True stories make your brand. They make it more relatable, more accessible, and best of all, stories make your brand different. Different is good.
Why do marketers tell stories?
There’s no other way to distinguish your brand. Everything else can be replicated or clickbaited or 3D printed. Traditional advertising is blocked, ignored, and DVRd into oblivion. But stories? They stand the test of time. So it should come as no surprise that brand storytelling is all the rage these days. But I think it’s rather old school. Here’s why.
3 Tips to Make (Not Tell) Your Next Brand Story
I know you know this. But it has to be said anyway: The story is not alllllll about the brand. This idea is tough for some clients to accept. And by some, I mean all. If you manage to convince your client that the story isn’t all about them (and you still have a job) here’s what you do next:
- Go back to the beginning. Figure out why your ideal customer needs your brand in the first place. Before they buy from you, they must believe in you. How do you make them a believer?
- Create messaging that acts on your beliefs. And give your ideal customer something to relate to. Solve their problems. People love that.
- Offer your customers opportunities to engage. Give them a way to share their beliefs with you.
Anyone can be a story teller. Be a story maker.
Great marketing is about relationships. Your ideal customer wants to do more than just listen to you tell stories over and over and over again. That’s not a relationship. Your customer wants to be a part of the conversation. And if we’re really being honest, your customer is more interested in their own story anyway.
How marketers should approach brand storymaking:
I grew up in the 80s. Back then, the Choose Your Own Adventure series was stupid popular. Why? The story invites the reader in. You become the protagonist. You get to decide what happens next. You take on a role relevant to the adventure. You are invested in the outcome. You believe.
What if brands approached their stories this way?
Customers ask themselves tons of questions: What happens if I take this path? Should I buy this product or that one? What happens if I enroll in this program? This is the mentality marketers need to employ: Don’t tell stories. Make them by inviting your customers to participate.
After all, the whole point of the story is to get their buy in.