Human-to-human connections are the heart and soul of business despite the fact that many business owners ignore it. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people — your company is solving problems, alleviating pain points, and providing delightful customer experiences. Revenue is something that happens as a byproduct of a sound business model and a positive customer experience.
Storytelling is a powerful technique for building relationships. It’s an age-old concept that brings people together and keeps them engaged. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are based or how much funding your startup has.
Good stories give big voices to small ventures. That’s why it’s mission-critical that companies take the time up front to fully develop their approaches to storytelling.
Storytelling and marketing go hand-in-hand. Just think about it. Whether you are producing infographics, cosmetics, wine, soft beverages, writing copy for a Facebook ad, or writing a free online guide you need to capture your audience’s attention.
On a daily basis, consumers (yourself included) face advertising overload. Marketers are constantly competing for their prospects’ and customers’ attention. More likely than not, your brand will be buried under spammy advertising messages.
Brand Storytelling – What Is It, Exactly?
We tend to think of stories as things that might begin with “once upon a time,” present us Good Guys and Bad Guys, take us on a journey which is resolved, if we are lucky, with a happy ending.
But how does a Power point presentation fit into this scheme? Or a television spot promoting a particular product benefit? Or a marketing campaign that aims to associate your brand with a certain set of images and feelings?
Brand storytelling is:
· The reason why your company came to be
· What motivates your team to wake up and come to work everyday
· How your product came to be
· What types of customers find value in working with your brand and why
· A transparent view into the people behind the company
· A relationship-building tool
· More subtle than you realize
· A concept that underscores your entire web presence
· Something that your entire team, at organizational levels, embraces
· A look into who you are as a company
· Directly correlated to your business partners reputation.
Brand storytelling is NOT:
· A long-winded, 5-paragraph essay about your company
· A blog post
· Something isolated
· A fragmented view into your company
· Something reserved for the marketing team only
· A Public Relations stunt
· A viral video
· A tool to manipulate customers and prospects
Brand stories are not marketing materials. They are not ads, and they are not sales pitches. Brand stories should be told with the brand persona and the writer’s personality at center stage. Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can.- Susan Gunelius
Contrary to popular belief, brand storytelling is not about your company. It’s about your customers and the value that they get when engaging with your product or service. The most powerful brand stories are the ones that prioritize customers as the stars. Think of your company as a supporting character.
Oftentimes, marketers get hung up on this concept. They are stressed about communicating the perfect message and confused about where this initiative should be housed within your business.
Should you hire a consultant? Should you loop in your company’s Electronic Voice Phenomenon of corporate communications? And what if you’re an engineer? Does that mean you’re doomed?
Don’t overthink this process. Storytelling is something that we do naturally. More often than not, we don’t even realize that we’re doing it.
The problem is, online content is difficult to write. Stories become lost in translation. The human interest behind our brands will fall through the cracks. And you feel stuck — at a loss for words to describe what you do and why you matter to your customers. I highly suggest that at this point turn to your customers to tell your story through the various communication platforms that the internet offers.
So why not let your customers tell your story for you? This will only happen if you embrace the tools and technologies that empower your customers to clearly tell your brand story to their peers and the bigger world beyond your reach.
By Mwebya Fred