In these amazing times of websites, blogs, and social networks, the ways by which new customers are drawn to a business are vastly different from the way they were even five years ago!
With so many entrepreneurs competing with you for business, what can you do to make your brand stand out among the others? From a distance, one company’s widget looks an awful lot like another’s. So what is the thing that will turn people’s heads and draw them to your website?
It often comes down to the story… the story behind your brand!
What is Brand Story?
A brand story can be a very important branding tool, if you know how to use it to your advantage. Your brand story is not an over-hyped branding word, but a means of focusing your communication around a central theme and creating consistent brand messages. It simply serves as a means of telling people about your business: How it all started, what inspired you to set it up, challenges you faced, etc.
Brand stories create excellent relationships between customers and the business.
When all is said and done, people are doing business with people, not with products. To be sure, the product/service must satisfy the customer, but it is often the story behind the brand that will close the sale. When I moved to my current city and needed to buy some new furniture, I was lost in a sea of websites for potential places I can get them from.
Most of the websites were pretty enough and had the basic information, but one of them took it a step further. This one told me more than just the “what,” “when,” and “where” of the business… but also the “who, the “why” and the “how.”
I found out from this outstanding website not only who this owner was and why he was so passionate about this business, but also how this man’s love for his business and customers actually spilled out to the true benefit of the community via outreach programs! It was akin to feeling the heartbeat of the business! I placed my order that day and have been a customer of his continually growing business ever since.
It’s this type of pure transparency that makes a potential customer feel a reason to trust your brand over other ones. Think about how you can use this approach in your own company’s website with the following suggestions:
Importance of Your Brand Story to You as an Entrepreneur
• Understanding – Your brand story creates a crystal clear explanation of who you are and what your business is. To help your customers understand what your business is all about, be sure to decide why you do what you are doing.
Why did you start this in the first place? Why do you feel so strongly about this business? Sometimes it is easy to get so mired down in the other aspects of your business that you might need to remind yourself. It can often prove illuminating to ask your current satisfied customers why they continue to patronize you.
• Educating – This creates a perfect opportunity for you (or for a talented partner/employee) to find exciting ways to show why your company exists and how it functions. You can do this pretty simply by offering a behind-the-scenes video tour of your business on your website!
Do you have pleasant people on your staff? Interview them either in writing or on video! Make good use of photographs, quotes, and testimonials! The possibilities to creatively show the very soul of your business are only limited to your imagination.
• Trust: Since your brand story communicates directly with customers, they will vividly understand the modus operandi of your business, thereby making them trust your business, which means making more money.
This bold, forthright approach to reaching your customers will help you to distinguish yourself from the rest of the crowd. An added (perhaps less obvious) benefit may just be the reminder you get from your reasons for creating your business. That awareness can prove to be a very invigorating tonic for you and your employees.