Everyone has a story, a need to tell it, and a need to hear others’ stories. It’s how humans are connected, but it is also how we learn whether or not we like someone. In the business world, it’s no different.
Telling your brand’s or business’ story is a powerful way to attract customers and make them feel connected to your brand if it is done correctly. If not done correctly, it is a powerful way to turn customers away and give your brand or business a bad name. However, with some brands having wild success, storytelling is becoming too big to ignore in the marketing world. Such a powerful marketing tool shouldn’t be neglected, so how do you utilize it correctly?
Below are some tips on how to tell your brand or business’ story in a way that will engage your audience, motivating them to stand by your brand.
No one likes a liar, and if your story feels artificial, customers will turn away from your brand or business. Manipulation, besides being morally questionable, can be easily detected by customers who will feel that you are just trying to get them to buy your product.
An authentic story will attract customers because they can relate to what your business or brand is trying to do as a whole — rather than just doing anything to get them to buy something. A genuine story is a truthful story, and a truthful story will engage customers who are looking to subscribe to something more than just buying a product or service.
Set Your Brand Apart From Competitors
If your story is genuine, you’ll already be leagues ahead of your competitors. An authentic story of your business or brand will give it a personality, attracting customers who have an understanding of your story and feel a part of it. Making your brand multi-dimensional will set you apart from the rigid marketing models of competitors.
In the cold, sometimes emotionless world of business, there is no connection between business and customer. Rather, the only incentive for communication is money and a transaction. Once you’ve told your brand or business’ story, customers will shy away from your competitors in the understanding that your brand or business is looking for more than just money and are looking to make that customer a part of their story. Nike separated themselves from other sports brands when they told the story of their brand, and it was a success.
Build an Emotional Connection
People like to feel connected, and most connections are made because of personalities. Personalities aren’t just for humans, and once your brand has established a one, customers who empathize will have an emotional attachment to your brand. If you have told your story truthfully, it will strike a chord with customers who are looking to invest in your story and support your brand or business. This graph by marketingcharts.com demonstrates the connection between emotion, positive experience, and loyalty:
Customers want to feel a sense of loyalty, and telling your story will bridge the gap between “just business” and a relationship. People want to subscribe to something that is going to worth it for them as well, and being a part of your story will make them feel welcomed. People who empathize with your story will develop loyalty toward your brand, as they will be emotionally invested in it. This emotional investment can prove more fruitful that a monetary investment, as a loyal customer for years will rely on your brand or business more than a one-time sale.
Know Your Audience
When it comes time to sell your story, telling it in a way that will engage and capture your audience’s attention is key. They can’t hear your story if it’s being told on mediums they aren’t on. Knowing how your audience consumes their media will provide you with the proper channels to unleash your story to customers and potential customers who will resonate with it.
Determining how your story is best told with your audience in mind is crucial as well. This can include blogs, photos, and video. Whatever your medium, a strong assessment of your target audience — which social media platforms they use most, age, likes and dislikes, etc. — is integral. Social media, being a powerful marketing platform, will allow for high visibility of your brand via customers sharing your story with others who may understand your story.
Telling your brand or business’ story should not be taken lightly. There are many benefits to telling your (genuine) story, but if it feels forced or artificial, people will know and turn their back on you. Using your story is becoming a necessity in the business world for its ability to attract loyal customers — when done correctly. The steps above will help with telling your brand’s story ethically and properly.
About the Author: Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.