Everyone loves a great story — especially potential customers who land on your website. Will you hook ‘em? Will you keep be able to keep their interest? Whether you are in charge of marketing in the tourism arena, the manufacturing realm, or even if you sell widgets from a kiosk in the mall, you need to tell your story to compete.
But first our definition of brand storytelling you can get your head around.
A brand story expresses your why; why you do what you do and how the way you do it adds distinct and clear value for your customer. Your brand story embodies your values, your vision, and inspires your customer to take action based on the whole of that story.
Here are five keys to telling your brand story.
1. Make it true.
How many times have you chosen the TV drama based on a true story? True sells. Storytelling in marketing isn't inventing an excellent story but pulling out the awesomeness of YOU that already exists. Everyone has a story as does every brand big or small. Potential customers can smell a fabricated brand story or a company that is puffing up its abilities. Stick to the truth and your brand story will shine.
2. Give it a heartbeat.
Peel off the top layer and let people see behind your company’s curtain. Express your values, your motives, and your humanity. Corporate speak and titles are out. Relationship and conversation are the currency. As large as the web is visitors still want to deal with brands that come across friendly and personable. If you need to hire a professional copywriter to make that interaction happen, your ROI on that hire be tenfold. Don’t forget: customers never buy your service or product, they buy the way your story makes them feel.
3. Spotlight your UVP.
Your Unique Value Proposition is a clear statement that explains how your product solves customers' problems or improves their situation. Working your UVP into your brand story across all mediums — web, television, email, print, social — is critical to your marketing strategy and overall brand management.
4. Make it memorable.
In telling your story, be creative enough that it stands apart from other companies who provide a similar product or service. This doesn't mean make up information; it means get creative with the story that already exists within the fabric of your four walls. Why did you begin your business? What motivates you to innovate or change? What kind of people make your company what it is? If you are a marketing manager tasked with selling a destination or a widget, the focus shifts to your town or product and what makes its story unique and desirable.
5. Maintain some mystery.
While transparency is all the buzz, leave some elements of your story yet to be discovered. Don't give away every nuance of your culture, or your brand experience. A story that leaves people engaged and excited will lead to that in-person opportunity or conversion.
Great examples of brands telling great stories are all around you. Companies like Zappos (where “Customer Service Isn’t a Department”), Tom’s (buy stuff that matters) Red Bull’s (high energy, sports-obsessed) Burt's Bees (pure, organic, personal), and the list goes on.
You may not be a mega brand (yet) like the ones just mentioned, but your story is just as important — every story is.