The Secret to a Great Brand Story.

I love craft breweries. They are ‘real,’ the atmosphere is vibrant, and of course the beer is invariably good.

One of my favourite local craft breweries is a relative new comer to the scene called ‘Bucketty’s.’ Everything about the brand is authentic – from the name, to the beer they brew, the ingredients they use, and the people who work there.

Another great love of mine is Brand Stories. I’ve been writing them for 34 years – and I never tire of doing so. On Sunday evening I took my wife down to Bucketty’s for a sneaky pint or two, and was struck by just how well they had put their brand, and brand story together.

Now this certainly isn’t my first visit to Bucketty’s, but it was the first time I had been in there on a quiet Sunday evening, and the lack of people created the space I needed to take it all in.

The first thing I noticed was the large plaque on the wall in the main bar that tells their story – and it’s well written. It comes across as genuine and heartfelt. Even the name ‘Bucketty’s’ is real – Bucketty is located in the Hunter Region of NSW, about 70kms North West of their brewery on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and it’s where Bucketty’s grow their own hops.

Then it was the steel tanks and other pieces of brewing equipment that caught my eye. Rather than being tucked away in a corner, they had been integrated into the bar area itself. So the brewery almost seems to envelop you, as you sup in your pint.

The next thing I noticed were the bar toys. A pool table at one end, and a couple of dart boards at the other. It reminded me of the best traditions of an English pub. These are the elements that create another level to the atmosphere of a bar.

Talking of which, the bar itself is a cracker. It combines a Melbourne-style backlit drinks cabinet, with an English-style mahogany-look bar counter at the front. Combine this with a huge drinks board, with a wide range of craft beers, wines and spirits – and you feel like you could just sell up and go and live there.

Then there’s the live music stage – now we’re talking. Perhaps this has been inspired by the Irish pub scene, where live music is weaved into the very fabric of the place.

And finally, to the brew itself. I sampled a pint of Bucketty’s IPA – and it was delicious. At the end of the day, you can have the most beautifully crafted story in the world, but if your product or service doesn’t deliver, it’s all over.

But back to their brand story. It’s simple and honest – talking about their roots in the Hunter, and bringing elements of the Aussie bush into the city. To complete the circle of authenticity, the story is signed by the family who own the land where the hops are grown, and the brewery that delivers their beer. And that family feel carries through to the bar staff who greet you and pour your beer, which often includes the co-founder himself Nick.

So when you are considering your own Brand Story – whether for your business, start-up, or resume/interview, it’s wise to include these core elements:

Purpose – why your brand exists

Authenticity – speak from your heart

Origin – where you come from; as it relates to the product of service you offer

Beliefs – how they influence what you do or offer

Ingredients – if you offer a service, this would translate to values

Mission – what you are here to do for the people you serve

Secret recipe – what you offer that other people / brands don’t

If you’ve developed a thirst while reading this piece, here’s a link to Bucketty’s website, so you can experience their Brand Story first hand.

If you need help crafting your own story, please get in touch.

Justin JG Cooper is a Brand Consultant and Purpose Coach, the founder of Brand Purpose .Co, and the author of Marketing is Dead, Long Live Purposing.