Brand Storytelling (without being woo-woo or boring customers to tears)
nce upon a time, a business owner wanted to create marketing that gave him amazing ROI.
He'd heard about the power of brand storytelling – but the idea of telling stories seemed lame and childish.
What our hero didn’t realise is that corporate storytelling is proven to increase revenue.
Brands like Nike, Coca-Cola and Dove are all making shed-loads of money doing it.
Using stories to market your brand can be very effective…
As long as your stories aren’t just poorly disguised advertising with classic titles like…
“My Product: The Hero.”
Those kinds of stories just bore people to sleep.
But there’s another kind of story
…although a rare and elusive creature…
The Good Brand Story!
A story that’s human.
A story that’s memorable.
A story so powerful it sparks an emotional response.
One that sets people ablaze with their passion for your brand!
A good brand story can…
Drive huge price increases: over 2700% (Significant Objects)
Generate more than 50 million views on social media in just 12 days; and (Dove)
Raise stock prices 750% in four years. (Burberry)
It can even provide 35 million children with new shoes. (TOMS)
But how do you go from cure for insomnia to spontaneous human combustion?
Well, there’s a formula for a good brand story.
One that gets attention, creates the right emotional response and compels action.
I’ll show you what it looks like. But first, here’s how you make it work for you:
Have you ever told your mom a story about something really mundane? She’ll listen intently, enchanted by your every word.
(Even if you're telling her all about slide thirty seven of your presentation. Your mom is awesome).
But when you tell the same story to anybody else, you see quite a different response.
Their heads dip slightly to the side – and if you look carefully, you’ll notice the will to live leaving their bodies.
Same story, different reaction.
What’s the deal with that?
Well, moms are emotionally invested in us.
Just as well really, or none of us would have made it past the first poopy diaper episode.
The point is, your stories are only interesting if someone has a reason to care about what you have to say.
You have to give them a reason to give a crap.
Marketing isn’t about you.
By making your customers the focus of your content and communication, they’ll actually care about what you have to say.
To make people give a crap, put them at the centre of your story.
The problem with most brand stories is they're talking about you.
And people switch off real fast because, as we’ve discussed…
…they just don't care.
Accountants talking about their favourite excel ‘hacks.’
Cosmetics companies talking about the exact formula of their mascara.
Do you care about any of that stuff?
You don't care, and their potential customers sure aren't getting worked up about it either.
If you want to get attention, you have to tell a different story.
When someone starts talking about us or a story we see ourselves in, we take note.
Our ears burn when that happens.
Suddenly, they get our full, undivided attention.
What if the accountant talked about the financial peace and confidence that comes from having your books straight?
Sedgwick was thinking just last night he's not sure how to balance the books for his startup, and he doesn't wantany trouble from the IRS.
What if the cosmetics company talked about how confident you'll feel when you never have to worry about your mascara running - even if you get a bit emotional at your friend's wedding.
Elle's best friend is getting married in a few weeks and there will definitely be tears!
If your company wants to make it's marketing pop, then it always needs to be thinking about Sedgwick and Elle:
Brand storytelling doesn't work if you tell stories about your brand.
It works when your brand tells stories about those they want to serve.
Makes sense, right?
Knowing this puts you in a good place. It's going to save you time and money.
Well, now you know the difference, you can spot a hidden tax you’ve been paying for many years…
…that you didn’t need to pay.
The Stupidity Tax!
Whenever you make things all about you, you get hit with Stupidity Tax.
Is your website all about you?
The ads you’re running… Are they all about you?
The last thing you posted on social media. Is it all about you?
The Stupidity Tax hits you where it hurts – right in the wallet.
Over time, the cost increases as you start to lose the relationship you have with your people – the customers you have and those you could have had.
But it's okay, because you stop paying the Stupidity Tax as soon as you make everything about them.
That's the trick.
If someone hears your brand story, and they can see themselves in it, they'll give you all of their attention.
And attention can mean great things in terms of attracting more business, retaining existing customers and increasing sales.
When you're telling your narrative, make sure it creates an emotional connection with your customer.
Ask yourself questions like:
Where are they right now?
hat things are happening in their lives that are causing them a problem?
What do they wish was happening in thir lives instead?
What do they think life will look like when their problem goes away?
Your customers are out there right now, wishing a magical fairy could wave a wand and take them from Problem to Solution.
All you need to do is to be
the magical fairy.
(Only be better than the one Cinderella got stuck with. “This carriage is only good 'til midnight” is the kind of caveat that has folk demanding refunds.)
Be the Gandalf to their Frodo.
The Yoda to their Luke.
Be the guide for their hero's journey.
And you too can help more people with your products and services.