Building Your Brand through Story
Storytelling in business is all the rage and there is a reason for that. It works. Good stories pull people in but telling the right stories in the right way (or even at the right time!) is tricky. It’s important to make sure any storytelling you do builds and protects your brand. So here are some handy tips.
Start with your Why
Know why you are telling a story, and why storytelling will achieve your purpose? Good brand storytelling uses narrative to connect your customers to your business by linking what you stand for with their values.
Know What you Stand For
Marketers will often approach storytelling by talking about narrative. We’ll talk more about that later, but first, as a business you need to start with what you stand for. Big business finds this easier. They have strategic plans and marketing strategies in place. Smaller businesses, or social enterprises might not. Even if you only have a few reminder notes to yourself on a post-it note, you know what you stand for.
At BOOM Clunes it’s all about being a circular economy business. Led by community, raising money with and together with community to re-invest into community. So even as we promote products or services we offer, we try to weave that messaging into any content we create.
Know What Your Customer’s Value?
Once you articulate what you stand for, then articulate what your customer’s value. This might mean breaking your customer markets into segments. They might share common values or value different aspects of what you offer depending on who they are. This doesn’t have to be a complicated white board/butcher’s paper process. Most small businesses, consultants or enterprises can do this relatively easily just by thinking about who their customer’s are, and who they’d like to target in future. This is a useful tool to help you identify which markets (more likely to convert, more profitable or a key growth area) might be a priority as well.
Storytelling is more than just words. You need a beginning, middle and end (among other things - but those three will do for now!) Often, if you are telling a story on a social media platform the power of the connection comes from repeated posts that pull your customers in. You might build a sense of momentum by telling a story in parts.
Alternatively the stories you tell might be about how you started your business. This is often where people start. Whatever beginning, middle or end you create it's alright to choose not to over share.
Storytelling doesn't have to be a biography, but it does help if you highlight special moments (that your customer’s values will connect to) that led you to create the type of business you have. BOOM Clunes did this by sharing the thinking and ideas that informed the type of business we launched and the outcomes we are looking for.
The Power of Storytelling
Whether you are trying to raise your business profile, attract customers or sell products/services there is no doubt that storytelling is a powerful tool. Like all tools, if you take the time to think about how you want to use it and what outcomes you are looking for, then the better your results will be.
Go forth and release your inner bard!