Of the many things that make humans unique among other living creatures, our penchant for telling stories is one of the most important. Storytelling is a fundamental part of how we solve problems and make sense of the world around us, so much so that human beings are sometimes referred to as “storytelling animals.” Our essential connection storytelling means that no matter what career path you are on, it is often a worthwhile investment to take steps towards improving your storytelling ability. Regardless of what industry you are working in, the ability to effectively construct and tell a story is a vital business skill that can help you improve customer loyalty, strengthen marketing efforts, and build camaraderie among employees.
Understanding Your Brand Story
The key to creating a strong brand story is first understanding what it is NOT. A brand story can be used in marketing, brand stories are not marketing materials or sales pitches. Instead, they are genuine expressions of your brand’s history, goals, and values that are told in the “voice” that defines your brand’s persona. It is defined by you and the people who bring your company to life, so it should be an accurate reflection of what your business is all about. This allows you to humanize your business, which makes it far easier to stand out from the competition and engage with your audience in a more significant fashion.
Ultimately, every brand has a story to tell with regard to a company’s origins and goals, and it is those brands that effectively convey that story in a way that will profit the most. There are many ways to create a brand story, but a basic structure you can follow is:
- Problem: Explain the problem that you set out to solve. s
- Solution: Describe how you solved it.
- Success: Express excitement for your success and how you can help others.
If you at least hit these three points, then at the very least you have a clearly told story that explains who you are, what you do, and what value you have to offer consumers. From there, you can work to make sure that the story itself is engaging, authentic, and consistent with your overarching goals.
How Can A Brand Story Help You Connect With Customers?
For many consumers, more traditional methods of marketing and advertising simply aren’t as effective as they used to be. A big reason for this is that many people have grown to be far less trusting of businesses and actively dislike feeling as though they are being sold to. Rather than carry out the usual “salesy” back and forth that used to define the customer experience, people are looking to engage with brands in a more genuine way. This a big reason why brand storytelling is so important. While the quality of your products and services are important and need to be established, what many customers want is to form connections with brands, and build a clear sense of identity through your brand story goes a long way towards making those connections.
How Can A Brand Story Help You Empower Your Employees?
Creating a strong brand story is excellent for building relationships with consumers, but it is also an effective way to strengthen employee engagement and loyalty. Simply put, an employee will be more loyal to a company whose leadership treats them with respect, values their opinions, and considers them to part of a wider team. When employees feel like they are a part of a team, particularly one that has a purpose other than profitability, it tends to motivate them to innovate and provide a higher standard of work. Creating an engaging and humanizing brand story helps with this, as it allows business owners to define their brand’s mission and tell it through the story of their company and their people. Just as this type of storytelling makes customers see a business as “more than just a brand,” it also tells employees that what they are doing is “more than just a job.”
The main reason that so many business owners fail to capitalize on the opportunity that comes with creating a brand story is that it can be difficult to get out of the more traditional sales-oriented mindset. Too often they will see their brand’s purpose as being no more personal or complex than just wanting to make money, which is the last thing that a customer wants to here. The moment someone knows they are being sold to, they will go on the defensive and chalk you up as just another brand that wants their money. But by creating a story that humanizes your brand and emphasizes the personal side of your business, you better position yourself to connect with consumers in a more meaningful way.