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Crafting a Compelling Brand: 3 Stories that threaten to derail your brand message

by | Audience, Brand Message, Marketing Strategy, Storytelling

Brand Messaging

A clear brand message has the power to shape and propel a business toward success. Connecting you to potential customers and making you memorable.

But the absence of a clear brand message allows someone else to write the narrative about your business. And chances are, the story they tell will be incomplete and confusing, leaving potential customers with more questions than answers.

There are three story types that surround every business and require managing so they don’t derail you. Learning to understand and harness these story types will be the difference between pushing your business forward or holding it back.

1) The stories you tell yourself

Now these stories start with really that voice inside your head that is telling you, wow. Here’s a cool thing. Here’s a product. Here’s a service. Here’s a way that you could impact and change the world.”

On our best days, those stories are super powerful because they cast the vision for our lives. They have you chasing dreams and ideas and launching new products and impacting the world.

But on our worst days, those stories can be absolutely detrimental. They can be the very thing that holds you back. That keeps you from stepping out and trying new products. From putting new things into the market or from trying to make a difference in the lives of people. What I found in my life, is that these stories require you to have someone, or a group of people, who help you be realistic about what you need to be listening to.

A voice of reason that helps you know… “Have I overstepped? Is this just self-doubt, or is it a red flag that I need to address? Am I so in my head that it’s keeping me from trying the things that I need to do next?”

So while the stories you tell yourself have a place. They must be grounds in reality. That way you can be visionary, but also have a way of keeping self-doubt from overtaking your life.

2) The stories you tell others

This is where business owners and marketers spend most of their time and attention. In crafting ways to talk about our products and services, networking, and spreading the message. It includes all the ways that you publicly get the message out about your product and services and how you make the world better.

This is where it’s important for you to share stories that make you memorable. Because while data is important, most people will not remember numbers and statistics. They remember emotional connections and those come through telling stories and engaging people relationally. So it’s important that your marketing share stories about real-life challenges and show how your products and services help solve those problems.

When you do, people will connect with your brand messaging on an emotional level that goes beyond the solutions you provide. In the process, your business gets elevated in the mind of potential customers from solving a problem to one that adds value to the marketplace.

3) The stories others tell about us

As digital marketing has grown, this story type often equates to Yelp reviews, Google reviews, and things like that. While reviews are important to your business, face-to-face conversations can be more important long term.

The best conversations are when past customers become your advocate and promote you. So when a friend says, “I need a plumber. Do you know of anyone?” Or, “Hey, my laptop just crashed. Do you know where I should go to get it fixed?” They know what to say and can point to you as the best solution.

The only way that people will do that for you is if:

  • You are amazing at solving the problem for your existing customers.
  • You give them words to share with others when someone needs your product or service.

It’s really important then, that your brand message be so easily understood, that customers can repeat it to others for you.

The business storytelling cycle

  1. Take the best pieces of the Stories You Tell Yourself
  2. Craft them into memorable Stories You Tell Others
  3. Encourage past customers to share the Stories Others Tell About Us

Many businesses struggle to craft and share their brand message. And the idea of following the storytelling cycle seems like a distant pipedream. But crafting and embracing these three story types is the pathway to marketing success.

If your business needs help to get its brand message right, I would love to talk. A Distill Your Story session can help bring clarity and focus to your brand message in a fraction of the time you would spend working on it alone.

Jumpstart the process starting today, so the brand story you share and the marketing strategy you use makes your business memorable and drive sales.

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