How to Leverage Your Brand’s Story to Drive Sales
Everyone has a story, what’s yours?
I’m not referring to your life story, although there are times when that can be intriguing as well. Instead, I’m talking about things like how you started your business.
What was your motivation?
Sure, everyone gets into business to make money, but there has to be more to it than that. Stories are a powerful way to connect with your audience.
That’s because they can entice all different types of emotions. The key is finding a way to drive sales by guiding these emotions.
One of my favorite ways to do this is by using your brand’s story.
I know what you’re thinking. Your brand’s story isn’t that interesting or worth sharing. Or maybe you’ve got a good story, but you just don’t know how to tell it.
But if you learn how to master the art of storytelling, it can help you increase sales revenue.
Not sure how to approach this? Don’t worry. I’ll teach you how to leverage your brand’s story to make more money. Here’s what you need to know.
Your story needs to simple
For starters, it’s important for you to keep things simple.
We’re not trying to write a Martin Scorsese film here. Stay away from plot twists, mysteries, or thought-provoking endings with an open-ended interpretation.
Your story needs to have a clear beginning, middle, and end. So before you can share this story, you’ve got to take the time to figure these components out.
Here are some of the most common elements that should be included in your brand’s story.
While you’ll want to include as much information as possible, you also need to make sure that it’s going to be easy for people to understand.
The easiest way to do this is by starting your story with some sort of problem that you’ve identified. This will be something that your audience will recognize as your reason for going into business.
Shortly after sharing the problem that your brand acknowledged, you need to talk about your solution.
Did you invent something? How did you make improvements to an already existing product?
This part of your story will help show what makes your brand different from competing companies in this market segment. So now is your chance to really shine.
Finally, the story should end with your success. Coming up with a solution is much different than finding a method that’s successful.
Here’s a great example from this from SAXX Underwear.
SAXX manufactures and sells men’s underwear with a unique support pouch. Their story talks about how they landed on this design.
It explains how their founder was on a fishing trip and experiencing discomfort with what he was currently wearing. That’s the problem.
His solution was to create a hammock-like pouch that’s designed to keep men comfortable and dry. That’s the solution.
But he’s not quite at the success portion of the story yet. They continue explaining that it took 14 prototypes to finalize their first product. That’s the success story.
It’s also important that the ending of your story doesn’t make it sound like it’s over. You’ve got to make it clear that your business is still in operation. You’re trying to grow, prosper, and continue along the path of success.
SAXX does this well. They end the story by reinforcing that all of these years later, their focus is still the same.
So try to use this example as a template for how to tell your brand’s unique story.
Tell a story that your customers can relate to
Depending on where your company currently stands at the moment, you may not think that it’s easy for your customers to relate to.
Your company could be in a position where you are grossing hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, which the average person just can’t seem to wrap their mind around.
This is a perfect opportunity for you to refer back to where you got started. Was it difficult for you to become successful?
The struggle for success is definitely something that people can relate to. It’s something that most people deal with on a daily basis. But just make sure that you relate to our last point about keeping things simple if you’re going this route.
It’s imperative that you stick to the important details. For example, nobody cares about your negotiations with the banker as you were trying to secure a startup loan.
If you want to share a rags to riches story, you could just say something like, “We had $100 in the bank,” and it will paint a picture that’s relatable without boring your audience with minor details.
Take a look at how Mush Oatmeal shares their brand story.
Rather than writing it, which is a more traditional route, they used a video to explain the motivation behind their brand. It’s a great idea because video marketing tactics increase sales.
In fact, 43% of consumers say that they want marketers to provide more video marketing content.
But in addition to being a creative way to share their journey, one of the best parts about this story from Mush is that it’s relatable.
They talk about how families walk into stores like Costco to buy big variety packs of oatmeal that contain added sugar and preservatives.
The co-founders of this brand both had a passion for health and wellness. They felt like big corporations were only motivated by making money, but Mush was motivated by providing consumers with nutrition.
That’s when they came up with the idea to provide fresh and cold oatmeal, which is different than what most people expect from a traditional hot bowl of oatmeal.
They identified a problem that people can relate to and came up with a unique solution. These are the components of a great brand story that will entice consumers to buy your products.
Relatable stories can show the human side of your company. You’re not just a brand without a face.
Show your customers that you have more in common with them than they might think, which can ultimately make them want to support you.
Establish trust and credibility
What makes you qualified to do whatever it is that you do?
Here is where your story can really help you add credibility to your brand name.
For example, let’s say that your company sells surfboards. Well, if you’ve been a professional surfer for 20 years, you’re probably qualified in this space.
So you could talk about your transition from surfing to building your own boards.
Do you have a degree in a field that’s related to your business? What did you study? Talk about some of your past jobs and experiences that made you qualified to create and run your current company.
