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In Telling Your Story, What Exactly Are You Saying?

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We all have stories to tell.

When you tell your business story, it’s imperative to showcase your brand in the very best possible light. Which, of course, means that you’ve got to know it inside and out, like the palm of your hand.

The first key in relating a great business story or brand story, is knowing what your brand means today and what you want it to mean in the future.  

But telling a good story means more than knowing the subject matter. To tell your story most effectively, you’ve got to master the art of storytelling.

What is Brand Storytelling?

Storytelling is the art of using words and gestures to capture the listener’s imagination. Brand storytelling is the use of story to define your business and allow potential customers an opportunity to see how your product or service meets their needs.

Good storytelling entails both the knowledge of your business and the nuances of interpersonal entertainment. Let’s face it: While we all think our business is fascinating, the only way to keep our listeners engaged is with a little entertainment.

A good story utilizes a variety of elements to entertain and draw in the listeners’ attention while revealing key aspects of your business. Good storytelling also presents the most relevant aspects of your story for your listeners. In that way, good storytelling requires you to first listen to your listeners. What is it that would motivate them the most?

I like the simplicity yet powerful types of stories John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing outlines in his book, The Commitment Engine.

The Passion Story: How You Began Doing What You Do

The passion story is a description of why you opened your business. There is almost always a more in-depth reason behind it than simply making money. What is the intellectual stimulation involved? What is the human connection? This type of relating to the customer can include the owner’s personal morals and life purpose. It can also demonstrate the values or principles of the owner and underscore his/her worldview.

The Purpose Story: Why You Continue Doing What You Do

The purpose story is an extension of the passion story. It can be expanded to include not only the owner’s perspective, but also why the employees took a job in this field or with this specific company. These stories include individual missions and how the employees feel the company helps the community through the services it provides. These stories are important to define as they give the employees a sense of their importance and why they do the job they have accepted.

The Value Proposition Story: The Customer Value behind What You Do

The value proposition adds an important aspect to your brand storytelling. It not only delves into the whys and wherefores of your brand, but more importantly defines who the ideal customer is and how the product/service is beneficial to them. This kind of storytelling is an opportunity to differentiate your product from the competitors’ brands. How does your business meet your customers’ needs? Examples and proofs will help you seal the deal.

The Personality Story: Giving Purpose to What You Do

The personality story is a variation of the value proposition story. In this rendition, you reveal what you want your brand to represent and what you are doing to accomplish that. It also describes what makes your brand unique and why your products and services are different than other options available in the market. Furthermore, this kind of story provides you with the chance to influence how you want potential customers to perceive your brand and perceive its utility. This is important to future marketing and sales campaigns. It helps you develop a consistent and purpose-driven description of the organization for public consumption.

Conclusion

Sooner or later it all comes back to brand identity. Brand identity includes a company’s vision and values, its general personality as defined by the owners and management. It also incorporates employees’ individual attitudes, as well as the brand’s attributes compared to competing brands. Finally, brand identity also includes the experiences of past and present customers.

Engaging in these different types of stories will help you fully develop your brand and its importance. Share your story!

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