Once upon a time… Ok, not that type of story.
Did you know that making your company story and message known is vital for your business? Have you ever noticed that the best way to get a child to sleep is by telling them a story, why is this? Well, this makes the child feel comfortable, provides them with a sense of belonging and this in turn relaxes them and trust is established. This is much the same for your business.
Tell your story
Telling your customers and prospects a story is more than just entertaining them, brand storytelling has many benefits to your business and it is the story that sets you apart from the crowd.
Stories give your company a human element to the public, a brand they can relate to. If we take the most famous jewellers in the world, and look at their story and message, we see that it was their message ‘A Diamond is Forever’ that has won the hearts of young women all around the world that aspire to be brides . This message builds immediate trust and it makes you feel warm and safe towards the company.
A good story for a company makes your message stick.
This means people buy into your brand more, which ultimately means more sales. If you look at the successful Anthony Robins, his childhood trauma story hits the hearts of people worldwide, his uplifting battle allows people to relate to him, and as such, builds trust from the get go.
Stories will create a purpose and induce action; this means that your company story will help you achieve the results that you want. For example, ‘I started my business in my bedroom with 6 kids to feed and only $50 to my name’. This instantly helps you relate to the business and the person quickly, and gives you something that you can relate to. This again builds trust for your brand.
Stories allow understanding of what you do. They allow you to explain problems as well as solutions. A good company story will allow you to take your prospects and clients on a journey with you. It allows them to feel what you feel and creates the trust you need to assist the clients or customers that you want to help.
Stories have four main functions:
- Create Emotion
- Create Belief
- Create Attention
- Ensure that your company is remembered
Let’s explore these four functions and how they can help you:
- Emotion: Have you ever watched a romantic comedy and smiled when the two main characters finally accept their love for one another? We have too! This is because our brains cannot tell the difference between ‘stories’ and ‘real life’ which means that we have real physiological reactions to stories that we hear or read of.
- Belief: When you tell a story, listeners will believe that this is actually part of their own story and that they created the idea all by themselves. When a prospect listens to your story, you can literally start creating the belief by explaining to them how you came to your solution and as such, they feel like they have experienced this themselves and now believe in you. When you create your story and the character that you are portraying suddenly has a moment of revelation, your prospect will feel that exact same revelation.This is why stories are one of the best tools to transfer and share your beliefs and values. When it comes to writing your story, you want to take people on this emotional journey. Do not be nervous or scared of telling a story that puts you in the spotlight, as long as you tell the story right, it will allow you capture the attention of your audience. When a story is being told, it makes your whole brain work, and you feel the same as the person telling the story, can you imagine how powerful this is for your brand? The whole point of creating this belief in your story is that if you can take your belief in your product or service and transfer that belief into the mind of your prospect or customer, it gives them the confidence that buying your service or product is a no-brainer.
- Attention: As we all know, stories are a great way to create attention, TV shows like Home & Away, Coronation Street or Game of Thrones are highly addictive, whereas if you look at some of the older shows, like Cheers are not as addictive, and as such, not as effective. TV shows draw your attention in one of the best ways. This is not just because of the cliff-hangers at the end, although this is another technique that you can use. Stories trigger in our brain such as cortisol that is normally a reaction to a form of stress. It is one of your ‘fight or flight’ hormones and this tells us that the listener is so immersed in your story that the body is actually responding to it as if it were actually experiencing the event. This is why we get so attached when our favourite character dies, or the two that you think should be together, don’t. Fascinating, isn’t it?
- Be Remembered: Do you remember how that film ended? Do you remember which bit of that Sitcom you were up to? Do you remember the person’s name that you met at a networking event a month ago ? You see, it’s simple, people remember stories much quicker than they remember any other information. Did you know that if you send a message through a story this is actually 22x more effective for people to remember. Stories engage and interest more of our brains than what facts or normal logic does. You may have learnt that people who compete as ‘memory champions’ create When you are trying to get your audience’s attention, you can use cliff-hangers. No matter how boring you think your company is, this method makes it sound more exciting than what it actually is. Creating attention is a very powerful tool and people unavoidably release certain hormones when watching or listening to a story and therefore, it gives you a massive advantage when delivering your message. The longer you can keep someone interested in your story, the more that person with empathise with you and your story. They are now looking at a character rather than real life, and they believe in this more easily, because when has a character ever lied directly to them? This allows trust to grow quickly. What you need to do is build your character, is it you? Is it a client? A parent? A child? No matter who it is you need to build, it so that people can relate to it with ease. This results in more engagement with you which will lead to sales.Little cards or templates with little stickmen on them in a story sequence so that they have a better chance of remembering all 52 cards, and they usually compete in under 20 seconds. Stories are a great way to recall information, just think back, you can probably explain to someone the names of the people from that film as well as what happened and what your favourite bit was.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
A. Look at your current clients, what problems are they facing? Make a list of the issues that they are experiencing and add your product/ services that can solve the issue, to this list. This is the start to your story; every business should have a mission statement as to why they started in business. Your mission might be to guide your customer in the right direction.
B. You need to look at being personal, so make your story and your message emotional on some level. This could be through humour, or by being heartfelt. It’s the emotional touch that builds trust. Address the potential client’s/ customer’s challenges so that within your story you can relate to them and find the solution. You want to ensure that you are addressing their uncertainty, whilst creating the excitement and encouragement that is needed to get the sale.
C. What is your USP? Write down your company’s unique selling point, why you? Why is your solution better than your competitors? Why is it interesting? Why should people listen to you? You may want to include a The idea here is for you to work on your story and message. You want to make sure that you create an engaging story so that you take people on an emotional ride with you. You want to make sure that you give your listeners that belief and that you maintain their attention, in order to be remembered. Remember, storytelling is a natural part of everyone’s experience, and if you look at information you may have learnt from your parents and grandparents, this will show you how information is not just remembered, but passed down prior to technology being around. This means with the technology you have access to now this should be an amazing and easier way to push your story and message out.
Little bit of background, as in why did you launch? How was your company established? What do you do that’s different? What is the point of difference for your company? What’s different that no-one else does?
D. Create action within your story and message, it is only action that separates between marketing and creative writing. You need to make sure that your story is true and by the end of the story you have sparked action. The point is to make prospects believe in you, this means that you need to sell them what they WANT and not necessarily what they NEED.
E. John’s brothers, uncles, sons’ sisters, daughters-in-law, best friend said that the service they used twice before now and before that twice…. Keep your story simple! Do not over complicate your story, this just causes confusion and ultimately loses interest. Imagine you are in an elevator with your business hero, the elevator breaks down and you have 30 seconds to tell your business hero what you do. You need to create emotion, belief, attention, so that you will be remembered. What did you say?
F. Our last tip is to ensure you tell the same story everywhere, this creates a good brand consistency and will allow the trust to build. People will then know what they are getting from your business, the MacDonald’s brand is a prime example.
Complete steps A-F and feel free to send these to us for review. Alternatively, if you would like to come and have a chat with us about building your company story just give us a call or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.