Your brand has a story to tell, and it's your job to make sure that you're telling it. Your brand is more than just the goods or services you provide; it's about how those products transform people's lives. When we think about marketing storytelling, many people get nervous because they feel like they have to be an expert writer or something but that is not true. The key is understanding that stories are formulaic. For centuries we have been telling stories and the brain is wired to be engaged by them.
The goal as an effective marketing storyteller is to show "customer transformation". What that means is that by telling meaningful stories, they can associate with your brand and allows them to go on a journey with you. When I refer to story, I don't mean "once upon a time". It's so much more than that. Some of the best movies use a framework. Why? Because story is the sense-making device for the brain and when you understand how stories work then there are no limits to creating compelling stories that engage your audience and make your brand great. Just like when making music. It's hard to do when you don't know the chords.
The best brands have been doing this throughout history. Brands like Coca-Cola and Apple understand that for them to stand out, they need to show their understanding in solving customer problems - promising a better future with every purchase.
So how can the average business learn from this?
Well... No story begins without stakes. A brand needs to get clear on what problems they solve for their customers. Think about it, have you ever been in a public area and heard people say something bad about a subject matter you are aware of? Doesn't that peak your interest? This, when done with content is the hook. So the more you can clearly articulate and identify with understanding your customer's problem. The more they will be drawn into the story.
The easiest way to really understand your customers' problem? Is to ask them. A process that we implement from time to time, is to give our customers a call and get interested in where they are at. We will ask them questions and learn about how their problems are affecting them and how it makes them feel - This becomes invaluable information when creating marketing collateral.
Once you've shown that you understand your customer's problems, it is time to start guiding them towards a solution. While most brands highlight that they have the cheapest price or best service, you can beat the competition and present the solution by showing your customer what life is like once their problem is solved.
Then cast a vision. Show rather than tell your customer how their lives will be better. In other words, what are the benefits your customer will receive on the other side of doing business with you? When this is done effectively and your customer can imagine themselves having the life they want. Then you have successfully helped them transform using story.
So I guess that begs the question how will you know? It depends. Where the content is. Is it on your website? Are you sharing the story verbally with people you meet? Is it in a blog post? No matter where you tell your brand stories, the only way you will know is whether it gets engagement.
A great example of telling a story and showing customer success is through your testimonials. Using the strategies outlined above, have your customer detail their problem and how it kept them stuck. Then they sought out your services. Now talk about how it was working with you. Finally, end it with what life is like now that the problem is solved.