Ever pick up a book by your go-to author, only to get halfway through and realize it isn’t worth your time? Or see the latest big-money film from Hollywood’s hottest and come away less than impressed? In both cases, the talent was there, but the story was lacking in some way. The same can happen with your brand. You can have the best marketing team in the world, the biggest budget the ad world has ever seen, and yet if you’re not telling a story, and a great one at that, your sales will be, well, less than impressive. Apple, Splenda, Wendy’s – they’ve all made a big deal out of telling their brand’s story, and it shows in their sales and in their brand recognition. While we can’t guarantee you the kind of success of these companies, we do know that there are 5 simple ways you can tell your brand’s story. And while they may be simple, their more-than-impressive results make them worth learning.
1.) The story of the company – Steve Jobs did a great job of establishing Apple as the maverick computer company started by the college drop-out in the garage. His honesty about the company’s humble beginnings, as well as his own, set the tone for the entire company and its public image. The audience found something they could relate to – the least likely guy to succeed beat all the odds. Adding a bit of your own honesty – not your dirty laundry but your struggles, your failures, your set-backs – or your own humble beginnings, will help your audience better relate to you and your brand, too.
2.) Community stories – Another great way to aid customers in relating to you and your brand is tell some community stories. Tell the story of how your company or product impacts the community in which it is made, sold or used. Talk about how your employees give back through charitable donations or involvements. Give your company not only a human face, but make it an interesting one – kind, compassionate, engaged, helpful – to raise customer interest in you.
3.) Employee stories – Do you have an outstanding right hand man or girl Friday? A disabled vet or a great-grandma of 20? Tell their stories as part of yours. After all, these people are a part of you. They might as well be part of your brand. Showing the humans behind the automated ordering system and the high tech switchboard is another way to give your company a human face and story that your audience can become involved with emotionally. Emotional involvement is your key to brand loyalty and return customers.
4.) Customer stories – Tell real-world stories about your product and its impact on the lives of your existing customers. Show how you can solve real solutions by using your product or services. Again, you’ll be putting a human face on your company and what it has to offer. And if you can become known as the go-to gizmo (What comes to your mind when I say, “the quicker picker upper?” for example) for successfully handling a certain situation, once again you’ll see repeat customers and brand loyalty.
5.) Industry stories – If you can establish a reputation for offering the latest insider information, or the hottest-off-the-presses industry news, once again you’ll be offering up something useful, something that your clients can use and relate to. Your customers will see you as the brand with the connections, in the know, on leading edge. This will build their confidence and loyalty with you, too.
Every brand has a story. It’s up to you to tell yours. Choose one or all of the ways above to start. Hopefully you’ll have better success than that last bomb I wasted my ticket money on.