How (and why) to tell your brand’s story

How (and why) to tell your brand’s story
April 2, 2016 Madeleine Helme

Chances are, there are a lot of brands in your market that are selling similar products or services to you, and in a similar way. If you all have great products and great customer service, then how do you differentiate yourself? The answer is storytelling!

The way you position your brand and market it to potential customers makes all the difference. When it comes to content marketing, you need to create something that people will remember, and that will make you stand out. You need to create stories that people can engage with.

Brand storytelling

Research shows that people are much more likely to remember the details of a story than facts, figures and information about a brand. When reading a story, our brain reacts as it would if we were actually experiencing the events. Stories stimulate different parts of the brain, rather than just stimulating the part of the brain necessary to understand the meaning of the words. This means that people are more likely to remember your message and how it made them feel if you construct an engaging story with your content. For consumers, emotions play an important part in the process of deciding what to buy.

Consumers often make purchase decisions based on impulse, so you need to make sure that your brand is the one at the top of their mind when they next need to make a purchase. While this is less the case with B2B marketing, as business purchases generally involve a more in depth decision making process, telling a story and engaging with your audience is still a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and create a lasting impression. Here are a few tips for incorporating effective storytelling in your marketing.

Focus on the customer

When you’re advertising a product, don’t simply list all of the features and specifications of it. They might be impressive, but chances are that your potential customers don’t care, and might not even understand what the specifications mean. Create a narrative around how your product will benefit your customer, or tell a story about how it has helped real customers who have already bought from you.

The majority of people won’t care what materials and components go in to making their new smartphone. They care that it will help to connect them to the people they love and make their day-to-day life easier. Emphasizing these benefits in the form of a story is a great way to make them really resonate with your audience.

Be genuine

People can generally tell when they are being sold to as opposed to being talked to in a genuine way. Whether you are communicating with a customer in person, on your website, through social media or in your ad copy, try not to go over the top with sales talk and industry jargon. Simply talk like you would to your friends or family. Take a personable approach and people are much more likely to believe what you are saying.

Trust is an important part of selling, so your prospects need to be able to feel like they are talking to a genuine person who actually wants to help solve their problems, rather than just an employee trying to make a sale. Tell genuine stories based on values that you believe in. Tell stories about real people and the real benefits of your product. This will come across in your marketing and will help to build trust with your customers.

Create characters

Use characters in your stories, whether real or made up, that your customers will be able to identify with and root for. For example, many businesses have a page on their website dedicated to introducing the team. This is a great chance to highlight the personalities of your members of staff and create a narrative around what they do, why they do it and how they got to where they are today.

People are much more likely to buy from a business when there is a personality that they can identify with. People like to associate the business with a real person, rather than just feeling like they are dealing with a corporate entity.

Whether it’s in your website copy, on social media, in your blogs or in advertisements, storytelling is the most effective way of differentiating yourself from your competitors and creating messages that your customers will remember you for.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.