No child will ever ask you to read them a press release at bedtime. They want you to tell them a story. So do your customers.
Let’s Talk Storytelling
People are wired to listen to stories and relate them to their own lives. This makes storytelling simply the best way to plant information into a person’s mind, and have it stick.
The possibility of getting people to relate to a story makes storytelling a powerful way of adding life/personality to your brand. Wrapping your brand in a well-crafted story gives you audience an EXPERIENCE they can relate with, and ignites a FEELING they yearn for. And why would this experience or feeling be so relevant to building a brand? It is simply because people need an emotional attachment to your company to remain loyal consumers. Their choice to go with you over your competition is less determined by the logical reasons why, and more by how they feel about your company image.
Yes, image. A brand is a matter of perception. The way your audience perceives your company will determine the way they relate with you. And as a business owner, you have the gift of storytelling on which to build the brand image you desire. When you craft a story which encapsulates a struggle people can relate to (the problem your company solves, or the basic principles you live by), you are able to resonate with your customers, and determine the perception they have of you.
Crafting and telling a compelling brand story introduces your customer as a character (the main character in the story, with your company serving as the supporting character) who can easily fit themselves in your company’s mission. These are a few ways in which storytelling can help your brand:
Having a strong brand story differentiates you from other companies which offer the same product/service you do. There are numerous global brands which produce sporting gear, but one of them stands out from among the rest – Nike. This might not be thanks to the superior quality of their products. Rather, their viral Just Do It campaign gave very one of their customers something they can relate to – the story of different athletes who overcame personal challenges and decided they would just do it. This story has captured the hearts of millions who believe they too can overcome adversity and just do it.
Up Your Recruitment Game
Every company’s growth is largely determined by the team that runs it. That being said, it is only logical to think that every entrepreneur puts building the right team somewhere on the top of their priority list. The big question remains, how does an entrepreneur get the crème de la crème on his team in spite of the countless other similar companies vying for their attention? The answer lies in storytelling. To capture the right personnel for your team – the ones who are not only motivated by a pay check, but will actually believe in your vision and want to see it grow, you tell a story. These highly-motivated individuals need to see that you are different from the rest; your raison d’etre, principles and values. We can get a page from Microsoft’s playbook on that on. Their #MicrosoftLife shows their unique organizational culture.
People want to know you are the best they can possibly get. Like we said before, a brand is all about the audience’s perception. It doesn’t matter how good you are if your audience does not perceive that. You can use storytelling to build credibility. Rolex is a perfect example of storytelling which builds credibility with their Every Rolex Tells a Story campaign. Without a single mention of the number of watches sold, or the celebrities who use their products, they tell stories which tell the audience ‘We are the best. You don’t have better than a Rolex’.
Do You Have a Story?
You might be wondering, is your brand ‘sexy’ enough to have a unique story? It sure is and it sure does. All you need is to find your authentic story. Start from the basics – why did you start this company? Got the answer? Now ask yourself again… why? About 5 whys down, you are sure to have a unique story for the birth of your company. This story can lead you to your company’s values, spirit and the fundamental life principles on which it is built. Use these to craft the perfect brand story your audience can relate to.
No matter how different your story is, there are quite a handful of people who can relate with your company’s principles. These people eventually become your team, loyal customers, and the foundation on which you will build a successful brand