No matter what business you’re in, branding represents an important part of your marketing efforts. After all, a great brand creates customer loyalty, which helps ensure steady market growth. Likewise, customer loyalty invites new customers through testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing. This naturally strengthens your brand even further. But how do you create an awesome brand for your business? In a word…storytelling. At the heart of every great business brand is a great story. For this reason, if you want a successful brand, you need to tell your business’ story well.

Why Tell Stories?

As individuals, we love a great story. Stories help us connect with others, and stories also help connect your customers with your products and brand. In fact, over 70 percent of the information we retain comes from stories. In contrast, only 10 percent of what we recall comes from data and statistics (hopefully you will remember these stats!). Why are stories so powerful? Because they help people connect at a more emotional and meaningful level. Likewise, stories allow us to relate more effectively to a person or a product based on our own past experiences.

Unfortunately, most businesses fail to connect with their customer adequately in this manner. More than two-thirds of customers today believe companies are only driven by profits, and therefore, they often do not trust their advertising messages. However, nearly 9 in 10 customers state they want a more meaningful relationship with the brands they purchase. This is where storytelling becomes important. Storytelling not only allows you to tell your customers who you are and what you sell, but stories allow you to build real relationships.  

The Basic Rules of Storytelling for Businesses

When it comes to storytelling and growing your company’s brand, a few basic rules must be considered. First and foremost, effective storytelling demands authenticity. There is a reason why many consumers distrust marketing messages. Businesses make the mistake of telling customers what they think customers want to hear. This is the wrong approach. Authenticity requires you to define your company’s mission, vision and values and allow these to guide everything your business does. If this level of congruence is in place, then storytelling becomes quite simple…and authentic.

The other essential aspect of brand storytelling pertains to creating an emotional connection with your customers. When customers feel emotionally connected, they are more likely to share your brand with others. This connection also supports customer loyalty for your products and brand. As a general rule, consumers choose products and services based on how they feel. While specific information can help a consumer make a rational decision, ultimately, it is how a customer feels about your product that persuades them to buy or not.

Storytelling Creates a Positive Brand Culture

Storytelling requires that you know not only your business but also your customers. In order for your brand (and story) to connect to your customers, you need to know their needs (even if they don’t). Great brand stories are able to connect the benefits your products offer and vital consumer needs. Likewise, great brand stories explain why your product is better than your competitors’ offerings. If your brand story shows your authentic commitment to meeting your customers’ needs, then the opportunity to develop a positive brand culture with your customers develops.

Let’s take a couple of examples. For example, Costco’s mission statement is “Do the right thing.” This mission is supported through values like accountability, fair practices, honesty and trust. These foundations drive everything at Costco placing customer value above everything else…including shareholder value. The result? Costco not only has tremendous brand loyalty among its customers, it also has a backlog of people wanting to work for the company. The Costco brand story works because itcreates a culture where customers (and employees) trust Costco to meet their needs. And employees happily tell Costco’s story along the way.

Similarly, Zappos’ story places its customers as its main priority. Through dedicated Customer Service Loyalty teams, Zappos goes above and beyond to meet customer needs. Because Zappos’ story is backed up with authentic actions, customers gladly support the Zappos brand even when their shoe prices may be significantly more than competitors. Here again, Zappos’ story supports a positive culture for customer relationships that breeds loyalty. When storytelling is authentic and tells a story that customers want to hear, the potential for tremendous brand strength and loyalty exists.

Tell Your Business’ Brand Story

Does your business have a story to tell? Do you want to create a brand image in which your customers will believe? At Hashtag Creative, we know exactly how best to tell your story and create a culture and connection with your customers in the process. When it comes to branding, storytelling is essential. Let our professional marketing experience and knowledge help you tell your business’ story. Contact us today at hello@hashtagcreative.co.

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