"Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." - Native American proverb
Storytelling is an integral part of our lives.
For thousands of years, people have used the art of storytelling to motivate, persuade, and have fun. Good storytelling has magical powers to educate, inspire, ignite, transform thinking and behavior, and move the masses.
A powerful story will help elevate your brand, differentiate you from your competition, and get you remembered.
Trust is built by making an emotional connection with your peeps, your target client/customer, and the best way to do that is through stories, not taglines; showing, not telling.
If you haven’t found it yet, believe me, your brand has a great story just aching to be uncovered!
A BRAND STORY IS…
Think of it as your aura; the energetic atmosphere that’s emanating from everything you put out in the world.
It starts at the cellular level of your brand and is the connective tissue that runs throughout.
It’s more than just narrative on your website or in marketing materials. It emits emotion and is experienced and felt.
Think Apple, Nike, Airbnb.
The heart of your story is your brand, your product and services, your people inside the business, and those you serve.
It’s how you convey the essence of your brand; the value you add to your people’s lives, how you meet their needs, the void you fill. It’s made up of all that you are and do - your mission, history, inspiration, aspiration, goals, values, how you enrich/improve people’s lives, your point of view and your big ‘why.’
The goal is to humanize your brand, give it a pulse, so you can rise above the digital noise and really stand out to the people you want to attract.
The best brand story doesn’t focus on what you do. It clearly answers why you do what you do, and why that should matter to your customers/clients.
6 TIPS TO CREATING YOUR WOW BRAND STORY
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.” - Seth Godin
There’s a story in even the most unexpected of brands.
Sometimes you just have to dig for it.
That’s why clients have called me a ‘Truffle hound who knows how to keep digging for the heart and essence of their brand story until finding the gold.’
TIP 1: KNOW YOUR BRAND INSIDE OUT AND OUTSIDE IN
To create a truthful and believable brand story go deep to uncover hidden gems of information that reveal what really makes you different and worth paying attention to.
Know your reason for being in business and be able to articulate it clearly.
- What do you do and offer?
- Why is your brand needed in the marketplace?
- What is your purpose, vision, and mission?
- What do you stand for?
- What do you want people to know about you and your brand?
- What makes your products or services different from the competition?
- What is your big ‘why?’ This is the main aspect that will help you stand out in the marketplace and give you a competitive advantage.
TIP 2: KNOW WHOM YOU’RE TALKING TO
Know your niche. Understand your customer’s wants and needs, their challenges and things they care about. Create a detailed customer profile to really get inside their heart and head.
To tell a great, impactful story, you must know whom you’re telling it to and what motivates them.
Knowing your target market enables you to create a deep emotional connection with them. Make them want to be part of your brand because they see you get what they’re about and what they want and need. Let them see themselves in your story.
It’s the ultimate foreplay!
TIP 3: K.I.S.S.
Keep it simple, silly. Because you know your audience persona from Step 2, you understand the problems or issues that they’re looking to relieve.
Simplify this, strip it down, make it so a 6- year-old could understand, but don’t talk down to your audience.
Your brand is their guide, their Sherpa, taking them on the journey to identify and solve their problems.
TIP 4: BE HUMAN
Use humor, emotion, and push the envelope. Be human. There’s no better attention-grabber than a funny story. It may be business, but you can still have fun with it.
Don’t be afraid to use humor in your storytelling, even if it’s understated.
Using humor helps make you memorable, helps define your brand personality, and makes it easier to connect with your community.
Incorporating humor is a great way to humanize your brand and the sales pitch becomes more subliminal. Remember that concept of subliminal seduction? Just make sure that you’re authentic, and that evolves from following Step 1 and 2.
If you’re not comfortable with using humor, then find another way to stir emotion. People buy from a place of emotion; tap into this.
If you’ve made business mistakes that you’ve corrected successfully, share those stories too.
We all love to know that we’re not the only one who screws up.
Be bold, be daring, and break convention.
Push the envelope. Shake things up.
TIP 5: MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER THE HERO OF YOUR STORY
Like any story, your brand needs heroes and villains to help it take shape. In this case, the villain is the problem or need your ideal clients face, which you provide a solution for.
When your customer looks at your marketing, they’re wondering where they are in the story.
Make it about whose story you’re telling, not about who is telling the story. The customer is the hero of your story, not your brand.
TIP 6: WRITE LIKE YOU SPEAK
Confusion is the number one buzz kill for brands, or anything for that matter, so keep your stories consistent with your brand promise and image. If your target audience doesn’t understand how your story relates to their perception of your brand and their expectations, they’ll run for the hills and it’ll be very difficult to get them back.
Don’t preach, condescend, riddle your content with buzzwords, or complicated details. Stay away from industry jargon. Loose terms like ‘value-added,’ best practice,’ ‘synergistic.’ Turn off any brand ego.
Imagine you’re speaking to friends or in a casual business setting.
Remember, the goal is to strike a memorable chord, leaving them wanting more.
The ultimate seduction, foreplay...
And always remember to include a call-to-action.