straightforward and easy-to-follow you make your story, the better it’ll evoke the emotion you want it to. You don’t need six books and tv show to make your point.

Make It Accessible

This is another tenet of storytelling that counts double for brand stories. People naturally respond to stories they can relate to. Your customers want a story that shows you understand them because you’ve been through the same things they have. Don’t be afraid of your humble origins, and don’t forget that a company is made up of people. Your customers are more likely to trust you than they are some faceless monolith… so show them who you are!

Accessibility doesn’t just mean being relatable, however. It also means being visible and accountable. Don’t hide who you are and make your customers dig to find you. Think of your brand story as the answer to the question, “why is this company right for me?” You want to answer that question as early and often as possible, and your story can be the way to do that. Let your audience see themselves in your story, they’ll stick with you for the long haul.

Say Something That Matters

This is probably the most important tip so far. Your story has to matter–to you and your audience. Your audience isn’t dumb, after all. If what you’re saying doesn’t feel right to you, they’ll be able to sense it. If you believe in your story, on the other hand, it’ll right true to the audience, too. Take the time to find the story that really matters to you. That’s the story you’re really telling, and that’s the story an audience will respond to.

It’s not enough just to find the story that matters to you, however. You also have to make that story something that your audience will care about. Remember: in the end, you’re telling it for them. Make sure your story demonstrates how and why you’re great at what you do. It should always answer the question, “why you?” The best way to do that is to be honest. You know why your company matters, and you know why your audience should care. All you have to do is show them.