Everyone and every brand has a story. Everyone. When you think you have nothing to say think about the questions people ask you.
Imagine if someone said, why is your 200 gram product not relative in price to your 500 gram product? You could tell them the technical answer or you could tell them about where the product comes from, why the packaging has been chosen or you could tell them a personal story about why you like the 200 gram over the 500 gram because of how you use the product in your home. There you go, you are telling a story.
In our industry we have a rich canvas to tell our stories on. This isn’t just for the ones with products, those of us with services also can tell stories. When I’m stuck for a story I think about what outcomes people are looking for when they buy my services. Storytelling is the ultimate in customer service. I ask myself, what does the other person need to know and why are they asking.
Weave stories in of your experience to paint a picture.
I was asked to speak at a conference recently called the F-Word. Interesting. It was for entrepreneurs and I never worked out what the actual F-Word was but because the audience were start ups, small business owners and entrepreneurs looking for inspiration I thought about what drives my business and how do I encapsulate that in a way they will interest people. I worked in ‘C’ words, which of course could have double meaning as well as be the initial of my first name but they all had a story behind them of how I’ve built my business – community, competition, (self) care and being aware of copycats. But I could have also spoken about courage, clarity and crying (after all, building a business is a tough gig).
We are overcharged with images and sales pitches. People remember and more importantly they crave stories. They want connection. We are all wired for connection and the gift of storytelling creates connection. Stories make life interesting and easier. People remember the story not the brand, or they remember the brand story. A brand story should underpin your vision, your priorities, your intent on social media and your ethos – at its core your story is why your brand exists.
Creating a gripping overview of why you are passionate about your services and offerings, your business culture and why customers should do business with you are all part of telling your story. One of the most important things to note about your story is that it should be consistent and created in such a way that it resonates deeply with your audience.
Go beyond the basics of what you offer to why you offer it. Tell us what’s at the heart of your brand.
- The People Behind the Business. One of the best ways to engage an audience is to uncover ways that they are similar to you. This can be a great way to gain engagement with your customers and audience. Customers want to know who you are, the human(s) behind the brand. Let them see behind the scenes and it is okay if behind the scenes is not perfect, it is all part of being more human and therefore more relatable.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Emotion. You have heard it again and again—people want to have an emotional connection with a brand. How do brands like Meringue Girls and Simmone Logue build brand advocates in a way that brands like Nestle are unlikely to? By creating a compelling and interesting story, a way for people to find a part of themselves within the brand’s promise. The brand must have a feeling associated with it, something that old school brands such as Weet-Bix have nailed.
- Share Your Passion. Behind every entrepreneurial business is passion—an entrepreneur who believes in what they are building. They believed so much so that they made sacrifices – friends, family, money and security in order to chase their dream. Uncover that story for you and your business and package it up and tell your customers and let them in on your secret. Let your customers feel that they are an integral part of your story and your success. Help them retell your story because they are so engaged they don’t even notice that they are.
- Be Consistent. Once you have built your story, every piece of your content needs to build upon that story; website, email, face-to-face and print. Don’t jar your customers by sidestepping the brand promise, stay on message. Think what would happen if Apple suddenly decided to come out with a low-tech feature phone with tons of buttons and a very small screen?
Ironically storytelling is not easy. It means knowing your story in the first place and then being vulnerable enough to tell it.
What’s the shortest distance between two humans?
What is your story?
I’d love to hear your comments or how you tell stories and delight your customers. Why not write your story below?
Chelsea and the Females in Food team