As a child, I loved sitting on my Grandma Roxy’s lap as she would tell me story after story. I can not remember all the stories, but I remember how I felt. I loved that grandma of mine.
I am sure I am not the only one who loves a good story. A good story can convey a message, entertain or ignite a fire.
Many people, developing brands, ignore the art of storytelling, thinking it has no place in business. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Every person working with a brand needs to develop the skills necessary to tell a great story. Every owner of a brand needs to become a master storyteller.
If you are attracting new customers or engaging your current ones, quality storytelling is the way to go.
When customers hear and engage with your brand story, they will surprise you by sharing your brand story combined with their personal experiences as they promote your brand.
Need help telling your brand story. Let Ballard Brand help develop and tell your brand story.
Here are 10 guiding principles on telling a brand’s story.
1. Know the audience
Grandma always knew how to tell a story because she always knew who she was performing for.
This first step is crucial and will determine how long the story should be and what language you should be using. Before you tell the brand story, strategize which communication channel you will use to promote the story. Think about the audience and how they will interact with your brand on that specific channel.
Who are you speaking to? Millennials or Baby Boomers? What are they looking for? Do you need to come across more professional or will a friendly tone work better? Will your brand story be a blog post, on Facebook, or another platform?
These are very important aspects to consider to help you set the right tone and achieve the best effects with your audience.
2. Make them care
Grandma had a way to make her stories relevant. She really pulled you into the story. You were always invested.
Whether emotionally, intellectually or aesthetically, you need to make your audience care.
This is important in our world, where people tend to gloss over posts and skim through content.
Why should they be interested in the story? How is it relevant to your audience? Make this clear in your mind when crafting the story, because if it isn’t clear to you, it will not be clear to your customer.
3. Create the environment
Grandma always created the environment as she lowered the light for scary stories or paused for dramatic effects.
We experience the world through our senses and so, if you want to fully capture your audience, you must engage their senses.
Engage the senses of your audience by setting the scene. You will achieve a more immersive experience for your audience if you do.
To achieve this you must tell your story throughout several marketing mediums.
4. Be creative
Grandma always had a way of telling the same story in different ways. Her stories never got old.
Sometimes you can choose to catapult your audience straight to the action to catch their attention. It is also one of the easiest ways to arouse curiosity, suspense, and tension or you can walk them slowly through the story.
Whatever you do don’t lose their attention. People don’t want to think, so don’t make your brand story complicated. Very few people will stick around to see how it turns out.
5. Know what you want
Grandma always started with the end in mind. No matter if it was standing up to bullies or eating your greens, Grandma’s stories always had a purpose.
What is the purpose of telling the brand story? Do not forget that although you are doing this to eventually sell a product or service, it should not feel that way to the audience. The story does not have to be delivered the same way every time. It can be funny, meaningful, emotional or a mixture of these, or something completely different.
Be creative, but don’t forget to always make it relevant and interesting.
Ensure that everything you are doing leads to a solid CTA.
Stories are told to envoke a response from the audience.
6. Engage the audience
Grandma would pull you in by asking questions or asking for your participation.
Erase the boundary between your audience and your brand. Engage them with a question (or two) and put them in the center of the brand story.
Create a first-hand experience whenever you can, igniting the desire for your audience to interact with your brand.
Soon your story will become their story.
7. Be passionate
Grandma was always 100% into all of her stories.
If you can’t tell a story with passion don’t tell it.
Most brands get into the routine of telling the same story over and over and it loses its luster.
Your audience relies on you to make the brand story come alive. This is what you are trying to achieve with your story. Be expressive and get excited about the brand story every time you tell it.
8. Provide a punchline
Grandma always had a moral to her story and wrapped it up with a bow.
Unless the story is to continue and you are intentionally building up suspense, there should be closure to every brand interaction you provide your customers.
Whatever plot you’ve built should be finished and leave no questions hanging in the air.
Add magic to your brand by leaving your audience with a sense of awe, the kind of feeling you get when all is right with the world. You can do this by leaving them with a “big question” they can answer as they make their way to check out.
9. Use your resources
Grandma would always use a prop as she told stories.
A picture is worth a thousand words and videos all the more. They can support your brand stories and vice-versa.
Create, surprise and entertain your audience.
Build your brand by using photos, videos, graphics, audio and more.
10. Enjoy the process
I think I enjoyed the stories because Grandma enjoyed sharing them so much.
As much as you enjoy creating the brand, you should also enjoy creating a brand experience. When you tell a compelling story you are creating a new life for the brand that is carried throughout the community by people who love your brand as much as I love my Grandmother.
The world is shaped by two things — stories told and the memories they leave behind.
“If my choice limits my choices, it is the wrong choice.”
– Jared Ballard