The Art of Telling Your Brand Story
Four steps to identifying the DNA of your business.
Every great brand is built on an amazing story. What’s yours?
An authentic narrative defines “who you are, what you stand for and what value you bring to the world,” says Melissa Dawn Simkins, author of “Brand Me: Make Your Mark,” and president of the Velvet Suite, a brand leadership firm in Washington, D.C.
A brand story goes beyond the marketing copy on your site. It creates a powerful emotional connection between you and the customer, garners loyalty and builds brand trust.
Want to win over new customers and build loyalty among existing ones? Here are four important steps that will help you craft an impactful brand story, which can help build your long-term strength as a business.
Highlight your personal truth. Every business brand can be an MVP, as long as you effectively convey why you matter to your customers. “You have a story about why you felt there was a need,” says Simkins. To begin, answer these questions:
- How did you get started?
- Where did you come from? (literally and figuratively)
- What was the genius behind the idea?
- How did it come about?
It can be intimidating, but if you know your mission, your values and your purpose, then you have already made the first step in creating the narrative.
Define what makes you unique. “People pay for what they value,” says Simkins. Your story should let people know whether your business offers them a solution, a passion or a pure adrenaline rush. As you invent or reinvent your business, define your unique selling proposition before you go to market rather than cobbling together the pieces. Consider answering these questions:
- Who is your target market?
- What does your business resolve?
- What’s the emotional draw for the consumer?
- What’s the No. 1 benefit of your product or service?
- What makes you unique in the marketplace?
To find out what you do well that no one else does, tune in to your customers’ opportunity triggers — what they want versus what they don’t. Also, identify short- and long-term opportunities, and gain a clear understanding of how competitors are positioning themselves in the market. You can do this through focus groups, surveys and direct feedback.
Focus on your niche. Let’s face it — being all things to all customers is a challenge. “Look at it as a bulls-eye and focus on the ring in the center,” says Simkins. Want to hit that target? You can narrow your story’s focus by addressing the following:
- What pain points, aspirations and challenges does your audience have?
- What language do your customers use to describe their ideal solution?
- What are your competitors not addressing?
- What are the most profitable problems in your niche?
Make sure your narrative resonates. Remember, you’re not in business for yourself. You’re in business to serve your customers.
That’s why it’s a great idea to solicit feedback through polls, Twitter chats and direct conversations with customers. This can yield valuable customer insights about your business, which you can weave into your brand story.
“Discern what messages get their attention, what time of day they are most receptive, what mediums they browse,” says Simkins. Consider going to niche online forums, popular blogs, and trend sites for insights. Once you have enough information, you can build and refine your brand story.
“Getting to the big idea requires listening,” says Simkins.
Want to learn more savvy business strategies? Take a look at our business resource center. And, one of the smartest business decisions you can make is being proactive about protection. Connect with an agent today to learn about customized coverage for your business.