Stories are More Interesting than Your Company!
Everyone loves a good story. One of the most engaging things about playing a game is being literally thrown into these alternate realities. With the ability to cross time, space, and cultures, an unbelievable story is key to any great game! But did you know that the same types of stories, fantasies, and quests could be applied to enhance your brand? Would you believe that your business could be just as engaging as Harry Potter, and demand equally solid loyalty from your fans? Well you can! It’s called Brand Storytelling, and using it properly can make the difference between stardom and disaster.
Now here are some concrete examples to silence all the naysayers out there about the power of brand storytelling:
- Disneyland – Kids dream about meeting their favorite characters and immersing themselves into the fantasy.
- Apple – “I am a Mac!” Apple explored ways to humanize their products.
- Nike – The word Nike itself tells the story of running, speed, and victory in sport. In Greek Mythology, Nike was the Goddess of Victory!
Just the names of these companies bring to mind emotion, story, and culture. These brands have a personality that’s so attractive it makes one want to buy whatever they offer to help one convey one’s own personality.
So how do you build a fantasy world around your brand? Like all other business initiatives, it takes time, strategic planning, and consistency.
3 Steps to Developing Your Brand Story
1. ANALYSIS! Find out what your customers think of your brand! What personality does it already have, what emotions does it evoke, and what brand experience has your customer already had?
- Analyze the results from this survey and look for common descriptions. Are you viewed as the hip playboy or the sensitive teddy bear?
- Research into myths and stories that sound like what your customers are telling you – no need to reinvent the wheel! If a myth has stuck around this long, there’s a formula in it that could work for you.
2. ENGAGEMENT! Build the story into every aspect of your business: employees, suppliers, websites, offices, packaging, advertisements, and corporate social responsibility. This will bring your brand’s story to life.
- The more consistent your company is with the story, the more you will be able to occupy a clear, believable position in your customers mind. In a world of unlimited choices, your brand personality can become the difference between a buy or pass.
- Any failure to tell an effective brand story would be the equivalent to turning on the lights in a movie theater – your customer wakes up and is not longer enchanted by your brand.
3. CONSISTENCY! Be patient and keep at it.
- Brand stories do not develop overnight (and they are also not to be mistaken with your brand history, which is the timeline of your company – unless it’s really cool!)
- Persistence is everything. Keep hammering out messaging and products that speak to your brand story and the results will pay off.
There you have it. Simple? Definitely not. Otherwise, every business would be Apple successful. Achievable? Absolutely! Despite the hurdles to brand storytelling, know that a great brand story is a differentiating factor that no competitor can copy. It’s a marketing message that exists long after the commercial is over. It will bring excitement and more value to your customer than a simple product ever could.