By: Lisa Dutton, Shout! Communications
“Great name! Did it take you forever to come up with it?” I was recently asked this question when I handed a potential client my business card. Truthfully, I came up with Shout! Communications Inc. pretty quickly. It’s a bit tongue in cheek, but the name reflects how difficult it is for brands to get noticed these days because the marketplace is so darn noisy. But, you don’t need to drop a bundle on advertising to cultivate a loyal customer base. There is a much cheaper and more effective solution. It’s brand storytelling. Let me explain.
Today, according to Red Crow Marketing Inc. we are exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 ads/brand messages per day. Because our brain can’t possibly process all of this information, we simply tune out. In reality, few messages actually get noticed.
We are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads/brand messages a day!
While coming up with the name for my public relations firm, I kept thinking of the small business or non-profit who with a limited budget is trying to cut through the clutter to connect with their target audience. Do you literally have to shout from a soapbox? Well no, but to get your message heard, to make your brand visible, you do have to become a great storyteller.
I know some of you are sputtering. “A storyteller, I’m not a storyteller I’m an accountant, fundraiser, artist, chef, store owner.” You are great at what you do, but unless you’re reading Harry Potter to your kids, a storyteller you ain’t. I hear you, but help is here.
First, let me explain why brand storytelling is so important.
In her blog post, Why We Need Brand Stories, Bernadette Jiwa writes, “Today businesses that use story to the best advantage understand the primary reason to invest in brand storytelling is to build trust with the customers they are committed to serving and keeping. Trust is the most undervalued and precious resource of our time. This makes storytelling one of the most important investments we can make.”
By telling your brand’s story, you connect with customers in a meaningful way…
Think about it, trust is fundamental to your brand’s reputation. By telling your brand’s story, you connect with customers in a meaningful way and as they get to know you and you get to know them, a bond of trust is formed. This turns them into loyal customers who are willing to promote your brand/product/service/organization to friends and family which drives sales/donations/support/awareness.
Okay, so you want to start telling your brand’s story. But where to begin?
In her blog, Bernadette outlines The Five-Step Brand Story Framework. She writes, “Most people say the hardest part of telling their brand story is knowing where to begin. That’s because we begin in the wrong place, with the wrong question – at the how to.” Bernadette says instead of worrying about what to say, we need to ask: who this story is for and why will this story resonate with my target audience?
So, before you put pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard check out Bernadette’s chart below and start telling your brand story to connect with your audience, turn them into loyal customers and your brand’s best ambassadors.
You’re doing great things; the world should know.