Stories matter because they provide a personal insight into the storyteller’s life. If you’re a start-up and have yet to begin telling your story, let me lead you into a simple one to make a point.
Early in my career, I worked for a company who wanted to move away from the corporate voice they consistently emitted. Instead, they wanted to humanize their brand. This is where I developed a content marketing strategy to tell their story in the form of customer stories.
The main question I asked, what were our customers doing with the product they purchased from us?
I interviewed a couple of them and the stories were remarkable. Each person had a unique and endearing story about the science they were doing in order to solve a need. For example, there was a non-profit who was using our products to help develop a peanut one to ease the child hunger crisis in Africa.
These raw and emotional monthly spotlights highlighted the inspiring humans behind the purchased products. Their stories became connected to our brand's story.
For a brand, their storytelling campaigns should accomplish three essential things to be successful:
Three Essential Components Storytelling Campaigns Should Accomplish
From Wired for Story by Lisa Cron to The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall to The Storytelling Edge by Joe Lazauskas & Shane Snow, there are countless other books that say the same things: people love stories, we are wired to fall head over heels when someone details a meaty story. Why? When a brand starts telling us about their humble beginnings, the people that got them there, and the customers who support them then the brand becomes a reliable & memorable source of information. The customer and potential ones trust you and thus becomes a faithful admirer.
People are distancing themselves from the corporate voice. After years of hearing the same suit and tie talk, they have started to relate to personal stories because it makes us care. If we care about the company that produces what we want to potentially buy, then we will make a purchase. If we see that they are producing consistent human stories, we'll keep buying because we’ve become friends of sorts.
When we trust and care about a brand, they’ve built a lasting connection with the customer. The impression can be strong enough to drive us to want more. We start telling our friends, babysitter, cousins, and even that random stranger on the train. You see, when a connection has been built, it’s like a first date, we keep texting back and forth wanting to establish more future dates. We now desire more face time with the person/brand we took a liking towards.
I’m not saying date the brand but what I am saying is that at the end of the day, the goal is to humanize the brand in order to get your own cheerleading squad. You want people who are cheering for your brand and become brand ambassadors. People who see your humble beginnings, the struggles, and achievements become your advocates.
Brand-driven storytelling matters because if done correctly, it builds a lasting impression on the customer. Because you want your brand’s story to be ingrained in them that they keep coming back for more.
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