Have you ever been introduced to an overly chatty person?
They pause briefly to learn your name, then launch into an extended monologue about their life and interests. After finally "escaping" the interlude, you realize they didn't ask you a single question.
When you meet someone like this, does it raise a red flag?
This pushy demeanor causes you to lose trust in their entire character. The same can be true in marketing when companies spend too much time talking about themselves instead of authentically connecting with consumers. Without building adequate rapport, marketers prematurely oversell or repel prospects for good.
How can you avoid this mistake? By building connections through story.
The Human to Human Connection
Building brand stories sets buyers at ease and creates the best possible customer experience.
Today's consumers prefer an increasingly personalized experience, and sharing your brand through story is one of the best ways to build relationships. Brand stories offer a friendly introduction to your company, building trust with a generation that craves distinct, authentic connections.
Many companies don't think of themselves as a brand or believe they have a story to tell. And that's just not the case! A brand story isn't simply a chronological account of your history, it's a portrait of who you are. Your brand story consists of:
- What your brand says about itself
- What your brand does in the world
- What others believe and say about your brand
- How people interact with your brand
Here's an example of one business bringing their story to life:
Chipotle's Mexican Grill is a brand known for serving "food with integrity." Chipotle has labeled itself "as real as it gets," using only 51 ingredients and no heat lamps, freezers, or microwaves. A recent print ad included the line: "For real foods. For real actions. For real change."
Chipotle seeks to fulfill people's desire for clean eating and to change the way people think about fast food. The core of this ethos includes respect for farmers, animals, and the environment, and transparent displays of ingredients and producers on every menu. Tipping toward satire, the brand's recent 51 ingredient billboard campaign featured this phrase: The only ingredient that's too hard to pronounce at Chipotle is "Chipotle."
On a neural level, the brain actually "feels" a story.
Story-based communication brings greater comprehension and allows your listeners to grow in confidence and receptivity because people buy in to what they trust!
To create meaningful customer connections, begin by intentionally discovering who you are talking to and deliver the message your audience wants or needs to engage with.
Build a narrative that is captivating, concise, consistent, and conversational. Then do your best to share this everywhere! Think of your brand story as a steady IV drip of content, delivered to multiple audiences, over many years, in a variety of formats.
Whether it involves large-scale displays, mounted core values, or social media content, ensure your story stays consistent across mediums. Keeping attributes simple and clear will allow consumers to recognize you in every setting and to feel at home with all that your brand stands for.
Bring Your Story to Life
Stories make life interesting because they fulfill curiosity and craving in every person.
Telling your brand story is mission-critical in forging relationships with a generation that desires to buy into more than just a product, but into a narrative that gives meaning and pleasure to their daily lives.