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EPISODE 48: Core Brand Stories: The Why Story

by Aug 24, 2021Messaging, Podcast

In this episode we will cover:

  • What a business’s Why Story is
  • Why the Why Story is important
  • How to craft a powerful Why Story

It’s round 2 of our storytelling mini-series, and today we’re talking about a brand’s Why Story.

Sometimes people are afraid to talk about their personal passions when it comes to their business. They think others won’t care… But that’s just not true! In fact, when an audience connects to a business’s purpose, it can have a huge impact on brand loyalty.

Hence…the Why Story: the driving purpose behind your brand.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What a Why Story is
  • The importance behind the Why Story
  • How to craft a powerful Why Story

The Why Story usually ties into the Origin Story, so make sure you listen to episode ___ to learn how to craft that one too.

Do you have a powerful Why Story? Tag us on Instagram @northstarmessaging to tell us about it!


Plus, be sure to check out…

Kula Cloth

Polaris Writer Lounge


Welcome to the Brand Your Voice Podcast, where we’re digging into how you can create personality-driven content that connects and converts. I’m Jessi…

…and I’m Marie. We’re the co-founders of North Star Messaging + Strategy, where we support business owners in outsourcing content without sacrificing authenticity.

Every brand has a unique voice that sets it apart. We're digging into how to capture the way your brand communicates from the words you use to the stories you tell. So you can create more compelling content that strategically helps you meet your business goals.

