If you haven’t spent the time to determine your company’s brand story, you’re not alone. In businesses of all sizes, marketing teams struggle to develop and share the best “story” their company has to offer. More often than not, companies that fail to communicate their brand story choose to market their features instead. Features describe a product. Benefits describe why a product has value. Companies without a brand story hope that the public will view their features as benefits. Sadly, the public rarely connects with this style of marketing.
I’ll tell you why in just a second, but first, let me tell you a story about my 5 year old son and our nightly routine.
Each night, before my 5 year old falls asleep, we cuddle and chat about the day we had. “What was the best part of your day?,” I ask him.
“Well, my friend Ben decided that he is going to be a car builder. He’ll probably make school buses and cars for my spy agency. We’re going to work for the Government because they’ll pay us money. Zariah is going to be the boss, she will have to make smart choices. But she is NOT going to have ANYTHING to do with the weapons; that’s my job to decide.”
And down the rabbit hole we go!
“Really!?,” I’ll remark. “That’s exciting. But why will you need weapons? What kind of missions will you have to do?,” and so on, and so on until we exhaust the topic, which then prompts my son to ask me “Mom, what was the best part of your day?”
Sometimes this question digs deeper than the joys of our day. This question gives us the opportunity to talk about the parts of our day we didn’t like so much and to look for a solution to problems we encountered.
Either way, hearing each other’s story, my son and I connect. We tap into the experience and gain an appreciation of one another, not just of our daily grind but of how those moments (those stories) have changed who we are, or the way we feel, for better or for worse.
Why Story Benefits Every Entrepreneur
If you’re an entrepreneur, your brand story helps your consumers remember you.
In my opinion, there is no better way to capture and hold your consumers attention than to share an honest, clear, emotional story.
When we listen to or read a story that resonates with us, our bodies respond physically. The story guides our emotions whether we want it to or not. Our pupils dilate with surprise, our pulses race, a rush of oxytocin is released. Even our posture adjusts to lean in closer to the storyteller, to feel more included, to feel more connected.
Under MRI or CAT scan, neuroscientists observe the human brain “coming alive.” Neurones fire in every region of the brain, but most surprisingly in the location where we process emotion and store memories. The same activity overshadows where we process reason and logic. This is an extremely telling tale into our motivation and behaviour and supports two theories entrepreneurs and marketers alike should pay attention to:
1) We remember the stories that invoke strong feelings in us.
2) We feel before we think – that is, emotion trumps logic.
Maya Angelou once wrote, “People forget what you say, they forget what you do, but they NEVER forget how you made them feel.” How true!
Now imagine the possibilities storytelling can do for your brand! If you can share a strong, clear story, you gain the opportunity to influence how your consumers feel. You create a sense of awe, a sense of love or wonder, or even of curiosity and hope, all of which positively reinforce your brand in your consumers’ memories. Not only that, your story builds empathy, a characteristic necessary in developing healthy, positive relationships. And much like the relationship building activity my son and I work on every night, the company that builds stronger relationships connects best then profits best.
Stories worth telling take time, lets’s get started on your brand story today. Don’t wait. Call 403-870-3434 now.
About the Author: Crystal DeCnodder is a social media, digital marketing and public relations expert and is the principal at InkPlot, a creative digital marketing agency in Calgary, Alberta. She has been an entrepreneur since 2011 and is co-founder of WingsnBeer.com.