Hey there, start-up-people!
If you’re creating content that falls flat and fails to convert, listen up! Take 15 minutes to read this blog and write your own brand story.
Why Stories Work
If you’re not talking about something that doesn’t seem relevant to their success. And the time it takes for people to tune out is getting quicker and quicker.
You cannot connect with your audience if your content is confusing. A confused mind immediate tunes you out. Your job is to bring them clarity.
The most powerful tool to compel a human brain is story. Stories quickly help people make sense of the world and capture attention.
At the end of this post, you can craft a brand story to communicate your brand mission and engage your customers on a deeper level.
When most marketing people speak of a brand story, what they’re talking about is the story of the company and how it came into existence.
And you’ve probably read a million “About Us” stories that bore you to tears using tired, vague business-speak and cliches. Top-of-the-line… state-of-the-art…. Give it a rest!
For the purpose of this exercise we’re going to use the framework created by Donald Miller, the visionary behind StoryBrand.
The biggest difference in telling this kind of story is that it centers around your customer instead of your business. You business will become a part of the customer’s success but you will avoid having your brand be the hero. Instead, you’ll invite your customers into the story so that your story becomes one they can see themselves in.
Miller uses a seven point structure to craft a brand story: Character, Problem, Guide, Plan, Calls to Action, Failure and Success. You’ll be guided through this framework in this lesson.
Your Customer / Client is the Hero
Your customer is the main character and ultimately becomes the hero of your brand story. Your company should never be the main character in your brand story. Focus on your customer’s problems, needs and wants.
To keep your story clear, concise and compelling, your character should be singularly focused on only one desire. One thing they are striving to attain. You’ll be asked to flesh out that desire in the exercise below.
Focus on the greater psychological needs of your customer:
- Desire to possess and collect things
- Need to connect with others, feel loved and belong to a tribe
- Learning and satisfy curiosity
- Defend ourselves or family, project
Based on those needs, speculate on what your character’s (customer) most compelling desire may be and start from there.
Authenticity is Key
Your story should sound like something you’d hear at a cocktail party. Forget about grammar. Write conversationally, how you speak.
Be brief, be brilliant, and be gone.
We understand others, not by thinking, but by feeling. People are wired to respond emotionally first. Today’s customers want to feel like they really know the companies they do business with. And moreso that the company they are doing business with understands them and cares.
They want to be seduced, and moved by your authentic and relatable story. When you start from a place of emotional connection, your customers will gravitate to you.
Keep in mind, when telling your story: clarity connects with customers. A confused customer will move on, and will always say no.
The biggest mistake companies make when they have the opportunity to connect with customers is focusing on themselves. How many awards, they’ve won — or worse, humble bragging– about being a paradigm shifting… first ever… blah blah blah.
Your brand story will communicate the brand mission is a way that will make people remember you.
Metaphors are powerful communication devices that evoke emotions. They help us consider new ideas or concepts in a relatable way.
Popular metaphors that people are drawn to:
- Control – people are drawn to it because it helps reduce fear
According to Zaltman and Zaltman (2008), there are seven deep metaphors: balance, journey, transformation/change, container, connection, resource and control.
The seven deep metaphors discussed in Marketing Metaphoria: What Deep Metaphors Reveal about the Minds of Consumers appear across a variety of products.
Here’s an excellent example of a brand story that rises above the product and invites the customer into the narrative.
Real talk. Have you ever thought:
How do these Instagram moms do it with their perfect bleached-white nursery, while I know I’ll be combing vomit out of my hair and scraping it off the floor?
I can’t even decide what I want to binge-watch on Netflix. How am I going to figure out which crib is best for my baby? And what’s a glider? Do I need one? Hello?
Am I a bad mom because I don’t have time to research toxic-free sheets?
Preparing for a baby is one of the most magical moments of your life. We know because we’ve been there. As designers and new mommas, we experienced firsthand the excitement of designing a nursery and expecting a baby, but we were shocked at the amount of time spent in the room once our little ones arrived. We realized that sorting through hundreds of products and inspirational photos takes too long, and buying a matching set is boring. We learned that in between 3 a.m. feedings and a game of what’s that smell, a beautiful and functional nursery could be a breath of fresh air (literally).
That’s how the idea for Company A was born. We created a first of its kind service combining our interior design expertise and our mom sensibility to design full rooms for your new addition, complete with everything—furniture, décor, accessories, rugs, lighting, art, bedding, and wall coverings—but the paint.
We’re proud to offer a curation process where we hand-select hard to find, unique, and quirky products you won’t find anywhere else—from 100 vendors we absolutely trust. If we wouldn’t use a product with our own children, we won’t sell it. We present the rooms like the ultimate Pinterest board—only we remove the hassle of researching, sourcing, and coordinating delivery to your home.
You have so much going on in preparation for baby—let’s take this one thing off your plate.”
Get a feel for the kind of creative work we do here at Q Creative Academy and answer the questions below to craft your own brand story.
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