A brand story is a powerful thing! It compels people to actively listen and understand, it engages and if you are very lucky, it creates a vehicle for others to talk about you, in a way that reveals your value and uniqueness.
People have been telling stories for millennia. They have passed down traditions and ideas throughout the years, through these stories and have perpetuated myths by doing so.
Think about it. . . if someone gave you a list of 30 words, that were seemingly random and asked you to repeat them, could you? Depending on the list, I do not think I could. However, if someone told you a story, that included those words, drew you in, engaged you and added personal meaning to those words, you could easily repeat that story.
It may not be perfect the first time, but I would imagine, that once you have told the story a few times, it would be. I am not sure you could say the same with the list of 30 words.
Stories imprint! They attach themselves to our psyche and allow us to relate that story to other items already imprinted within our brain. The story of “The Cat in the Hat” is like my favourite Dr Seuss story, “Green Eggs in Ham.” We may not know the story of “The Cat in the Hat” but we know that it is by Dr Seuss, and we love another Dr Seuss story, so we will probably like this one too.
Stories that associate themselves with ideas and concepts that are already floating inside your head get understood way more quickly.
So the question is, how do you do that?
Easy! Tell the story to an audience that is already looking for similar things. It is “just like a Mercedes Benz, but less expensive.” We know that we like Mercedes Benz and we know that we cannot afford one. Therefore, if this car is just like a Mercedes, but cheaper, hmmm, we should have a look!
It is about creating associations in the minds of people who are already looking for an answer to a problem you can solve. These people are the audience for your story! You will never be able to tell a story that resonates with everyone. . . believe me. . . Coca Cola has tried! You need to understand who your audience is, why they find you valuable and then develop a brand story that speaks to them in ways that resonate with them.
Simple concept, hard to do well!
Understand that this will not come easy and that finding someone you trust, to help you tell your story, is the first step in the journey.
I wish you. . . A happily ever after!
by Ben Baker on October 10, 2017
Interim CMO, Consultant, Educator, Speaker!