“Everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head, always, all the time,” says author and poet Patrick Rothfuss. “The story makes you what you are, and we build ourselves out of that story.” When it comes to your brand story, it goes a step further because it also matters what your customers think and feel about it, how they react to it and what it provokes or inspires them to do.
At Spoke, we believe you haven’t truly told your story until someone else can tell it, too. A story that connects with your audience. A story that reflects the values and ideals of your company. A story that is an accurate reflection of your brand. But here’s the catch: stories change as you grow. And most companies simply add to their story every time they add a new product or service . . . until it doesn’t make sense anymore.
How can you keep your story straight – and fresh – so that your customers and representatives of your brand enjoy telling it? Thankfully, you have access to the proven brand storytellers at Spoke every step of the way. Here are some of the ways you can bring your story to life and build stronger brand engagement with your customers.
The Art of Telling a Complex Story
Telling your story begins by understanding your customers, your mission, and your brand. The key is to keep your story simple, impactful, and inviting – the type of story that inspires brand loyalty. Remember this: your story is your brand anchor. It will be the way people perceive your company, products, and services and will inspire how they think and feel when interacting with every part of your business. Make sure it is a story worth repeating (that’s the goal).
Like the best books, your story should be focused and well-organized with one central point that all other messaging complements and revolves around. What is the most important benefit your brand offers your customers, and how does it solve their challenges? Succinctly answer this in a sentence or two, and you have the core of your brand messaging – your brand identity. Next is when you put in the work to make that happen.
Getting to Know Your Brand
Before you can tell your story, you need to have a complete understanding of your brand and how you want it represented. Consistency is key – your brand messaging points should be woven through every touchpoint. Remember your core brand messaging sentence/brand identity? Start there and build out around it. For example, if your core message is, “Our ice cream is made with the freshest organic ingredients and allows the lactose-challenged community to enjoy one of life’s favorite treats,” expand on this.
Communicate how your brand brings a smile to peoples’ faces, is oh-so refreshing on hot summer days, and (for the lactose intolerant) makes the seemingly impossible, possible, all in one sweet cup or cone. This part of your messaging is where you connect with your customers and create the type of benefit-oriented emotional appeal that helps to convert mere customers to loyal brand advocates. This is where the magic happens, and this is where you start to build the brand you, your team – and your customers – will be proud to be associated with.
Spoke can help you develop a messaging framework that clearly conveys your brand attributes with product- or industry-specific messaging and in the right tone of brand voice to connect with your ideal customers. We’re always with you to get you where you want to be.®
Having a Conversation with Your Customers
Building the foundation of your brand messaging is important for creating marketing and sales materials that resonate with your audience. At heart, your brand story will be reflected in your messaging that feels less like marketing and more like a friendly conversation. The key here is clear, consistent communication with your customers across every touchpoint, from blogs, emails, and websites to print ads, brochures, and in-store signage. This is where brand guidelines come into play – your North Star that serves as a guide for all messaging that is created for your brand.
Why is this so important? Because speaking to your customers in a consistent tone, style and manner will help them quickly understand – and become engaged with – your brand. You know the drill. Today’s consumer will only give you a split-second of consideration before moving on. Your core message (biggest brand benefit) must instantly be apparent to encourage them to explore further and get all the details of your great brand story. Kind of like a book title or first page in an opening chapter, if it doesn’t hook you, you won’t become involved. And even if it does appeal to you, the rest of the book needs to complete the story in a satisfying way.
One note: Be sure to keep your employees informed about ongoing messaging development so that all members of your team are telling the same brand story. Ensuring everyone is always on board will help you to maintain consistent communications during every phase of the customer journey.
Leaving Lasting Impressions
Your story is not just your own. When executed well, it becomes your employees’ and customers’, too. Something they will relate to, something that strikes an emotional chord, and something that inspires them to action. And most importantly, something they will tell others. This isn’t an easy task. If it were, the world would be so overcrowded with successful brands that you wouldn’t be able to find customers of your own. Thankfully, your business and brand are unique. And (thankfully again), there are resources like Spoke who understand how to help you develop an enduring story that will leave lasting impressions.
Like any great author, we’ll take the time to get to know our subject (your brand) and your audience (your customers). Then we’ll put together a strategic approach to help you build strong connections with your customers. The type of relationship that leads to brand engagement and your ongoing success. No, it’s not as easy as it sounds. But we’ll be there for you every step of the way because, well, that’s just what we do. That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
Your Story Matters. Let’s Write the First Chapter Together
No one has a brand – or story – like yours. Let’s use that to your advantage and attract the customers and successful results you’ve always wanted. Ready? Let’s write an enticing tale of brand engagement success together.