What’s your favorite story? It could be a book, film, show, play–anything. Now, ask yourself why it’s your favorite. I bet you can list off your top three reasons in the blink of an eye. The storyline is fresh and engaging; the characters are unique and relatable; maybe, the lesson it teaches still stays with you to this day.
Justifying why your favorite story is great will come naturally to you.
However, does that same principle apply to a customer when they think about your product or service? Can they explain why your brand story and its correlating product or service should matter to someone else? If not, take a few steps back to ask this question: is my brand telling the story they want to share most with the world?
“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” -Tahir Shah, in Arabian Nights
This quote couldn’t be any more true. Stories are the communal currency of humanity because storytelling will always have value; its worth will never fluctuate like money. That’s because it’s a universal experience every person has shared with one another.
In regards to marketing and the buying process–consumer habits, values, and lifestyles change depending on numerous factors. But if one element remains consistent, they base their choices on whether or not the outcome will add value to their lives.
Your product and service enter the equation here–but only if you convince them that your brand has value and will positively impact them.
Marketing strategy should be seen and utilized as a form of storytelling.
Stories aren’t limited to literature–it expands into other creative mediums, especially in advertising! Branding and logo packages, web design, and design for marketing collateral have an equal impact as the written word. They complement the words of a story to elevate it in both an emotional and tangible way.
That’s because you’re persuaded by the words that touch you and are then captivated by the visual evidence and experience that solidifies why a product of service is worth your time and money. What’s more, people want to be engaged with you and the world!
A marketing strategy is the bridge between you or a client and their prospective customer. Storytelling and clearly communicating what you can offer is the material that was able to build the bridge at all.
As defined by National Geographic, storytelling is defined as “narratives with a beginning, middle, and end.”
The buying process is the same.
- The beginning: introduce a product or service
- The middle: justify the value of the aforementioned product or service
- The end: a customer becomes a conversion, or you lose them forever
At times, marketing and advertising can be associated with negative connotations–you are trying to convince someone to spend money! But the process doesn’t have to feel disingenuous even if your main desired outcome is to make a profit.
Deep down, you know that what you offer goes beyond that.
Think about the intentions you’re communicating with your marketing strategy’s narrative. If you find that your current one isn’t receiving the response you expected, take a few steps back. All you may need to do is rethink how you’re telling a brand’s story!
Here are some ideas to kickstart and elevate a brand story:
- The founder’s origin story: There’s a reason why the creator wanted to offer a product or service to a customer in the first place: they believed that because they saw value in something, others would feel the same way. Therefore, bring a human-centric approach to the brand. Customers want to connect with you, the people, first! They want to be able to see results in relation to themselves.
- Think about the long-term impact–not short-term, quick success: A business ultimately succeeds through repeated purchases and customer retention. Don’t limit yourself with the desire to only reach KPIs or a certain amount of profit. Think about why your customers should trust you, how they can see themselves using your product or service for the rest of their lives. Longevity = quality. Apply that principle when crafting your brand’s story. You know that your product or service can stand the test of time–but does your customer know that and understand why?
- Consider the emotions your product or service sparks: Human beings immediately form a connection to the things or people that make them feel something. Those emotions, however, need to be validated for a good reason. Think about what your customer wants most from you: that’s the heart of your unique selling point. If you can provide that and solve specific problems, then that’s where the trust begins.
Examples of successful storytelling in marketing that drives conversions, sales, and retains customers and long-lasting relationships
1. A marketing agency that prioritizes storytelling–Pulse Marketing
Our Temecula marketing agency is client-focused, meaning that we strive to see the inherent value in the people we serve and how they want to impact their community. We go beyond the narratives of profit and making money because we’ve seen that it doesn’t ultimately help others. Prioritizing profit as the main objective only makes a customer feel that they’re being used or seen as a statistic that becomes another number on a report.
We believe that creating a connection between their client and their customer should be the main priority when crafting a marketing strategy because it affects every aspect of the buying process and the relationship that a customer will either maintain with you or cut off. We chose to bring a different perspective to the table of Murrieta marketing in our area. In doing so, we still have repeat clients after several years of serving them and are frequently referenced by them.
2. Holy grail programs for the creative: Adobe Creative Suite
Impeccable graphic design manifests through not only the graphic designer, but the tools that they use. You can’t use any old program to make high-quality visuals–that’s why you rely on Adobe Photoshop or Procreate. They are marketed as valuable because they enable a graphic designer to utilize the best tools to create a logo or edit an image that is nothing short of perfection for a client; the programs create beautiful websites, packaging, and every concrete marketing collateral.
The brand story behind these programs is that they help you illustrate stories at all; they’re the foundational tool for every creative visual project you can think of. Like Pulse, these programs have been trusted for years and have never failed its customers. While Adobe Photoshop is an investment, it’s worthwhile to a user: this is what stands out more than the price and why the price is justified.
In short: stories matter.
Every brand has a unique story. But to make the most of it, you need to know how to tell them. Therefore, the next time you’re with the team during a brainstorming session and looking at a client’s brand, think about the story behind the product. Imagine more than just the profit margin. Justify why it deserves to be one, and show your heart while you’re at it.