Brand storytelling can be one of the most valuable weapons in your marketing arsenal so why don’t more companies utilise their stories more effectively?
We often come across the misconception that business owners don’t want to get too personal but telling the story of your brand is one of the most successful ways to create a connection with your target market. When you engage with your customer, rather than trying to sell to them, you create longer lasting and more genuine relationships.
Storytelling has been a part of our culture for thousands of years for good reason. Stories are engaging, powerful, meaningful and emotive so, when used in a business context can create amazing connections between your brand and your customers. Brand stories are much more than just a bland recounting of the events within your business. A great brand story will build a narrative that resonates with your customers on an emotional level and pulls them in to want to know more about your company.
When people love your brand narrative they are more inclined to not only buy from you but give you repeat business and act as brand ambassadors when they “sell” your story to their peers.
So, what are the components of a great brand story?
At heart, you will want your customers to get to know your business so you’ll want to share your values, its history, what you and your team stand for, why does your business exist. You’ll also want to share your customer experience – we can use storytelling to share why customers chose your product or service and how it solved a problem or made a difference to them.
It really comes down to empathy. This is the magic emotive element that keeps your customers wanting more, whether you’re creating content about your team, sharing snippets of your day-to-day business, or revealing a new project – empathy is the one element that makes stories stick.
Ultimately, you want your potential clients to be able to “see” themselves in the stories and it’s here we can make current customers the hero of our story. In B2B marketing, a key element of engagement is showcasing how you overcame problems or provided solutions for customers. If you can do it for one customer, it’s highly likely your other potential customers have similar challenges and needs.
So, you create an experience where a potential customer can put themselves in the shoes of a current customer. Use real experiences to bring your story to life. Whether the hero of the story is your product or brand, or the customer, when you can get your potential customers to empathise with your story, you make an emotional connection that is hard to sway.
Don’t be afraid to share your personal story as part of the overall business’ story. As the business owner you will have passion and drive and a genuine reason for starting the business in the first place. As you share your values, potential customers can relate to the same values and this engenders trust – trust that you are working towards the same goals, that you share the same standards, and that you can provide the solution/experience/resolution they need.
Psychologically, we know through extensive studies that feeling an emotion enhances the memory process so the brand storytelling process has the ability to keep you front of mind when your potential clients are thinking about needing your products or services.
Your brand story doesn’t need to be a novel and it can be written in many parts. But once you have this valuable document written, it can be used to drive engagement on your website or social media platforms, in presentations or tender documents, by your sales team and in many ways that add value to your company’s marketing strategy.