Who doesn’t like a good the-underdog-wins story where everything works out for the best in the end? However, the old adage ‘it’s easier said than done’ applies everywhere, especially if you’ve experienced this kind of a situation firsthand.
Typically, humans tend to downplay their struggles, failures and inhibitions, and hide their fears to the greatest extent possible. We prefer to project ourselves as successful, inspirational and happy-go-lucky individuals, who have everything going for them. In a scenario where everyone pretends that all is hunky-dory, the true story of your trials and tribulations is sure come as breath of fresh air, especially to those looking for inspiration.
A story with a universal appeal is bound to be valuable. Through your story you get the opportunity to tell your audience that the road to success is rocky and uncertain, rather than straight and levelled.
The Importance of Brand Stories
It’s no secret that the customer is the king. After all, he is the one with purchasing power. Customers are constantly on the lookout for credible content that helps them make buying decisions.
Did you know that 70% of consumers look to blog posts to make such decisions rather than ads?
They read the content provided on your company’s website, refer product reviews on third-party sites, and any other source they can find online before buying from you. This is done to know more about the product, its value proposition and reliability.
Your story can become incredibly powerful when you explain your journey to your customers as it will connect you to them on an emotional level.
Businesses and Stories
Your customers may not care much about your marketing goals, but they will appreciate a great story from you. Any business that can give them this stands to benefit greatly.
Social media can be tremendously helpful in achieving this. Customers are already present on social media and are comfortable engaging with companies, who are equally active in putting up their content on such networks. As the majority of companies publish their content, only those who are able to craft compelling stories, instead of just dishing out a mountain of facts and figures, have a better chance at succeeding.
Mentioned ahead are a few undeniable reasons you should share your business story with the world:
1. Establishing Brand Identity
With the help of stories, you will be able to transform the ostensibly vague core values of your organization (for example, hard work and ethics) into tangible and measurable attributes.
Almost all organizations have a bigger organizational narrative with small stories to sustain, restate, and personalize it. These smaller stories are consistently shared to create, strengthen and explore your brand. It is your organization’s values, mission and activities that form the central theme of its narrative.
2. Establishing Your Authority
Good stories that reinforce that your brand is, in fact, the solution to your customers’ problem can help you influence them positively, thereby establishing your authority in the market.
Craft your content in a manner that positions your brand as the preferred one. Highlight the strengths of your offerings in a way that lets your brand stand out from among the competition. And win!
3. Engaging Audiences
You want your audience to feel an emotional connect with your brand, which is why it is important to tell them stories about the people who make your organization the success that it is. This includes your employees, clients, investors, partners, and so on.
People like to engage with humans and not with undefined entities. When you share your story, you enable your audience to hear, understand and remember your organization better. Further, because stories are more comprehendible than random information and numbers, it becomes easier to share them.
Bear in mind, however, that one story can give rise to new stories i.e. your customers will probably draw out another story from the one you tell them. This is where the importance of having multiple channels of communication (for proper flow) comes into the picture. Once you have them in place, you can ponder over other questions related to the emerging themes and the kind of stories enabling real engagement.
4. Sharing Knowledge
As a brand, you’re bound to have tremendous knowledge and learning, which can be presented in a practical and sustainable structure. Doing so can also help you connect information, which can otherwise seem incoherent. Stories can elucidate numerical data, yield insights, and draw out lessons more easily.
5. Becoming the Guiding Light
Sharing true stories will enable you to build credibility which, in turn, will deepen the trust your internal and external stakeholders have in you. Stories make for fantastic mediums to foster communication through which people get heard. It also helps smart entrepreneurs decipher the meaning of projects and offerings.
Leaders/mentors in organizations that share their story are often adept at relating their projects and challenges to the narrative of the organization.
In fact, stories are more important to leadership than we know. Of course, there needs to be one strong narrative that weaves the various abstract and patchy bits together. This will help you communicate your company’s visions, ease out the complexities, and inspire change.
Leaders keep changing and one leader’s hindsight can be another’s foresight. By sharing the story of your struggles, you can greatly help up-and-coming entrepreneurs realize that their struggles are a normal part of the grind that everyone goes through, and there is a way out of it. More often than not, this is all the inspiration they need to weather the storms.
