As a business owner, you’re working day and night to realise your business goals and bring your idea and products onto the market.
What many business owners don’t realise is that it takes more than a good idea and dedication to really launch a business.
This is where brand storytelling comes in.
Brand storytelling is, in essence, the reason why customers view a company a certain way and have special connections to them. While the products the business is selling may be the best in the market, it’s the connection the company has with their customers that really sells it.
For small businesses especially, being able to properly embrace your brand’s story is essential if you want to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.
What is Brand Storytelling?
In short, it’s the deeper connection a company makes with their customer. However, the reality is so much more.
For millions of years, humans have bonded and connected over stories; especially ones that include pictures, songs, or other forms of art. That’s why we find more entertainment in reading a book with pictures. Or we remember an event better if there is a song or sound that is connected to it.
When looking at storytelling from a business perspective, you need to create that similar link and impact on your customers.
There are plenty of examples of this, but the main ones would be creating a distinct logo, adding music to commercials, or creating a literal picture that is always associated to your company. For example, Tony the Tiger and Frosted Flakes. Kellogg’s knows that when people see Tony the Tiger, they immediately think of Frosted Flakes, regardless of the context he’s being displayed in or where they are.
This is effective brand storytelling.
How to Use Storytelling to Increase Conversions
Now that you know what storytelling is, it’s just as important to know how to use it so you can begin creating your own story.
Better and More Flexible Marketing Techniques
When we look the biggest companies in the world (Amazon, FaceBook, Tesla, etc.), they all have a story that they refer back to in almost all of their marketing campaigns.
Tesla highlights how they were created to bring humanity to the next level and put people where no one has ever gone before. Amazon wants to make shopping easier and remove the stress that comes with in-person shopping. FaceBook wants to connect people from all around the world and give us a chance to talk with people no matter where we are.
When companies have a good story that they’re stick to, it makes their customers feel like they’re contributing to something greater than themselves and beyond the actual product/service. This is why these big companies are so successful.
When it comes to small businesses, find something that you’re able to market that makes people feel like they’re closer to home. If you’re a local business, speak about the ties you have to the community.
If you’re setting up shop in a different country, focus your company’s story on something that will attract the hearts and minds of people in that society. You need to make your customers feel like they’re buying into a movement, not just a product.
Everyone wants to trust the companies they’re buying things from. This includes making sure the quality is good, the company is ethically and morally on a good track, and the people working within it are happy and treated fairly.
When a business amplifies their story to the public through any of the artistic methods, they are creating a sense of trust in their customers.
There are many ways to do this but, depending on your business, some may be better than others. If you’re leaning towards a more family-oriented business, you’ll want to find something that families can trust.
In many cases, this is a mascot or character that “represents” the business. Again with Tony the Tiger, families know they can trust what their eating because they see the iconic orange tiger on the box.
From a small business perspective, this may be a little more difficult. In some cases, you’d be able to find a mascot or picture to create this trust, but in some cases you’re not.
That being said, you need something that people can identify you as and go “Hey, that business/product/service is trustworthy. I can tell by the logo.”
Logo design is what helps to sells a company and amplify its story, creating the connection that businesses need in order to thrive.
When designing a logo, try and focus on the things that will tie your story to your company. The logo should be recognisable by your target market, be distinct enough to separate itself from the rest of the businesses on the market, but solid enough to remember. This usually means creating logos that are small, colourful, and relevant.
Create the Connection
By now, you have three ways you can use storytelling to increase your number of customers and help your business thrive.
But it really all comes down to this.
It’s one thing to have a story, and it’s one thing to have a logo and trust. But all of these become useless if you can’t connect them. This is where the telling part of storytelling gets introduced.
Make sure that the forms of art or storytelling that you’re adopting actually tell the story you want them too. There are more businesses out there than you can imagine, many of which probably use similar logos and marketing strategies.
When choosing your logo design, or when deciding what music to put into a commercial, take the things that your customers can relate to and tie them into your story.
Take this scenario:
Let’s say you’re selling baked goods to a small town of people and you want to air a commercial. Your company has been around for over 20 years and you took it over after someone in your family gave it to you. Your commercial shows pictures of the bakery over the years and some pictures of local members eating there.
The music that plays over top of it is joyful and happy. And, at the very end, there is your logo with your company name underneath.
Now, imagine the same scenario, but your commercial shows generic pictures of just baked goods.
The music overtop is rather random and, at the end, just your company name comes with an “Established since XXXX” stamp.
This may seem like a dramatisation, but this sort of commercials exists and are made by small businesses every year in an attempt to draw in customers.
The difference between the first and second commercial is that the first one gave the customers something to connect with. And now, rather than just buying bread because they want to make a sandwich, customers feel like they’ll be supporting a little slice of home.
On top of that, every time they see the logo that appears at the end of the commercial, they’ll instantly make the connection and remember your business.
This is called creating the connection and it is the main aspect of storytelling that will lead to a higher customer base.
Brand storytelling will be what brings your customers to you. It’ll be the reason why they try your products/services, as well as their reason to continue. It’s essential to remember that storytelling only becomes effective when there’s a connection being made.
The business world is a competitive one, especially among small businesses. The ones who make the connection and have a story that people are drawn to are the ones who will thrive and find themselves in the big leagues before they know it.