Your brand story is the narrative of your company. It’s what should flow off your tongue to describe the problems customers face, the solutions you provide, and the results your solutions bring.
It’s easy to make your brand story all about you, but today, we’re going to walk you through re-framing your story. We’re going to have your brand story make your customer the hero, rather than you or your product or service.
Think of your favorite movie. It probably loosely contains a character (that’s your customer) with some sort of physical, emotional or mental problem. Then they encounter a guide (this is you) in the form of a person, idea, book, etc. Through the story, the guide gives them a plan (that’s your product/service!), which they follow and either succeed or fail.
Your favorite movie or book starts its story with the customer, so compel your audience by starting your company story that way, too.
For example, I could tell you that WirelessABC is a wireless connectivity company that creates top-of-the-line wireless connectivity solutions for consumer IoT devices. I could tell you that we have great technology and we work with big companies and that you can trust us, and that we value whatever you value. I could tell you that we care about bandwidth and we have good processes and we will give you a great product. And again, you really can trust us.
Or, I could tell you…
You and I are adding IoT devices to our lives by the handful. We’re adding smart thermostats, outlets, watches, and fitness trackers to our daily lives. These products make our lives easier and more entertaining, and we love them. We love experiencing them. Until they fail us. When our devices fail to connect to the network, all the good they’ve ever done us fades in seconds in light of time and frustration it costs us to troubleshoot them. At WirelessABC, we know that the reliability of your product’s wireless connection is absolutely imperative to the success of your brand. We’ve developed best-in-class wireless connectivity solutions based on industry standard technology to meet the most stringent standards and conditions. Our customers include X, y, and Z, all of which have grown their revenue 400% in two years through increased product sales.
Here’s how to transition your message from an impersonal description to a compelling story:
1. Identify your Target Customer
Spend some time thinking about your customer. Consider the following questions:
- What’s your customer’s title?
- What type of company do they work for?
- What industry are they in?
- What challenges are they facing?
- What’s the impact to their business if they don’t solve their challenge well?
- What’s the impact to them personally if they don’t solve their challenge well?
- What are their biggest frustrations and headaches?
- How do they make a purchase decision?
Use the answers to create personas of your customers. These personas will help you better understand your customer and how your products relate to the story they are living.
Tip: Review this research to see how your target customer (by age, title, etc.) finds information and makes purchasing decisions.
2. Amplify Their Problem
Now that you have personas, begin to think like your customer. What keeps them up at night? What happens if they don’t solve their problem? What is happening in the industry to companies like them or products like theirs? Begin to articulate this problem. In the example above with WirelessABC, the problem of finding a partner to provide wireless connectivity, if it goes wrong, amplifies into unreliable connectivity in the hands of consumers, failed products, and ultimately failed brands. It ends in sheer mayhem and tangible profit loss.
3. Make your Customer the Hero
Your customer wants to succeed at their job. They want to do well, make their company money and be responsible for a really successful product. Articulate what this would look like for them. In our example, this is reliable connectivity from a reliable provider that eases their worries and provides a solution that’s seamlessly integrated into the product for a no-fail user experience.
In your story, keep the thread focused on your specific customer – a person with a name – that you’re having a conversation with. This will help you avoid going into lengthy lists and caveats with unnecessary detail.
4. Position Yourself as the Guide
You made the problem a big one, and your customer needs help. Position yourself as their guide as they become a hero. Tell them what you offer, and then give them some examples. Instead of saying you have rugged application capability, tell them your users have maintained connectivity in oil wells 100 yards deep. Instead of telling them to trust you, tell them that companies like Ford and Samsung trust your technology. These examples will go a long way.
5. Message your Story
It’s time! Take the pieces of the story we’ve created and write that compelling narrative story.
Need help? Read our ebook to establish your marketing foundation.