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When a company, large or small, can connect with their customer’s emotions, the return on that connection is always positive. There are a lot of companies out there, a new one every day it seems, and many fight for the same customer bases. The question has always been:
How do you get those customers or clients to choose you?
Connections with customers are forged when a company or organization is in touch with who they are and how they want their customers or clients to see and interact with them. It’s their story. Those connections build trust. In a world where people have a lot of choices, a company’s story may be the deciding factor.
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” — Simon Sinek
Your brand’s story is more than just your “About Us” page on your website. It’s the voice and tone that you apply to any language that comes from you, it’s the feeling that your brand gives a customer or client during that user experience, and it’s what makes your customers or clients listen and keep coming back for more.
So what does it mean for a company to successfully “tell their story”?
Brand storytelling means revealing the truth behind the business, without the PR spin. If you’re a small company or shop considering this question, it can be easier to tell your story because you’re much closer to the answer. You were directly involved with that epicenter of why and how you came to be what you are. If you’re a larger company or organization, you might have to do some digging. The goal of any company or organization is to grow, but with growth can come customer alienation. Even more of a reason for larger companies and organizations to spend the time finding and remembering their story to keep their connection with their customers and clients warm and inviting.
The trick of brand storytelling is to be authentic.
A PR company can build a story around a product or new startup to generate media buzz and get attention, but it won’t last. Those stories that are fabricated for sales aren’t strong enough to sustain a company culture. One of the best ways to find your unique, true voice is to take some time to think about your differentiation factors.
How did your business come to be? Why? For whom?
Build your story from what makes you stand out from your competition. Build your story from the reasons why you care so much about what you do or why you do it. Build your story around the customers you were interested in serving or the family passion that built the business. Those points are going to make your story inherently yours.
Lots of people will say “I know my story, but I’m not a writer.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – that’s what companies like ours are here for. Often we’ll sit down and interview our clients and just have them talk about their company, why they do what they do, and by the time the conversation is over, we see the story. The best thing you can do is tell your story to someone who doesn’t know it and let them tell you what stood out or resonated. And because it’s so important to be concise and to the point, having a third party help identify the less important components to the story from the perspective of a customer or client can be key.
Once you’ve got your story, you’re off and running! Update your brand guidelines and voice and tone guides to reflect this personality. Refresh your website so that with each page visited, a customer is in touch with why you’re offering them what you’re offering. Consider your internal community and ensure that everyone on the team is part of the story, so that each interaction they have with customers and clients continues to build and spread that connection. And if you need help with any of that, give us a call!
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