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Use your story to brand your business

There is no better way of distinguishing your brand from your competitors by writing your personality into it.

As Nett has demonstrated before, one of the simplest ways of doing this is to market your region, but this needn’t be the only thing that sets your online presence apart.

Every small business has a story. These stories are often the most compelling way of creating an interesting brand.

Here are 4 examples of businesses that have created an effective brand out of their story:

For Drayton’s Family Wines the brand story has pretty much written itself. The company was established in 1853 and has been run by the same family since. If you visit the (admittedly modest) site and click on the ‘About Us’ section, you’re presented with a concise, quaint, and occasionally tragic history of the Drayton family and their involvement in the Australian wine industry. This immediately presents the reader with an evocative impression of the brand; one that stays with them and influences them whenever they consider buying wine.

The Beerenberg Farm’s Paech family—mentioned by Kate Hennessy in the March 2010 issue of Nett—have a similar story to Drayton’s Family Wines. The About Us section gives a very brief history of the family farm—since 1839—explaining the date of the first commercial batch of strawberry jam (1971) and the date of their first export (1986). They take the story a step further, though, using it as a springboard for the theme of their site, which has been designed to evoke the country surrounding the farm, as well as the products themselves. The site incorporates a blog for the farm’s strawberry patch as well as a ‘provenance pathway’ service that lets consumers trace the origins of their Beerenberg product according to the barcode on its packaging. Everything that appears on the site relates back to the story of the business, making for a remarkably powerful brand.

Made With Sweet Love is a very eccentric business that hand makes latch-hook rugs out of soft porn images. The artist, Whitney Lee, initially used her art to express criticism of the way women are portrayed in the media. Guided by her education in gender studies, Lee’s focus shifted from criticism to become a more playful and positive comment on feminism and beauty. Having read the biopic and ‘artist statement’ on her site, the concept of the brand becomes clear. And, even if the product is still a bit too bizarre to appeal to, the brand itself stays with you because of the story associated with it.

The story behind Moonbah Hut is simpler and more modest than the above companies, but no less effective. Owner Brett Smith explains that the idea for the business—a single stone cabin in Moonbah Valley, Jindabyne—arose from fond childhood memories of trout fishing with his grandfather on the Moonbah River. When he was presented with the opportunity of buying some land in the valley, he did so and built the cottage for his family. At some stage, he decided to turn it into a business. Note how simple and charming the story is. Combined with a tastefully designed website, it makes for a nifty and effective brand. #

Want to turn your story into an online business? It’s much easier than you’d think with Netregistry’s StoreXpress.

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