Every business has a story to tell. The challenge is in how to tell that story to others. We live in a world of information overload, and sometimes consumers can’t handle the amount of info that’s presented to them. It can be difficult to differentiate between what’s relevant and what isn’t. This is why it’s important for businesses to master the art of storytelling.
Often, the deciding factor between a business that is successful and one that is not is the ability to capture the attention of consumers and find a way to connect with them. The majority of people won’t always remember a brand’s name or logo, but they’ll remember how it made them feel. Storytelling provides a way for consumers to feel an emotional connection to a brand.
Consumers need to know who you are and what your business stands for. But if you don’t even know who you are, you can’t expect your customers to know either. So, the first step is defining what you offer, who (the market) you are serving, and what makes you different from the rest.
Defining what you offer is more than saying what product or service you have. Think about the actual need you are filling. Then you need to really understand who your product or service is for and why they’re a good fit. Does your business fill a void? Is it a solution to a customer’s problems? Why do you want them to buy from you and what’s the reason they should? Finally, you need to differentiate your business from others in your market. What values or beliefs set you apart? What about your culture is more appealing to consumers?
The answers to these questions will form the foundation of your story and allow your business to communicate more effectively with customers.
If you base your story on old-fashioned techniques and lifestyles but are trying to attract Millennials, then you will most likely struggle to stay in business. Your brand and story should align with your target market. Find what motivates your target customers and what their interests are, and then reorient your approach accordingly.
If your business offers a product or service that is most commonly used by Millennials, then you may want to consider telling part or all of your story through social media. Likewise, if your business caters to multiple demographics then you should make sure that you are telling a consistent story through all touch points.
Telling your story is more than just, ‘This is who we are, where we came from, and what we’re providing to you.’ The goal of your story should be to make consumers feel an emotional connection to your brand’s story. Be authentic when sharing your story to build your brand. Use real characters; if not real, make them as relatable and human as possible. Also, be sure you have all the components that make up a story: villain, hero, setting, etc. The villain of your story should essentially be whatever issue or problem your target market seems to be facing, and the solution to their problems should be the hero (your product or service).
There’s an art to storytelling. But if done effectively, it will allow your business to better connect with both existing and future consumers.