We are all wired to hear and tell stories. From the everyday happenings to our most elaborate stories in both our business and personal lives. We do it to create a background, some understanding to the moment. What a person said, the way they said it, the language used building up to the story finale. During this process we take the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions. Even when we tell our friends or partners about our day, it isn’t just the facts we communicate but a story to engage the person we are talking to.
For some reason, businesses do not embrace this way of communicating. We put up a front of professionalism that, in my opinion, creates a barrier between the business and their ideal customer. It is my mission to help businesses, just like yours to break down these barriers and create a relationship with your customers that earns you trust, loyalty and brand confidence.
Here are our five reasons why you need to use brand storytelling.
Brand stories create attention
Very few people actively seek out advertisements. In fact most people are looking for ways to decrease the amount of marketing in their lives. Even though this is the case, when you’re trying to run a business you have to get the word out, so we all try to find ways to do that while trying to make sure our ideal customer doesn’t hate us before we get the opportunity to create a relationship with them.
Storytelling is one way to do that. We are all more interested in hearing a story than we are reading about why a brand is ‘so great’, their stats and statistics and why we should use their brand over their competitors. Once your ideal customer is interested in your brand these things can help close the sale, but you can’t lead with that.
Instead lead with stories of the family whose life is changed or the business owner you helped after he used one of your products or services.
Stories and emotions are a huge part of how we make decisions, so starting with story will pull someone in more quickly than simply telling them you’ll save them money.
Brand stories sell better
To attract leads in to the early stages of your marketing or sales funnel, your story can be what brings them in and gets them to start considering a purchase. You may be surprised to know that your ideal customers will be buying on an emotional connection, so if you’re not selling with emotion in mind you may be shooting yourself in the foot before you have even started. Let me explain…
When you want to buy something, you will probably pop onto your preferred search engine and find out the ‘best’ of your product. Then you may search for the pros and cons of each option, but you may not choose the one that comes out on top, you may choose one from a brand you have a connection with. Maybe they are more Ethical. Maybe their values are more aligned with you or your business. Maybe you will support a local company rather than a national one.
Brand storytelling helps you communicate what your business means. What its values are. Why they should care and how you have helped people just like your ideal customer. By storytelling you will engage emotionally, and are far more likely to stand out from the crowd when it comes to selling.
Brand stories show individuality
Depending on your industry, there could be many businesses saying roughly the same thing about the same (or similar) products or services. When this is the case you have two options:
– You could just hope that enough people pick you over the rest so that you can stay in business, but that is as bad a plan as it could get. Hope will not make a successful business.
– Set yourself apart from the competition through storytelling. Just like each person has a different life story, every business does too.
For example, if there are five accountants in your town. You all offer the same services, offer the same guarantees and all promise a great service – which would you go for? How would you make a decision? If one of these accountants started telling you stories of how they helped people rather than selling their products or services to you, wouldn’t that create brand confidence?
People want to know why they should buy from you – so show them through storytelling.
Brand stories are exciting
We are social animals, and we like to be a part of something, and stories are a great way to engage. By triggering our imagination, we become captivated and educated in each chapter of a story. Storytelling is an integral part of how we get our customers to know, like and trust us.
When a story is built around a brand, it gives you the ability to build a relationship with your prospective customer. It is not just about buying a product or a service, it is about bringing them in to join your business, or by promoting that idyllic lifestyle that they crave.
Lifestyle brands have evolved their brand and story to the point where they’re not selling a product or service as much as they are selling themselves as an experience. Look at Coke, Expedia and Apple. Providing us with the image of the perfect life with their products, enticing us to buy without actually asking for the sale.
Customers don’t typically buying because the product is the best (even if it is the best), they buy it because it makes them a part of ‘the club’. If your brand reaches this point, you’ve basically made it, and you need to protect your brand at all costs.
This, of course, doesn’t just apply to recruiting new customers, but also to new employees. No person chooses an employer because they want to feel like a cog in an impersonal machine. They want to be a part of something, fighting for a cause and doing work that really matters. Your brand story provides this meaning, as long as it’s real and not contrived.
Brand stories – Only tell the truth
This is the most important point – your brand story has to be real. You can’t simply invent something from nothing. Everyone you’re trying to sell to, from customers and prospects to investors and talent, will see through it. Your story has to reflect something that’s true about your brand, which in turn has to reflect something that’s true about your business. The best way to ensure this is to set the foundations of your brand (core values) and your story in the identity of your brand.
Whatever your brand, one thing is certain, in today’s crowded landscape customers aren’t buying from just anyone. They’re buying where they feel they connect with a brand. Because of that, brand storytelling isn’t just an important part of your business. It’s absolutely critical to your success.
Talk to us about your brand so we can help identify your brand story!
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