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brand story

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18: More Trust, More Sales. (Part 2)

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We discussed about projecting trustworthiness to get customers to take a chance on you in the last email.

In summary, going through your social media profiles as if you're a total stranger and potential customer will help you see what needs to change. You have to impress both existing customers and potential customers. 

We have to remove any hesitation to buy on the their part. Remove the barrier that is standing between the customers and your amazing product. What's another way you can remove the customer's hesitation?

2. You should: include your customers in your narrative.

Have you ever talked with someone, and you don't feel good coming out of that conversation?

  • They didn't express any interest in you.
  • They kept talking about themselves and how good they are.
  • It felt more like a monologue than a dialogue.
  • They weren't properly listening to what you have to say.

This could be happening to any brand. How the brand tells its story (aka the narrative) must take into consideration how the listener feels.

But what usually happens is that there is no trust because there is no actual conversation between the brand and the customer. The brand only makes announcements and speeches on various marketing channels. (Properly written as they may be)

In Crafting A Compelling Brand Story, I mentioned that the brand story creates emotional glue between your brand and customers. They become loyal to you because of the brand story.

The brand story only becomes emotional glue when it's relatable.

The story has to be crafted in a way that allows customers to step into the brand's shoes, or are inspired to do so. If they think that the story is nice, but can't relate to it, then they won't buy.

Let's look at Adidas again. On its website, they listed these values as part of their brand:

  • Authentic
  • Passionate
  • Innovative
  • Inspirational
  • Committed
  • Honest

They successfully weaved these values into their their marketing strategies. Adidas' mission is to be the leading sports brand in the world, but if you look at its Youtube channel again, are there lots of videos about shoes or their other products?

NO! Eventhough they're selling those products, they constantly focus on the story as told by the various athletes they collaborate with. Because the story is telling customers that "this could be you". 

"You're a passionate and committed athlete too." 

And because a lot of people identify with these values, Adidas' products fit perfectly in their lives. They're inspired, they want to be a great athlete, so they take action. And Adidas' products are helping them take action.

That's what you should do. In your brand story, don't focus too much on your products. If you keep talking about your products and their 1001 benefits, it can get annoying pretty fast.

Focus instead on your brand values and how they relate to your customers. Sell them on your brand values first. Once they're in love with your brand, they will commit. And they will always buy. 

- Aina Ismail 

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12: Crafting A Compelling Brand Story

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I've talked about finding the Meaning before creating a Visual Identity. Both components come together to create great Branding.
 
The Meaning isn't exactly some vague promise about how your brand will be better than other brands out there. People can't connect to that. What you need is something more, well, meaningful.

For starters, answer these questions to get to the root of your brand:

  1. What problem are you solving with your brand?
  2. What are your products or services?
  3. Why did you want to start the business in the first place?
  4. What are the problems you anticipate in the future in running your business?
  5. What are the values that you adopt for your brand?
  6. What are your business goals?
  7. Where do you see your brand one, three or five years from now?
  8. What product/service/industry do you plan to expand into?
  9. What does success look like to you?

A great Meaning can be used internally, as part of your business plan. I mentioned that you can use it to base your to-do lists on. But the Meaning can also be used externally as your brand story.

 

A brand story helps people connect to your brand.

A brand story creates emotional glue between your brand and your customers. It's what creates the intense and sometimes unquestioning devotion that brands dream about. Think Android fanboys vs Apple fanboys.

One of the most successful brand stories the story of Steve Jobs and Apple.

But to craft this brand story, you can't simply outline the emotion you want your customers to feel and leave it at that. The story itself has to be profound and genuine enough to invoke that emotion. 
 
Let's look at Adidas. If you look at its Youtube channel, you can see so many stories by athletes like Jeremy Lin and Leo Messi. They're telling the story of Adidas, but from their own perspective. The core of the brand's stories remain the same, but the details change. 

But to ensure that the athletes' stories reinforce the Adidas brand, Adidas had to properly craft its own original story first. Right? Can't put the cart before the horse.

 

How to write a great brand story

So how do you craft a great story? Storytelling takes its rules from fiction-writing, but it's not as hard as writing a novel. For starters, your story shouldn't be more than a page. All the good parts must be written concisely so that it's easy to digest. If it's hard to digest, the Meaning would be lost.
 
I took the Storytelling for Leaders: How to Craft Stories that Matter class on Skillshare and it has been very enlightening. Putting the brand story into words is a lot easier when it's broken down into three parts by the teacher, Keith Yamashita. The parts are:

The Topic

  • The story of Me
  • The story of Us (or Our Company)
  • The story of an Idea
  • The story of Results

The Components

  • "Once Upon A Time.."
  • A World View
  • Great Characters
  • Challenging Situations
  • Conflict
  • Drama
  • Lessons Learned
  • New Possibility
  • "Happily Ever After.."

The Archetype

  • Coming of Age
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Constant Evolution
  • True As It Ever Was
  • Rebirth
  • Quest

When used together, these parts allow you to create a compelling brand story for your own brand. This brand story can then be repurposed into so many marketing materials, from your website to your social media profiles to your packaging.

I highly recommend for you to take this class, because it covers a total of only 21 minutes, has great content, and is free of charge. It has opened my eyes to another valuable skill that I could apply to branding and marketing. Let me know if you like it!

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