If you’re an entrepreneur, you know the story of your business. You followed it from an initial idea to execution, so you should have a deep understanding of what makes your brand tick.
But you can’t assume your audience will inevitably arrive at the same interpretation. If you want to get everyone on the same page, you have to become a storyteller.
What is Storytelling?
Think back to your childhood and recall the person who most enthralled you. Maybe it was your mother, father, a grandparent, or a teacher.
What was it that made you so interested in what that person had to say? Usually, we find ourselves captivated by people when they’re good at communicating and relaying a story.
They do an exceptional job of employing words and descriptive language to take us to a particular place in our minds. Whether you realize it or not, the same is true of brands.
We love our favorite brands because they enable us to feel strong, healthy, comfortable, sexy, wealthy, and other positive things. They take us to places that — in our minds — are ideal.
Though there are many different aspects to painting a product in a particular light, storytelling is one of most effective ways that a brand reaches its customers.
Three Tips for Telling a Better Brand Story
If you’re a marketer or business owner, the question is: Are you doing justice to your company’s story? Here are a few tips that should help:
Keep it Simple
When companies start to think about storytelling, they tend to draw up lists of words, concepts, ideas, and values that are important to them. As they pile up, the story of your brand risks becoming fairly complicated and lengthy.
That’s all right, but you have to find a way to synthesize all this information into a concise story to convey to your audience. Take Sixthreezero, a popular West Coast bike brand, as an example.
Being a lifestyle brand, the firm has so many different directions it could go. But Sixthreezero discovered a way to simplify the message to arrive at clean phrases such as “We chase our dreams,” “Spread the use of bikes,” “This is our lifestyle,” and “It’s a culture.”
See if you can do the same.
Be Honest and Transparent
Honesty and transparency are the most important facets of a powerful brand story. If you try to fudge the facts or exaggerate certain points, you’ll find yourself in trouble. Your customers will see right through this.
Dove doesn’t kid around with their transparent storytelling. Just watch some of its videos and you’ll see this clearly.
Use the Right Mediums
Finally, make sure you’re telling your story in a way that will reach the audience. Every brand is unique, and you’ll have to discover where your target customers are and how they enjoy consuming content.
As a rule of thumb, don’t limit your storytelling to a single medium. You should seek a healthy balance of video, written content, and branding.
The more versatile and widespread your storytelling is, the more honest and real it will come across. TOMS Shoes is a great example of this. The firm has been able to tell its story in a variety of ways, without ever losing its focus on the core message.
Putting It All Together
“Before you sell anything, you will need to connect, and not just with a handshake or sending out one email. You need to emotionally connect with the people you want to be your customers now, and for the rest of their lives,” marketer Felicia Spahr explains.
How do you establish an emotional connection? By now it should be clear: Tell a compelling story. Your business cannot thrive until you’ve identified and clearly conveyed the story of your brand. Don’t delay any longer.