Even through our current era of disruption and rapid change, one thing has remained constant, timeless: our connection to stories.
Though storytelling mediums have changed vastly, wildly diversifying, human beings are still enraptured by the stories themselves. For example, even if you don’t watch the show, you probably remember the collective gasp heard around the world when Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding episode aired.
Why? Because stories appeal to our always-hungry imagination. They help us make sense of the world and gather information. They give us insight – and just plain delight us. Most importantly, stories connect us, to each other and to our inner selves. That is why storytelling is the cornerstone of branding and one of the best ways to get customers connected to your business.
I know, that’s easy enough to say. The question is: how do you do it effectively?
Connect Through Brand Storytelling
The most iconic and successful brands define themselves through stories; this is how they connect with their audiences. Having a brand story is no mere marketing luxury. It’s more than a nice-to-have – it’s a key sales and marketing strategy.
Having an authentic and relatable story helps build trust between your customers and your company. Thanks to a constant bombardment of bland advertising, customers have learned to tune out most marketing. In particular, Generation Z (your future customers) is tired of being “talked down to” by businesses and doesn’t trust shallow ploys to get their attention.
People want a real story. Something that inspires them, makes them feel good about associating themselves with your brand. Something that captures their imagination but is rooted in openness and honesty. Customers crave connection. Give it to them.
What’s Your Story
How do you begin crafting your business biography, your story?
It can feel especially overwhelming when you read the bios of big brands. It may seem that other businesses had dramatic “aha” moments that started their journey, rather than a growing realization, like yours probably was. It’s as if their businesses and brands magically appeared overnight!
But this often isn’t the reality. Founding a business is more of a slow fanning of the flames of an idea than a flick-the-switch lightbulb moment. There is always a deeper, longer-term reason why these companies started than you might find in such “Eureka!”-style bios.
The honest truth is that the best stories are relatable, and the most relatable stories are authentic. There is no secret, magical formula for coming up with a great business. People are excited to know the real reason why YOU started YOUR business.
But before you can tell your story, you need to finish writing it: you need to know who your brand is.
Crafting Your Tale
Most good stories have a relatable and compelling lead character. In this story, the protagonist is your brand. So, your first question is: who is this character, your brand?
We recommend starting with a personality test. For example, right here you will find a free guide that will help you figure out which of Carl Jung’s 12 personality archetypes your brand is. Or, again, look to other brands with prominent personalities for inspiration.
Once you’ve defined “who” your brand is, you can figure out how to talk about the problems your brand is trying to solve. That is your brand story.
Sharing Your Story
Just like all stories, you need to write it down! It doesn’t have to be long, but it does have to be real. You need to know your raison d’etre – the reason your brand exists. That is what will separate your business from your competitors’ and create a real connection between your company and your customers.
If this process still mystifies you, let the iGina team guide your team through it. We can help you craft your story, put it together in a compelling way, find your voice, and share your story with your customers.
After all, the only way to make sure that your brand’s story has a happy ending is to take control and tell that story yourself.
Who am I?
I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help business owners all over the world to break through their business barriers and realize their brand potential, sometimes for the very first time.
Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.