“Create narratives that are so compelling to consumers, they want to build your products into their lives.”
–Danielle Snyder, Dannijo
Do you have your elevator speech down?
What do you say when people ask you what your company is or what it does? What do you say when someone asks you that dreaded question, “Tell me a little about yourself” in a meeting or over coffee? Have you developed your company story?
Forbes says storytelling is the new strategic imperative of business. Emotional engagement is more likely to promote a desired result than rational engagement. You want readers and listeners to share your story, to make it go “viral.” Tapping into emotions is a better way to do that.
Developing a powerful company story is important for many reasons. People love stories, and if you have a consistent and compelling story to tell, they will remember it, and thus remember you. A good story will tap into the emotions of the people who are reading or hearing it, and those emotions will lead them to act or react. We use our emotions more than our rational mind to make decisions, decisions like buying a product or service for example. A bad company story is bad for business.
What’s Your Story?
Do you tell the stories of your customers? Or do you tell the story of your CEO, or individual employees? What about how your company was founded? It depends on your company and your goals. For example, Krochet Kids tell the stories of the people who produce the products because those stories are a key extension of the brand. Airbnb uses customer stories as it’s main marketing tool, getting them to talk about their travel experiences and how Airbnb made that possible, or how opening their home to strangers has changed their life. Danielle and Jodie Snyder of Dannijo tell a story where they are often the main characters because they aren’t just selling jewelry, shoes, and handbags. They are selling a lifestyle. All three of these companies tell stories in an effective way to attract new clients, but they all choose different stars for their stories.
The other day I met with a woman who has done an incredible job of crafting her company story. She spoke about how she found her path, and then described the journey she took to finally achieve her goals. She ended her story with a description of her company and the things they were doing. When she was done I wanted to pack up my bags and visit her facility right then and there. Why? Because she told such a compelling story. It was well-crafted, and well-rehearsed; she had probably shared the story millions of times. But it was so well done that it didn’t matter that it was rehearsed, it was effective, and it did exactly what she intended for it to do. It made me want to buy her product.
Elements of a Good Story
How do you craft a good company story? For one, don’t be afraid to show a little bit of vulnerability. It is okay to let your audience know that you were scared when you took that first step into entrepreneurship or that you almost gave up when you hit your first major obstacle. If that story highlights a key accomplishment or attribute that you or your company has achieved, the vulnerability will craft a sense of suspense and evoke the emotional side of your audience’s brain.
Talk about the obstacles you overcame, share the important details, but leave out the unnecessary ones, show the effort you put into overcoming those obstacles in a way that your audience can empathize and relate to, and try to craft a sense of suspense that will leave your audience sitting on the edge of their seats wanting to know how the story ends. The end is important as well, make sure you give the conclusion to your audience, so they don’t walk away with a conclusion of their own making, since that conclusion may be different from the conclusion you want them to have.
Don’t forget to be authentic. Your audience will smell inauthenticity from a mile away. Craft a compelling story, but make sure it is your story. Don’t make something up to sway the emotions of your audience.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but the stories that you tell.” Seth Godin
You want a story that people will remember, something that will bring a smile to their face as they do dishes or drive to work. You want a story that will put you and your company in the minds of your target audience, your current and potential customers. People remember stories better than facts and a good company story will ensure nobody forgets you.
Don’t push your brand down people’s throats, the story is what is important, they will remember the brand if the story is good. Your customers aren’t just buying your product, they are buying a little piece of you. Your story will convince them to not only do that, but also share your story with their friends and convince them to buy into your company as well, if it is well crafted.
If you aren’t a strong writer, hiring a professional to craft your company story for you is an investment that will pay for itself and then some. Many successful CEOs and business owners are even hiring companies to write books about their company story, because they recognize how powerful a well-crafted story can be for their brand. Whether you want a book to hand out to your target audience, or just a story to share at networking meetings or with people at your local coffee shop, having a story (or a few) on hand to help you sell your brand is an invaluable asset for any company to have.
This article appeared in the May 2018 issue of the Lady Boss Club magazine which is full of great information and available to the public as a PDF. If you are interested in having an article or ad promoted by Lady Boss Club, please contact us at LadyBossClub@gmail.com for more information. Discounts on advertising are available for our members!
About the Author
Chloe Longstreet is the owner of Awen Books and More, an a la carte agency for self-published authors. Whether you have a great idea for a book in you without the time or knowledge to get it into print, or you have a completed book that needs some polishing, Awen Books and More can help. We pride ourselves on offering a personal connection, we care about you and your book as much as you do, and we will work closely with you and your budget to make sure that you are happy with the final product. Visit us at awenbooks.net for more information on how we can help you to make your dream of becoming a published author come true!