Your story motivates customers to choose your business, stay with it and help it grow.
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Your business can’t afford to be a faceless entity — just one more potential choice in a sea of options. Thriving businesses connect with audiences on a deeper level, engaging with them in ways that create lasting, more enthusiastic relationships. That’s where brand storytelling comes in.
Stories are a scientifically proven method of stimulating interest, getting people’s attention and keeping it. Brand storytelling is a marketing method that uses a narrative to define your brand and connect your business with your customers. Your story becomes a linking device that spotlights and celebrates your shared values.
Related: Why Storytelling Is a Skill that Every Entrepreneur Should Practice
Two little twists are critical to understanding how to make your brand story work:
Your product or service, whatever you’re selling, is not the focus. Your values and what differentiates you in the marketplace, and how those attributes dovetail with your audience‘s perception of their own values, should be spotlighted.
The main character in your brand story is not your business — your customer is. They are the protagonist and your brand is the guide, or the context, that empowers them on their journey.
Here are five reasons brand storytelling is essential to marketing your company.
1. Elevates your business above the crowd
Facts, statistics and testimonials can get lost in the overwhelming avalanche of content being generated every minute by companies. An interesting story, however, suddenly makes your brand memorable and real.
What do you want your business to be remembered for? Consider the most important message you want your audience to take away — the one emotion you want to evoke each time a customer interacts with your brand. Audiences may forget things you say, but the way you make them feel will stick longer and drive engagement much more effectively.
2. Enhances brand loyalty
When your brand becomes about something larger than a product or a service, you transform it into an experience and your audience aligns to become a community. A community inspired by brand loyalty has tremendous power to support your success, to share and connect with larger audiences, and to come back for more.
Use a compelling narrative to share your brand’s history, values and purpose, and motivate your audience to align their journey with yours.
3. Demonstrates a human side
People typically don’t interact with what you’re selling on an emotional level unless you show that there’s something human to interact with. Your customers want to connect with another human who shares their values, passions and journey. By aligning your brand with a story that is relatably human, you invite the people in your audience to identify with your company and with each other.
An effective story can inspire a community that’s motivated to spread the word, invite new members and be an engine for organic growth.
4. Connects you with your ideal audience
A big audience can be great, but if it’s not relevant for what you are offering, then it’s just wasted bandwidth. It’s better to have a smaller audience if that audience is more likely to engage suitably with your product or service. The right story can connect you with an audience that is more likely to become involved with your brand in a way that creates value.
Precise targeting of your brand story is better than going wide with your message, especially if you have limited resources and need to make every connection count.
Related: 3 Tips for Maximizing Customer Relationships
5. Makes your brand more than a commodity
Earlier I mentioned inspiring your customers to form a “community” and that’s exactly what the most prominent and successful brands do. Apple‘s brand story connects its products to a community that feels it is innovative, bold and different from the crowd. Tesla‘s brand story has inspired a community that is motivated to support sustainable energy solutions to heal the environment.
Your company can use its brand story to be about more than simply buying a product or using a service. By creating a larger narrative, you inspire a connection that is more emotional and meaningful … and profitable!
A powerful story can become the rallying cry that creates community. The marketplace craves unique and compelling ways to engage. Use brand storytelling to better connect with your audience and elevate your company.
Related: 3 Tips for Mastering Storytelling as a Small Business Owner