Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Strategy | 0 comments
Storytelling is one of the biggest marketing words of the year, just behind influencer in popularity. It’s important to craft stories that reach your buyers, and every story needs a hero. Who do you think that hero is?
Is it your brand, swooping in to save the day and solve all of their pain points? There’s certainly an argument to be made for the “brand as hero” mindset. The case is even stronger for those companies with a noble edge, such as TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker, or Patagonia. These brands appeal to buyers with their promise to give back, either in a one-for-one model that provides necessities to the less fortunate, or in Patagonia’s case, with contributions to protect the environment.
If you think of your brand as the hero in your brand story, then you’re not alone. But ask yourself: Who actually makes the journey?
Considering the Buyer’s Journey
If you answered the question above with “The buyer!” then you’re already starting to get it. Every buyer goes through a certain process
before making the decision to purchase. Some have a longer journey than others, but they all go through the same stages.
Just like an epic novel, these “characters
” must move through the phases of the journey before they get the reward: your product or service. So, what does that make your brand, if you’re not the hero in your own story?
Brand’s Role in the Brand Story
Every hero has a mentor, right? Luke Skywalker’s Yoda, Harry Potter’s Dumbledore, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’s Gandalf…even Scout’s Atticus Finch, if you prefer to step away from the fantasy genre for a moment. What do these mentors all have in common? The mentor in these stories educates the hero. Your brand should provide the answers your buyers need to make their decisions, from the very first step of the journey until well after the decision has been made.
Now that you’re aware of the buyer’s role as the hero and your brand’s role as the mentor, let’s consider the buyer’s journey again. How can your brand help them on their epic quest to solve their pain points?
Benefits of Reversing the Roles
When the buyer can see themselves as the hero in your brand story, you make an instant connection. Your job is to show them that you care more about their needs than you do about your own sales. You provide them with the content needed to move from the awareness stage to the consideration stage. And as they consider your brand as the answer to their needs, you provide them with the offers they need to make the decision, whether it’s a free trial, a one-time discount, or simply a tutorial.
As you continue to mentor them through their journey, they will develop trust that eventually becomes fierce loyalty. Your brand story hero then becomes your brand advocate, and then they might just become the first-most-popular marketing word of the year: an influencer.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you tell your brand’s story, give us a call
. We’d love to help you embrace your role as mentor so you can see your hero through to the decision phase of the journey every time.
Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Strategy | 0 comments
As we’ve seen, consumers have the power to change a brand’s story. No brand, no matter how large or small, is so powerful that they don’t need to worry about consumers’ effects on their bottom line. Consider the new brand story of Apple, which has recently faced backlash regarding faulty software updates and, worse, phones that bend when crammed in a pocket too long. If a brand as big as Apple is susceptible, yours is, too. We also know now how to combat a changing brand story,
but these measures only help after the fact. How can you take pre-emptive measures to avoid many future problems? By making sure you craft a solid, powerful, and compelling brand story in the first place. What do you need to do this?
Know Your Value Proposition
If you know your value proposition, then you know your brand’s story. Your value proposition contains your brand’s history, reflects your journey, encompasses your goals, projects your promise and understands your buyer personas. Start with your value proposition—remember how you got from the beginning to where you are now. Write it all down and the story will begin to take shape.
Know Your Characters
If you know your buyers personas, then you know your brand story’s characters.
The next step is to turn these personas into figures your audience will care about and root for. Your buyers should be invested in the characters, should somehow relate to them. They should experience the same pain points and require the same relief.
Yes, consumers can change your brand story if you’re not careful. That also means they have the power to finish
it for you, too. If you’re too busy beating them over the head with your message, you give them no room to come up with their own conclusions. Would you read a mystery novel if the author told you “whodunit” on the first page? Of course not! Let your buyers interpret for themselves and they’ll be that much more attached to your brand. As long as you provide all the elements and shape the story for them, your customers will follow along. You’ll all arrive at the same place at the same time.
Practice and Understand Fiction
Most of what we’ve covered so far stems from absolute fact: value proposition, buyer personas, and pain points. You can tell a great non-fiction story with this information, but is that enough to draw your buyers in? To really make the most of brand storytelling, you must learn to apply the non-fiction to fictional settings. Creativity, personal style, and a narrative that really packs a punch are what will impact your buyers in a way that will reverberate for years. Susan Gunelius
says, “…The best brand storytellers understand the critical elements of fiction writing, which are skills that few marketers have been formally trained to do.” If you know creativity and fiction aren’t your strongest points, don’t simply settle for nonfiction. Seek out someone who can help you write a compelling, exciting, interesting, and individualized brand story.
Are you ready to start crafting your brand story today? We can help you flesh out your characters and turn your value proposition into an incredible story, so give us a call.