Build Your Brand through Storytelling
Everyone loves a good story but why? Because stories generate emotion and connect people to each other, to causes and, yes, to companies. When you allow and facilitate your customers and prospects to feel something, “you” as a company become humanized to them and in that, there is great power. By tapping into the human side of people, you can:
- Improve your reputation.
- Increase your chance of being “the one” when they need your product or service.
- Make you more “referable”—and sharable.
Bottom line—it can boost your bottom line.
How Do You Develop Your Story?
The truth of the matter is that you don’t have to develop your story because it already exists. It’s your personality, essentially. This can be related to a cause or reason that your business came to be in the first place. Think TOMS. It can be the basic tenets by which you run your business such as always providing service with a smile. Think Southwest Airlines. It can be the empowerment you want your customers to feel. Think Nike.
But, you don’t have to be one of these giants to have such a story. Every company can tell a story that makes people laugh, cry or think and it is up to you to determine what you want people to do—and how you want them to look at you. When you identify this, you get in control of your brand rather than leaving that control to the masses and you know that’s that last thing you want to do.
How Do You Communicate Your Story?
Everything you do—and don’t do—communicates your story. Certainly some companies “go big” in an effort to use storytelling to promote their brand. A great example is the WestJet Christmas video or the GoPro campaign with the firefighter and the kitten. But, you do not need to produce the next viral video sensation to utilize the power of the story. The most important thing you need to do is be consistent.
If you *say* that you have friendly service, you better make sure that you do. If you tout your commitment to your local community, you better darn well follow that up with clear action. An integral part of this is instilling the importance of your story into your employees. They need to carry out your vision as they are the face of your company.
Whatever you do, you also need to let it be known. This means that every potential communication channel should present a “united front” as it were. That includes on your blog, your social media channels, your website, your email marketing campaigns and more must all reflect—in tone, message and look and feel—your story, your brand. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, a physical office or company vehicles, these too should represent who you are.
The 3 C’s—Connection, Communication and Consistency
At the end of the day, storytelling to reinforce and build a brand must start with a story compelling enough to create connections with your customers and prospects. From that point, how you communicate it, where you communicate and how consistent you are in your delivery of that message will determine how effective this approach is for you.