Telling Stories – Building a Brand Buyers Love

Building a brand involves telling stories. No, not telling tall stories (lies), but true and (importantly) interesting ones that captivate your buyers’ attention. If you have a physical, tangible product then you can slot that into a story. You can associate it with certain lifestyles, for example. You might try positioning it alongside other brands that aim at a similar market. By telling the lifestyle story, those that aspire to that lifestyle may relate better to your brand. All of your marketing should reflect the story that goes with your product so that buyers get a consistent message. If they are not sure whether they fit the story or not then you might lose them. It is better to be clear about the picture you are painting. Don’t make your customers do the work. Make it easy for them to understand what you do and how it can benefit them.

But, what if you don’t sell a manufactured product? What if you sell a service? You still need to think in terms of building your brand through story telling. For example, below is a series of images from a Norfolk Network event. What do you think the evening was about? What story is it telling you?

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Hopefully you will have gained a good feel for the event and the sort of thing Norfolk Network does. Together, the series of images builds a picture of the evening and of Norfolk Network. Each image tells part of the story and so matters to the overall picture. When marketing a service, just as with marketing a product, ensure that all images and all text that you release help to reinforce the one overall big picture. You don’t want there to be contradictions. It is important to take care of building your brand – it doesn’t happen by itself or by chance. Each time a buyer or potential customer interacts with your brand they are either buying into or becoming resistant to your story. Try to make sure that your marketing tells the right story to the right people.

Pretty pictures and lovely prose are all well and good. But, make sure that they are really selling your brand’s story. Don’t hope people will somehow guess correctly. Make sure that your photographer, marketing manager, copywriters and everyone else involved in your business understand the story you are trying to tell. Then, keep checking that they are doing so effectively. Building a brand takes time and consistent effort. It is group endeavour. So, what is your brand’s story? Who do you think should be relating to that story?

One other great thing about stories is that they are easy to share. We all want word of mouth advertising – so let’s make our stories ones that others want to sure and can do so easily.

© Joe Lenton, November 2015


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