If you can effectively answer these questions and position yourself as a credible source, then customers will be more likely to buy your products based on your differentiation from the competition.
Here’s a great example of this strategy from EO Products.
The story talks about their humble beginnings of making soap in a three-gallon pot in their garage. But it then turns into a tale of two pioneers in the cosmetics industry.
EO Products was tasked to create a hand sanitizer with non-GMO ingredients. So they figured out a way to use organic alcohol from sugar cane.
This brand received FDA approval as a certified OTC manufacturer of these products.
They also were the first personal care brand that was certified by the Non-GMO Verified Project.
Once their brand established trust and credibility, EO Products launched a product extension called Love Everyone. These products were designed for people and families who wanted high-quality and natural products at a budget price.
Stories like this make it enticing for consumers to buy from this brand.
Entice an emotional response
The best stories are emotional.
You may not have a story that your customers can relate to, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get them to feel a certain type of way.
One of the best examples of this kind of brand story is used by TOMS Shoes.
Their founder, Blake Mycoskie, built a brand to help people in need.
While he was traveling to Argentina, he was overwhelmed by how many children were living without shoes. This was the inspiration behind the creation of his company.
His business model is simple. For every pair of shoes purchased, another pair of shoes is donated to someone who needs help.
While prospective customers may not have a similar or relatable story, they will still be willing to buy products to help this cause based on their emotional response.
This type of story stimulates a response that drives sales. These emotions can vary based on the person.
For example, someone may feel sympathy for the people in need, while other people could feel praise for the brand that is helping. Other customers may even feel joy and self-gratitude for making a purchase, knowing that their money is going to help a greater cause.
Regardless of the reason or the emotion attached to it, you can use a similar strategy in your story to help increase your sales.
Encourage customers to tell their own story
Your story is important to your brand.
But with that said, not everyone will have the same story. Your products and services may have a unique impact on your customers.
Allow them to share it with others and create user-generated content. Stories provided by your customers can ultimately help shape and form your overall brand story.
How did your product change their lives or make things easier for them?
Your customer had a problem, and your product solved it. Let them share this story. One of the best ways to do this is by staying active on social media.
Run contests or promotions that encourage people to share their stories.
You can even share them on your website. Try to create a specific section of your site that’s dedicated to user stories.
Here is a great example of how Tesla uses this strategy on their website.
Tesla builds and sells electric cars, which is revolutionary in the motor vehicle industry.
The stories shared by their customers explain how these electric cars helped improve their lives. As you can see from the examples above, there is a wide range of diversity on this page.
One story explains how two guys were able to fit eight beer kegs in an SUV, while another story talks about how a mother uses her Tesla for her family of five.
You don’t want to appear fake or phony when you’re telling your brand’s story.
Make sure that you aren’t making things up or embellishing the truth to make yourself sound better. If you get caught in a lie, it could backfire and potentially destroy your company.
That’s definitely not something you want to go through. We just finished talking about how important it is for you to establish trust and credibility, so don’t ruin that.
But with that said, being authentic involves much more than just telling the truth.
Let your personality shine. If you’re funny, then be funny in your story.
If you were emotional when you were creating your company, then share those emotions with your audience.
Just make sure that everything you say is an accurate representation of both you and your company.
Sell your story
When a customer buys something, they should feel like they are purchasing more than just a product.
If you market your brand properly, then customers can seemingly buy a portion of your story and make it part of their own.
This may sound complicated, but it can be done. FFTOB is a perfect example of how to properly leverage this strategy.
After a certain amount of time, firefighters need to retire their suits.
But rather than having those old suits go to waste, this company turns them into unique handmade bags.
People who buy these bags are purchasing more than just the brand’s story. They are buying the story of a real-life hero.
These uniforms were worn by brave men and women who risked their lives on a daily basis to keep their communities safe. The idea of turning those uniforms into bags is so creative and just hard for customers to resist.
Everywhere they go with their bags, their story goes with them.
Some of the bags even have distorted coloring on them because they were exposed to a fire. If you’ve got a story that’s this unique, you’ve got to get out there and share it with the world.
If you’re looking for a new way to get more sales, look no further than yourself.
Think about how your brand got started and what inspired you to go into business. It’s been a long journey and it’s worth sharing.
You’ve just gotta make sure that your story is simple and easy to follow.
Find a way for your customers to relate with your brand’s story. Use this to help you establish trust and credibility within your industry.
A great story will stimulate emotions from your audience. Use these powerful emotions to guide customers into a buying decision.
You should also encourage your customers to tell their own stories. These unique pieces of user-generated content will help shape your overall brand story.
Sell your story in addition to your products. But no matter what you do, it’s imperative that you remain authentic at all times.
Follow these tips if you want to drive sales by leveraging your brand’s unique story.
How are you using your brand’s story to establish trust and credibility with your customers?
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May 11, 2018 at 10:09AM