Why Your Brand Needs a Story

No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story. — Gary Vaynerchuk

A major aspect of growing any business is developing a great brand. And the number one way to build a great brand is with great content.

Top brands use content to tell an evolving story, while sprinkling in their knowledge and expertise in the field, product benefits, or how their service will make your life easier. In other words, the story comes first. What you’re selling comes second.

The story comes first. What you’re selling comes second.

By consistently and continuously telling your unique story, you will separate yourself from the competition, which means you can charge more than your competitors.

With so much competition in the marketplace today, it’s easy to become just another [insert product or service here]. Becoming “just another” is the fast track to becoming a commodity in the minds of your customer — a commodity is something that is easy to come by and thus, doesn’t have a lot of value (like water, bubblegum and plastic bags.)

Use Content to Tell your Brand’s Story

To make your story interesting, you should focus not just on what you do – but WHY you do what you do. In other words, what is the passion and mission behind your brand, and even more importantly to the customer – how do you help them?

Most people are looking for products or services that make their lives easier, save them time, or create a positive emotion (such as in the case of luxury brands, hotel rooms, and travel experiences).

By showing the customer exactly how you make their lives easier, save them time, or make them happy – through content such as blog posts, graphics, email newsletters, videos, photos, and the pages on your website – you’ll create value in your ideal customer’s eyes and will remain at top-of-mind until they are ready, willing and able to buy your product or use your service.

Tell Your Brand’s Macro and Micro Stories

Within a strong business brand, there are two types of stories: (1) the macro story, and (2) micro-stories.

A macro story is the overarching narrative you want to communicate to your ideal clients.

The key to developing a meaningful and memorable macro story is putting the WHY of your services front and center, followed by the HOW and perhaps the WHAT. It’s easy for business owners to focus on the WHAT – when in fact this is the least important part of your story.

Within your macro story, there are many micro stories — more specific topics that flesh out your macro story and personalize your brand.

Here are some examples of great brand stories (in my own words):

REI

Macro story: We help people get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Micro stories: We sell gear that is designed for trails, slopes, and waterways and our products are fitted with efficient, lightweight and innovative features. We also support conservation efforts nationwide and send volunteer missions to help clean up and rebuild local habitats.

Whole Foods

Macro story: We are America’s healthiest grocery store.

Micro stories: We maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry by selling only foods that are free from additives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats. We support sustainable agriculture and we also make eating healthy fun through recipes and meal ideas.

Notice that in both cases, the product is not mentioned at all in the macro story.

If you’re an auto repair shop, your macro story might be that you help drivers get back on the road quickly and safely. But your micro story (or stories) are the details of how you do it – what processes you use, what kind of specialized expertise you offer, or what benefits and guarantees you provide to the customer that differentiate you from the competition.

You may have noticed, there’s a psychological effect at play here: The more people know about your professional and personal story, the deeper they’ll connect with you, and the more they’ll trust you.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – sales is all about relationship-building and trust.

The more people trust you, the more they’ll be willing to hire you at the price you want to charge, since it’s human psychology to:

  1. Want to work with people we trust, and
  2. Spend more money on people we trust

Are you telling your brand’s unique story?  Let me help you find your WHY.

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