Your customers, you, everyone. We are writing a story together.
In the decision to become a customer, it is becoming increasingly common for people to emphasize the company’s story even more than the product itself. These days, brands ARE their story. Brand owners are authors and their creations must be engaging and enjoyable to tell, hear, and become a part of. Like a good novel or movie, a good brand is likely to be recommended, shared, and talked about. Today, a brand is a story that the people tell and the strongest usually start with the people-up as opposed to the corporate-down.
Why tell a story?
Humans are naturally enraptured by a passionately well-told story. This is the best way to fortify your values into a deliverable form for ie: team, your employees, your customers, and to articulate for yourself. Your story informs your business strategy, your brand strategy, your marketing strategy and your potential in general. Let you and your company be the hero that everyone routes for. A brand's story that is a joy to tell establishes trust in your brand for everyone who engages with it.
This is not pushing your product. People don't want to be sold to. If you ask the average person, they would likely tell you they distrust salespeople. Our goal in brand building is to create things that are fun to talk about, to write about, and to share.
"In a world of unlimited voices, those who can bring people together and tell a good story have power" - Rhonda Rhymes, Creator of Grey's Anatomy
How do I find my story?
As the story's chief author. You are putting to words the brand's story on everyone's behalf. The questions you will be answering are:
Where do we come from?
Where are we?
Where are we going?
Within that broad framework you will have answered:
Who are you and what do you do? - What are your unique loves, hates, routines, hobbies, passions, whatever that have gotten you to where you are now?
Why do you do it?
What have you seen that seems to be invisible to others? - What took place that made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Why should anyone care? - Are you benefiting the world in some way? Are you solving challenges for people and saving them from grief or pain of some sort?
What space in the marketplace do you occupy? - Why are you needed in the world? What void is your brand filling?
What makes you different? - From the other companies in your space?, the mainstream, or from the "old way?"
Any juncture of what turned your company into what you are now, delivered and framed clearly and accessibly will have a unique story expressed within.
Your unique story however filled with boring bits, challenges, setbacks, embarrassing moments, moments of weakness, success, failure etc. can be reframed and delivered to contribute to your brand's richness, authenticity, and honesty. This should be weaved into everything you say, do, and create. The authenticity and honesty expressed in your story will become a recurring theme in everything you do and so the world is invited to form an opinion about your brand based on these repeat actions. This is the heart of what establishes trust and builds your pool of brand advocates. What an incredible alternative to shouting at your audience what you want them to do! Rather than turning them them off or boring them, your audience will be invested, engaged and will be faced with their own desire to have the richness of your story a part of their lives.
Let yourself be creative, metaphorical, introspective, weird, whatever you need to be to make your story one that will be a joy to tell and absolute hell to let go unfinished. Avoid jargon and anything that gets in the way of an authentic connection with the story's characters and their challenges. Tell the story that your ideal audience will be dying to tell themselves.