If your stories can provide them with actionable ideas and solutions through which they can solve their problems, they would be even more helpful.
6. Conquering Your Fears
As already mentioned, not everyone is comfortable with talking about their hardships, struggles, weaknesses, and failures. Some, however, find it to be cathartic and extremely gratifying. Getting over the fear of publicly acknowledging to such experiences requires courage. It can earn your tremendous admiration and respect. You never know, being earnest and forthcoming with your audiences about your strengths and weaknesses may just work in your favor!
Sold on the idea of telling your story but wondering how to begin and take it forward? We’ll tell you all about it.
- Start by Talking about Your Purpose
In order to tell your story convincingly, you need to know why you are in business and explain this to your audience eloquently. The two questions to answer here are: what is the purpose of your business and what differentiates it from your competitors?
Answering these questions will help you figure out what makes your business powerful and interesting to others. You will be able to set a path for future successes only if you have a clear idea of where you’re coming from. You may not realize this, but customers want to know who they’re buying from. This includes their history, i.e. questions related to the origins of the company.
Smart entrepreneurs understand the importance of establishing a strong and realistic company mission. Businesses also need to have a clear corporate positioning that is in keeping with who they are. It should emerge from a clear comprehension of why they are in business and who they want to cater to.
The mission and vision of a company are a big part of the brand story as they help formulate a practical business strategy. These factors essentially help set the foundation for success.
- Introduce the Main Characters
It is impossible to have a relatable story without having exemplary main characters, who shape it going forward. Make sure to create inspirational main characters as they will form the heart of your story and encourage your audience to take the desired action. You can do so by identifying real people or make up fictional characters that make your business flourish and use them as your main cast.
- What Are You Out to Achieve?
The answer to this question will reveal the real reason for the existence of your business. It will also help your audience figure out what issues you’re looking to resolve through your offerings. Show them the bigger picture and let them know that there is a higher cause to achieve.
Are you in the business to inspire people? Do you want to revolutionalize the way your customers live through your products and services? Do you want to make the world a healthier place to live in? Such questions will help you get the perspective you need to grow your story.
- Bring Up the Roadblocks
Success stories are incomplete if there is no mention of the failures encountered in the journey. Failures are stepping stones to success. Showing people how you failed before hitting the big time and embracing those trials will humanize you and your business and help your customers strike an emotional chord with your business, thereby making your story more impactful.
- Give Them a Triumphant Conclusion
Leave them with a feel-good factor at the end of it all, where your product or service solves the customers’ problems. The idea is to position your offering as the medicine that cures all their ailments and gives them exactly what they’ve been looking for.
For your story to have the maximum impact, you need to know about the right techniques of storytelling. Here’s more on that:
Almost all company websites have blogs and yours should too. They make for effective business storytelling vessels. You can get the maximum advantage by telling the story of either your own industry or other associated industries.
Do not forget to create a professional bio for yourself when you start to blog. In fact, your bio should do more than just announce your accomplishments. It should tell your audience who you are as a person.
The rule of thumb to remember here is that instead of talking on and on about what you do, make your blog posts action-oriented so that you can show your audience what you’re all about.
- Case Studies
Case studies are the classic marketing vehicles for storytelling in business. After all, they do convey a brand’s story. You can make them more creative by adding humorous elements, building tension, and adding various dimensions and points of view to them, rather than keeping them dull.
- Product Tutorials
Your customers will probably be looking for instructional material to understand exactly how they can make the most of your offerings. You can provide them with an instructional video that does more than just that. Craft an interesting story by making them the hero and the problem at hand the villain, and then position your product as the solution that can help solve the problem. Focus on providing them with material that answers the customers’ “hows” to make effective videos that arouse curiosity about your offerings.
In order to tell your story to the world, you need to know it well enough. Only then will you be able to do a brilliant job of explaining it to others. Ensure that you have your brand’s core value proposition in place, and that everyone associated with you has the same story to tell to the audience. Consistency is key to be able to share your story in an honest and engaging manner.