What is communicating the personality and history of your business if it isn’t storytelling? Telling your brand story may have become a bit of a term floated flippantly over the last few years in the marketing world, but there’s a good reason it’s a term that’s on everyone’s lips. Owning a business is no different the many different trajectories we see in real life – we all have a beginning, a middle and an end, and there’s invariably some twists along the way. Here, we look at how to tell your brand story, and look at how this might shape the tone of your marketing and the message you’re sharing with the world.
Firstly, it’s about assessing what your story really is. Ask yourself some tough questions – what are the bits that matter and what are people really going to be interested in? You want to be able to tell your brand’s story quickly and succinctly and provide added interest and value. By way of an insight, David Sloly of Harvey David has a brilliant tool for this, and I’ve shared it here:
1) Your Purpose Story
Why do you do what you do? We all have a purpose, and surely you’ve got one for setting up and making a business. What is it? Don’t be afraid to tell the whole story.
2) Your Risk Story
Whether you’ve failed or succeeded in the risks you’ve taken, they’re personal and human. Share them.
3) Your Vision Story
Where are you going next? Why are people going to invest in you? Why are they goign to believe the story you’re telling?
4) Your Customer Story
Your customers, especially those who may be repeat customers, are your brand’s best marketing and communication tool. Who are they? It’s not always about you. Tell their story.
5) Your Launch Story
Where have you come from? Why? What made you do it? What kind of process did you undertake to launch your product?
6) Your Founder Story
You may have started a great business, but other people might have done the same thing before. Be humble about your inspiration and influence, and why you wanted to start a business in the first place. Being a founder isn’t necessarily about doing something for the first time, it’s about having a vision and a plan to put it into action.
7) Your Leadership Story
Leadership skills are important, and there’s a way to demonstrate them to suggest commitment without coming across as arrogant or egotistical.
Once you’ve answered these questions as simply and as quickly as possible, find common themes and run with the ones that resonate with you most strongly. Then, cut the fat, and trim down any excess that doesn’t push your brand communication forward. If it’s not interesting to you, it certainly won’t be to someone who just wants to hire you to get the job done.
Many businesses make this mistake – it’s really important to show your story. Audiences don’t like being dictated to, or told things about other businesses or people they don’t want to hear. Be humble and tell your businesses story like you’re sharing news with an old friend – you may find your messages go a lot further in the process of doing so.