You’ve Got a Brand. What’s Your Brand Story?
The customer — actually, scratch that— your customer longs for a real, convincing connection with your brand. But, are you making that happen? Some people assume a brand is your logo, the colors on your material or a clever tagline. While branding includes all these things, there’s so much more to it. At the core of your brand is your story, and everyone loves to hear a good story.
Scientific research has shown fairly convincingly that stories change our attitudes and even our behaviors. The story you need to tell has to include a few major narrative elements, namely: why you started your business, what you believe in, and why it’s important. In fact, a strong brand may be the most valuable asset you own in your business.
The Value of Your Brand Story
Strong brands have been shown to have a 23% higher revenue growth. So why wouldn’t you spend some time thinking about how you’ll tell your own brand story? It isn’t just products, services or real estate that make up the value of your SMB. Your brand is a part of that value, and it would most definitely hold a monetary value if you were to sell your business.
The Harvard Business Review notes that on a lifetime value basis, customers who are emotionally connected to you are more than twice as valuable as those customers who are highly satisfied with your product.
The truth is, there’s a lot of competition out there in many different industries. You need a compelling story to stand out from that competitive crowd. Yet, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 B2C Content Marketing Trends, only about half of marketers used storytelling as a way of talking about their brand. In fact, the majority of people actually crave a good story, but most businesses just aren’t living up to that need.
Why Make the Emotional Connection?
A few years ago, The Harvard Business Review published an article titled, “An Emotional Connection Matters More than Customer Satisfaction,” and it suggested that many companies do a good job at following the customer journey and providing good customer service.
But, the article also points out that the real competitive differentiator is whether a company can connect with the customer on an emotional level. That level can encompass the desire to belong, the desire to succeed, or the desire to feel secure.
Ultimately, pairing your business with a story can result in positive profits for your company. These emotionally connected people will buy more of your products, be less sensitive to price, and will often follow your advice and recommend you to other customers.
When customers (and potential customers) see that your business has a well-thought-out brand, visual brand consistency and has a real story to tell, they will trust that brand far more than a company that may have a disjointed look and feel or one that doesn’t tell a story that resonates.
The Elements of a Good Story
What are the elements of a good story? A few factors include:
Authenticity. People tend to gravitate to stories that seem real to them. They want to hear stories from people that have the same weaknesses and foibles.
Specific images and words. Customers want to be able to relate to the images and content that they see. Making these as simple as possible can help speed the connection.
A conflict and resolution. Every good story has these elements, even if the story doesn’t end “happily ever after.” But happy ending or not, a story that’s seemingly resolved is more satisfying and memorable.
Research from the Harvard Business School indicates that there are some emotional motivators that can be more effective. For example, highlighting the importance of our environment or helping a customer feel special and unique might move an audience to feel a sense of belonging or encourage them to act — whether that’s contributing to a movement or purchasing a product that they feel will help them pursue their goals and dreams.
Crushing the Elevator Pitch
Once you have a well-crafted story, it’s time to reduce it down to what is called the “elevator pitch”— in other words, you’ll need to develop the Sparknotes version of your story, one that can adequately describe your business in the time it takes for a short elevator ride.. You might also think of it as cocktail conversation — the answer to “what kind of business are you in?”
Your pitch should be very brief. Think of it as answering these questions:
- What is my company name and product?
- What problem does my business solve?
- How does my problem solve this problem?
- What is the key benefit of my solution?
Having a strong and memorable brand is one of the four pillars of what we at Tomato Fish think of as what you’ll use to execute a strong marketing roadmap. Our process is simple yet effective: evaluate, engage and execute. All are equally important to a strong marketing foundation.
If you’d like to know more about this through process and how you can do it yourself, visit our Discover redMAP to find out more. We’ve also got some great resources for you there. to know more? Schedule a quick 15-minute call (it’s free!) to let one of our experts help you get started on the right path.
Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions.