What’s the first thing you usually do when you meet someone new? You ask them questions—Where are you from? What kind of work do you do? Asking questions is more than just an easy way to pass time — it’s essential for truly connecting with someone.
The stories we tell are what make life interesting. People want to hear them—why do you think Social Media is so big in today’s world. This creates a huge opportunity for brand storytelling.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t think of themselves as a brand, let alone care about whether they have a story to tell. The problem is not that they don’t have a story — they just don’t get how to create it, or tell it.
A brand story is made up of all that you are and do. Your history, mission, inspiration, goal and target audience. It’s the people, places, and ideas that your business thrives on. It’s the foundation that keeps a brand going and more importantly—growing. It’s a blend of how you came to be, why your products or services are so special, what drives you and why they should do business with you.
Brand stories can be told in many different ways. But your brand’s story needs to resonate with people. You need to create a deep, emotional connection with your target audience. You have to create something that they want to be a part of.
Here are some helpful brand storytelling tips:
The first thing you need to know is actually why you’re in business and then be able to articulate it clearly. What is your purpose? What is important to you? What makes you different from the competition? If you are building upon a weak foundation, there will be cracks in your story but answering why you’re in business will often reveal important pieces of information about what makes you different, compelling, and interesting to others. Knowing where you’ve been will help you know where you’re going. Telling your brand story helps you distinguish yourself from the overload of information out there.
People want to know the history of your business. How did it come to be? Where did you start? Do you remember what you were doing when you decided to start your business? How did you come up with the name? The more detail you can give the better. This creates a connection with your audience.
This is your ultimate goal. What problems are you trying to solve? Who are you trying to help and how exactly are you going to help them. This should be your foundation. Give this some serious thought because once you declare to your audience your mission it should not be changed—instead it should be what you’re business is known for.
Failure often breeds success. Sharing with your audience some of the ways you have failed in the past will demonstrate the humanity of your business and will help them feel more connected to you on a personal level.
Whether you are a new or old brand, taking some time to really think about why and how you started out can be the essence of your story. You truly need to know who you are before you can explain it to someone else. Businesses that don’t have their core values in place, or have discrepancies about what they are even trying to say, will never be able to share their story with the world in an honest and engaging way.
Tracy Sage-JCL Realty