What Does It Mean to “Tell Your Brand Story?”
The Sprocket Report
The phrase slides glibly from the mouths and keyboards of marketing gurus, but while you’re nodding in agreement are you secretly wondering “What on earth does that mean?” Let’s look at “brand story” from afar before we look up close.
Humans have been telling stories for eons. Storytelling serves a number of functions including as a communication vehicle, as an art form and as a mnemonic device. Currently, storytelling is also a much-discussed marketing strategy. But before you get tied up in knots trying to come up with a brand story for your business or organization, take a moment to remember what you already know about storytelling.
What images come to mind? Your parents reading a bedtime book to a younger you? Neanderthals huddled around a fire listening to a tribal elder? In either case, the success of the story TELLING depends completely on the story HEARING. If no one has heard the story, it has no point and no power.
Storytellers use an arsenal of techniques to make sure that their story is heard. If you have ever read a book to a child, you’ve no doubt used them yourself. Techniques include talking in a funny voice, raising and lowering the volume or adding eye-catching movement.
But the WAY the story is told can only get you halfway to success. The story itself is equally important. Again, think about what stories spoke to you and stuck in your mind long after the storyteller was finished. Often those were tales where you could see yourself as the hero. You shared similar struggles and you hoped to find similar solutions so you could triumph just as the hero did.
And once you had finished hearing or reading a great telling of an engrossing story, what did you do? You remembered it. You talked about it. You recommended it to others. Which is of course why your brand’s story is so important to your marketing strategy.
So how do you turn all of what you know about storytelling into marketing?
What you want is a story with which your audience will identify. A story with a struggle in which the hero – and by extension, your audience – triumphs. Told in a way that is attention-grabbing and compelling. A story that is so satisfying that your audience can’t help but want to share it.
That sounds like a tall order, but here’s the thing: Other than blind luck, the only path to success is continual growth and refinement. Even the best stories and storytellers didn’t start out at the top.
So think about successes that past customers have shared. Brainstorm ideas with your colleagues. Next, you’ll want to write a story and get it out there. Or maybe get someone with better-refined skills to write it, but either way, it’s YOUR story for YOUR customers. You are the best author for this story.
We’ll talk more about this next time and give some examples, but if you simply can’t wait, contact us today to continue the discussion. We’re happy to help.
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