And if you choose to outsource that content, you'll be able to do so with confidence, knowing your brand voice is in good hands and you can reclaim your time. We're so glad you're here and hope you enjoy this episode.
Hi there and welcome to another episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. This is Marie today again, flying solo as Jessi is enjoying some out of town time, but I'm going to take this opportunity to dig into the second of our five core brand stories. These are five different stories that we at North Star really focus on extracting from our clients so that we can share them with the audience and meaningful and impactful ways. And today I want to talk about the why story, or you could think of it as the purpose story.
So here's something I've noticed over the years, working with our clients. People are sometimes afraid to get a little bit personal with their business messaging. Or they don't really think that their personal passions have much of anything to do with the business or that anyone will be interested or will care. They're like, you know, just because I care about this thing, does that really mean that I need to be talking about it? And no, it's not really anyone else's business, why they're excited to get up each morning and do the work that they do. But at the end of the day, the audience is curious. And more importantly, they're hungry to connect. When the audience is able to connect with a brand about their, why about the purpose that drives them. This is where real brand loyalty comes in.
I want you to think for a second about a brand that you like that you're like, I will recommend them over and over above anyone else. Part of it's probably because it's quality, right? It's a good product, or it's a good service. But I'm willing to bet a significant amount of why you would recommend this company is because you share values with them. Because you believe it's run by ethical people that you respect. And probably also, because the only reason you know, that it's because they've shared that with you.
So I want to talk about a brand that is a little nontraditional, but it's one of those brands that I feel this way about. So you may or may not know this about me, but I love the outdoors and I love to go camping and hiking. And in fact, Jessi and I were camping and hiking buddies before we were business partners. And that's how we cooked up the idea behind our company, because you know, when you're out in the wilderness with no cell phones, you can actually have real conversations with people. And so this company, this brand that I want to talk to you about is a gear, outdoor gear, company it's called Kula Cloth and their why is really wrapped up in their origin story. So if you've not listened to the origin story episode, which is the previous episode, you may want to give that a listen to in conjunction with this, because a lot of the time the origin story and the why story will be sort of interwoven with each other, right? Like why did you decide to start this company? That kind of thing.
So what I want to do is just take it in their own words and I'm going to paraphrase for you their "our story" page. But we're going to get down to the why. And you're going to see how it's connected in how they've done a nice job of connecting it in. So before I do that, I want to just share you with you the why. There's three things that they want to do. They want to encourage leave no trace practices. So this is by the way, leave no trace is this philosophy and outdoors where you sort of leave it as, or better than you found it, right? You don't litter, you don't vandalize. You don't take like a plant. You don't, you know, pull a flower off of the stem, leave no trace of your passing. They also want to cultivate a community of individuals who promote outdoor stewardship. And they want to use their product as a vehicle for good in the world to support organizations, artists, and individuals that are working to diversify the outdoors. So all of this coming from an outdoor product and wait until you find out what this product is because it is, drumroll, a pee-cloth as in urine.
So essentially here's the story. I'm going to go back up to the origin story.
Kula cloth was born during a trip to the Alpine lakes wilderness in Washington state Anastasia, Alison was enjoying a spectacular sunset over Robin lakes when she walked a tree to discover a giant pile of toilet paper. So she came home and she started researching leave no trace options for toilet paper in the wilderness. She discovered the concept of a pee-cloth and decided to give it a try. Even though she admitted, it sounded kind of weird. She didn't really like the idea of a bandana. So she bought a small blue piece of microfiber take with her. This was totally a game changer for her. So she started taking photos of her blue microfiber pee-cloth, clean of course, in various spectacular wilderness settings. And she was like, wow, I really wish that looked cooler. So she thought, you know what, I'm going to design an intentional pee-cloth something I would be proud to wear on my pack, an actual piece of gear, not just an afterthought. So for three years, she obsessively researched with zero experience in the textile industry and field tested with multiple adventurous testers, her design.
And so this pee-cloth is used to encourage leave no trace practices because it normalizes conversations around hygiene in the outdoors. And it cultivates. It's a community of individuals who promote stewardship through leading by example, by using, and probably displaying their pee-cloth on their pack. And third they're using Kula cloth as a vehicle for good in the world to support organizations, artists, and individuals working to diversify outdoor spaces. So each Kula cloth is printed on the quote-unquote clean side with a unique piece of art. They're supporting artists, right? We believe that sustainability eco movement starts with each of us. It starts with your commitment to protect the safety and human rights of the person on the trail next to you or in your community.
This is the thing that lights them up, right? It's not about microfiber. It's not about antibacterial. It's not about reflective thread. It's about when you use this cloth, it allows you to make the outdoors a safer and more welcoming place for everybody. And for the animals that live there. That's the why the why is protecting each other, loving each other, all of this comes from a pee-cloth. And, and I had been following this company on Instagram for months, and finally decided, I don't know if I need a pee-cloth, because I actually have a little method of sanitation in the wilderness, but it's not, you know, it's this movement, this why strikes me. It matters to me. One of our biggest values as a company is caring for the environment. And so to me, it really struck a chord. It connected with me and yeah, I dropped 25 bucks on a custom, you know, well, I mean, there was a series of them made, but custom art made for Kula cloth covered pee-cloth to my collection.
So I just wanted to show that kind of funny story as a way of talking about the importance of the why story. I mean, I was almost getting kind of, teary-eyed talking about this because at the end of the day, I really believe in their why, and you can do this for your clients too. But the first step is for you as the writer to help alleviate your client's fears or mindset around sharing something, they might not have shared otherwise, something that digs deeper than what the product is, what the service is, what are the pain points? What are the benefits? You know, all that stuff that's important. Something that digs into the purpose, the why that drives them, the thing that lights them up.
So how do you actually do this? So first of all, yeah, it probably is going to tie into the origin story a lot of the time. So again, I would suggest that you check out the previous episode because that's where we dig into the origin story. And then I would suggest as part of that interview, when you're talking with them about the origin story, you ask them some other questions that can dig into the why and purpose side of things. Like why was it important for you to start your business? Or why is it important for you to serve the audience that you've chosen to serve? And then allow them to dream a little bit, ask them what happens if your purpose is fulfilled? What does the world look like? What do people's lives look like if you're able to actually achieve this? Why does that matter to you? Why does that ignite you? Why does that excite you? You may learn something very intimate about them or their family, their childhood, them conquering their own demons. You may learn something about their vision for the world, their greatest dreams. And they may be a little nervous about sharing that. And of course you need to respect their privacy and talk to them about is it okay if I share this, but, and I would not say but not to contradict that. And if you are given permission permission to share that, pay attention to what stirs emotionally in you, when you listen to them and know that that's going to be reflected in the audience, when the audience hears the story, that's where the loyalty comes in. This is maybe the most powerful story you have. So don't neglect it.
So my homework for you is first of all, go ahead and set up that interview time with your clients. Talk to them about the origin story, talk to them about their why and their purpose. Get it straight from their mouth, because if they're typing it out for you, they may be self-editing to the extreme. But if they're talking with you, that's when they're going to let the emotions flow. And that's when they're also going to build trust in you, because they're going to say, wow, I've never talked about that with anyone before. You know, I've never talked about that in a way that it could be used for my content before. And they're going to trust you because you're a safe place for them to talk about these things and for you to be able to frame it in a way that has a lot of impact for their audience.
So the second piece of homework I have for you is if you're interested in continuing to have conversations around topics like this, I'm going to invite you to join a free community that we've started up called the Polaris writers lounge. You can check it out at northstarmessaging.com/polaris, P O L A R I S like the north star. Again, this is a free community for writers by writers, so that we can talk about all the ins and outs of writing the challenges, the successes, all the good stuff. And you can meet with your fellow writers because we don't believe in competition here. We believe that each of us has something unique to bring to the table. And that means that certain clients are perfect for each one of us. So we're here to share freely. And to get to know you. So I hope you'll check it out again. It's the Polaris writer's lounge. You can find it at northstarmessaging.com/polaris. Hope to see you inside.
Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. Make sure to visit our website, northstarmessaging.com, where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, and more.

If you found value in this episode, we'd love for you to leave us a review on iTunes and share it with your friends. Thank you, and happy content creating.

For additional content strategy and branding tips, check out northstarmessaging.com/blog. Also, please tag us on Instagram and let us know you’re out there! @northstarmessaging 

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