What is your story? You hear this question a lot today, and it is not just your personal story but your business’ story. And yes, your business has a story. Your business story matters more than you might realize. Today’s consumers are wise shoppers. They read the reviews, check out social media and ask friends and forums to find out if they want to partner with you or make a purchase from your business. If they choose you, it could be because they connect with your story.
According to industry specialists, a brand story conveys the history, purpose and values of a business in a narrative that resonates with consumers and makes audiences feel emotionally connected. Simply put, your story is your who, what, why, and how.
Good stories give big voices to small ventures.
-Lars Lofgren, Marketing analyst and business growth specialist
Your brand story begins with who you are. What are your likes, dislikes, values, beliefs and purpose? It is why you do what you do; it is your passion. The more you understand what drives you, the easier it will be to identify your brand story – it is actually an extension of your own story. A brand story needs to be authentic, purposeful and intentional.
Author of four number one Amazon bestsellers on marketing and brand storytelling, Bernadette Jiwa, stated, “Everything has been said or done before, but not by you.” You are unique! You are an original! And this world needs to know what you know.
Creating your brand story won’t happen over night. It is a journey, much like your life has been. Here are some questions that can help you begin to create your brand story:
What is your why? This speaks to your purpose, cause or beliefs. Who you are and who you want to show up to be in the world. It challenges you to discover what the legacy you want to leave is.
What are your mission, vision and goals? While mission statements have historically been formulaic, make this conversational and personal. Keep it simple.
Who are you? You must go inside to answer this one. Exposing your vulnerabilities and allowing your potential customers to really see you is critical in answering this question.
Who is your customer? Educate yourself on your demographic and decide who your ideal customer is. You cannot sell to everyone, select the one.
What problem(s) do you solve? Is there a need in your market that currently is not being met? If so, identify it and name it and talk about your solution to it.
What makes you unique and why is your business different than your competitors? I will give you a hint on this one – It is YOU! Remember, it may have all been said or done before, but not by YOU!
When you are writing your story, keep it simple, personal, authentic. Actions speak louder than words, so show your customers who you are, don’t just tell them.
And finally, after all your hard work identifying and putting a voice to your story, be sure to share it. There is no better time than now, given that we have the ability and the tools to reach others with our story. Social media and all channels of distribution should be put into full force to share your story!