Tell an Authentic Story to Build Your Brand
Everyone, in life and business, knows the value of a good story. Whether it’s your grandmother or the legendary CEO of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, doing the telling, a good story can entice, entertain and educate. Marketing has always been about telling a good story. As the adage goes, “There are no truths, only stories.”
Brands or companies without strong foundations and interesting stories are doomed. When you think about it, the idea that a Lexus is better than a BMW or that barbecue ribs taste better when made by a Texan chef isn't about taste, but the stories they tell.
Yet most consumers have been conditioned to believe that business communication must be clear, rational and objective, with no place for emotion or subjective thinking. But great communicators know that the best way to inspire, motivate and persuade others is to infuse the human element through the simple telling of stories.
Too many business owners spend too much time talking about the amazing features of their products, services or companies. They drone on and on, saturating us with jargon that smells good but leaves us hungry for real food. So what happens? The prospect goes to sleep or, worse, just walks away. People don't want or need to hear about your bells and whistles; they want to hear a real train.
Communicate what you and your brand are all about through the power of stories. Here are two ways that a story can help you reach and retain your customers.
1. Create a story about your target or ideal customer. Let’s say you operate a men’s clothing store. You’re going to write a short, fictional story about a visit from a target customer, whom I’ll call “Max.” When Max walks in, what's he wearing? What do his clothes say about him and his work? What’s on his mind? Does he need to look a certain way for his work, or is this casual wear? Does Max have a family, or is he single? How often does he come into your store? What do you know about Max and the clothes he wears that could make him feel good about himself?