Ever since our existence, people have loved stories. They are engaging, captivating and interesting. Most importantly, they bring your brand to life, and they tell a message that people actually want to listen to. People buy more products and services when they feel connected to the story behind what they are buying, so here are four different stories you can tell about your business to convert more customers! Stories don’t have to be long masterpieces – in today’s social media landscape you can use short snippets of powerful imagery, videos and art to construct your brand’s journey.
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1. The founding story, with you as the hero.
The origin story of you and your business brings a face to the name and a purpose to your business. People trust and connect with other people, especially people that are just like them, or people that they aspire to be like. Show your audience that you are one of them, that you believe what they believe, and this will allow you to attract more customers through your personal brand, rather than a faceless company. If you’ve gone out on your own to start your own venture, stood up for something you believe in, or discovered a new innovative invention, you’re standing out and also opening up the opportunity to get featured in the press – which is always good for business!
Why can Elon Musk come out on stage, talk for a few minutes, and during his speech get hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for a car that the audience has never even seen before? Because he’s not talking about a car. He’s doing about his vision. He’s telling a story about the world, how sustainable transport is the key to saving the planet, how renewable energy can be used to save the earth, and how his innovations are helping preserve humanity. That’s an amazing story, and people want to be a part of it.
When crafting your story, think about why you got started in business, how and when the idea came to you, any struggles of life events that inspired you, the history behind your business, and the things that drive you on a daily basis.
2. A story about your customers.
When you tell a story about your customers it shows that you care, and creates a sense of community that will build trust and brand loyalty amongst your audience. People like to be part of a group, and when you celebrate the people that buy from you, you’re creating a sense of belonging. Rather than treating customers as a transaction, take a deeper look at how they came to be your customer, their individual journey, how it relates to your business and how it relates to your audience.
When I work with real estate agents, I tell them not to share a post that says ‘SOLD FOR $650,000!’. People don’t remember, or care, about figures. Instead, I get them to tell an amazing story about the seller, and ever since she was a teenager she wanted to invest in property and be financially free to start a family, how she saved up her money to buy her first home, worked day and night and got her friends around on weekends to paint the walls and transform it into an amazing house. Combine that with a selfie of the real estate agent and the client outside the SOLD sign saying ‘now she has finally achieved her dream’ and BOOM you’ve got a powerful, engaging story.
Think about who your ideal customer is, the behaviours you want to encourage in your customers and the individuals that are already showing loyalty to your brand. You can start by identifying the influencers in your industry and community to get you started.
3. A story about your products and specialties.
If you want to create a successful men’s watch brand, you’ll need to locate your company in Switzerland, and begin making watches 100 years ago. Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Zenith and the rest of them follow this formula. But then there’s Bremont… a British company founded in 2002 that outsells some of the biggest brands in the world. How? Because people don’t buy watches based on the geography or the age of the market. They buy watches because of the story behind them.
The brothers that founded Bremont share the love of flying, but share the tragic story of losing their dad in a light aircraft accident, which led to the story of the impassioned decision to fulfill an ambition and create a company making pilots watches. Every single watch has a story behind it. There’s a range inspired by a B – 2 stealth bomber, a story about being the only company to test their watches for supersonic ejector seat deployment, and how every pilot who ejects and survives gets a special red bezel fitted afterwards. There have many differant ranges, each with their own unique story.
Immediately you feel a sense of connection when you hear their story, you almost feel a part of it, and when you wear their watches, you are.
Think about how you make your goods, the process, the care, the legacy of the craftsmanship involved, where the materials are from, how long it takes and all the fine details.
4. A story about a lifestyle.
If you can transform your product or service from a ‘thing’ into a desirable quality of life, you’ll become irreplaceable. The most successful brands in the world promote a lifestyle that their audience believes in, not just a product. It’s why AirBnB shares an ad that says ‘Don’t go to Paris. Don’t tour Paris. And please, don’t ‘do’ Paris. LIVE in Paris.’
It’s why Nike can post a huge billboard of Lebron and the Cleveland Cavalliers in a huddle, surrounded by hundreds of their fans, and a tiny piece of text that says ‘All In’. It doesn’t even mention anything about shoes. But it’s communicating a lifestyle and a community that people want to be a part of.
When you align your brand with a lifestyle, you align your values with the values of the customers, and they feel connected. The younger generation values experiences over material objects, but even if you do sell physical products, you should position them in a larger context that showcases the lifestyle they can achieve by using your products to convey a greater value.
Think about the passion of your target customer, what unites your community, an ideal lifestyle that your consumer strives for, how you product or service can deliver that lifestyle, and how you can elevate the life of your consumer.
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