Storytelling is fundamental. Every brand has a story. However, are you effectively communicating it with your customers? We recently read Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs and have been implementing its storytelling lessons in communicating with our clients about what we do ever since. And it’s working.
For those unfamiliar, the book highlights the importance of recognizing your business’ unique “story” in order to provide better service to customers. By taking time to better understand your brand’s purpose, you too, can better target the right customers and create a stronger mutual understanding about who you really are and how you can help.
We’ve highlighted a few of Sachs’ key steps to get you started on the path to storytelling success:
Step 1: Establish Who You Are
Before defining a story, you must have a clear vision of your company’s identity. Sit down with your team to brainstorm your vision and core values. It’s important that the entire team be involved in this process – after all, they’re a key part of this identity.
Step 2: Find Your Hero
In the case of business, your hero in the story is, first and foremost, your customers. Identify who you are serving, what their needs are and how you help them save the day. As a company, your job is to empower your customers with the tools needed to become a hero, so keep this in mind in your day-to-day interactions.
Step 3: Define the Obstacle
Before you can help your clients improve, you must identify what’s holding them back. What is the obstacle preventing them from becoming a “hero”? Take the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty as an example – many of Dove’s heroes are women who struggle with their body image. So, after recognizing this as the main issue for their demographic, Dove shaped their entire brand message around it.. Like Dove, identifying your hero’s problem will allow you to better hone in on not only how to solve this problem but also how to better communicate with your customer base.
Step 4: Solve the Problem
A critical component of your brand story involves coming up with a solution to your hero’s obstacle. What are you doing to help them defeat their problem? For Dove, this involved a series of advertisements focused on self-acceptance, which in turn encouraged women to overcome their body image issues and feel comfort in a brand and product that supported this. The same needs to happen for your business. Firmly define how you solve your customer’s problem and position your brand around it. This will set your business apart by providing an emotional connection between your company and both your current and prospective customers.
How do you tell your company’s story?[Image courtesy of winningthestorywars.com]