Take a Branding Tip from Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, the great American novelist, is said to have once bet a group of fellow writers that he could write a novel in only six words.

I like to imagine the story takes place with the group smoking cigars and drinking bottles of native brew in a bar on a tropical island …but these details are unimportant.

Hemingway’s companions take his bet. He grabs a pen and scribbles on a cocktail napkin:

For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.

Hemingway collects his winnings and, I hope, offers to buy the next round.

The importance of emotion
Hemingway proved a good story doesn’t have to be long or short, it just needs to make the reader feel something.

This is also true when telling the story of your brand.

Your brand/your product/your company has a story to tell and it’s a great way to engage your customers and help you stand out from the competition.

About you is really about them
The “About” section on a website is an opportunity for brands to tell their story and it’s one of the most under used and sometimes forgotten part of a website.

Don’t bore your customers by telling them a lot of corporate milestones and facts they can read on Wikipedia. Get personal and help your customer feel more emotionally connected to your brand. The secret to a good brand story is to remember it’s about the customer – what they are looking for and what they want to feel when they are ready to buy.

At Gaslight Creative, our job is to help you uncover and tell your brand’s story. For example, when I write your About section, I’ll ask you a lot of questions. Sure, I might start with the basics – how long you’ve been in business, where are you located…yadda, yadda, yadda… But I’m also going to ask you things like:

  • What are you and your brand passionate about?
  • What inspired you to start your business?
  • What do you want your customers to think, know, feel and do after they read about your brand?

This is what makes you and your brand different from the competition. And like Hemingway’s baby shoes story, your brand’s story doesn’t have to be long. It just needs to be long enough to tell your story.