Everyone loves a good story. There’s the character you root for, the thorny situation, and in the end, most importantly, the resolution to the problem. These elements draw us into each story and make us come back for more. Similar relationships are what drive business. Without a compelling brand story, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with your customers. So what’s your story?
Who’s your protagonist? Every great story needs a hero. Powerful storytelling lets your customers know they play the role of hero. Your role is the trusted advisor or guide. You ensure that your heroes’ voices are heard and help them overcome specific obstacles so that they become transformed in some way.
Who’s the antagonist? Heroes always have an anti-hero. What problem are you trying to solve? Align yourself with your customers by identifying their antagonist as yours as well. Your story serves as the bridge that moves your heroes from where they are now to beyond their obstacles. When you bond over troublemakers in an effort to overcome them, your mission is the same and your customers’ connection—and loyalty—to you only deepens.
How will you connect emotionally? Facts can only do so much. Find ways to tap into your customers’ emotions. Weaving facts into the emotional fabric of your story creates meaning for your customers. Consider sharing their experiences and what role your brand plays in their stories. Let your customers do the telling.
What’s your value offering? This is why your customers seek you out in the first place. It sets you apart from your competitors so this will be a key component of your brand story. It is your brand’s foundation and helps you stay in lockstep with your customers as well as grow your brand in the future. Be clear and direct about what this offering is. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope and ask how you can offer your customers more value.
Define who you are, whether it’s the industry thought leader or the one-stop solution center. And make your voice authentic. Authenticity pays; PR stunts don’t. Customers are less likely to be resistant to stories—as long as they are genuine. People know when they’re being served a marketing spiel. Tell your story in a way that’s relatable, honest, simple and sharable. Your customers will reward you for it.
Storytelling does not have to be difficult. There are no set rules. The medium doesn’t even matter. Stories can be told using infographics, a blog post, a video or web content. It is, however, a skill that requires a careful blend of art plus science. Providing honest answers to these questions enables your brand to begin crafting a compelling story that makes a connection, reinforces your brand’s value and empowers your customers to achieve a happy ending.