The concept of brand storytelling in marketing has gained considerable momentum in recent years, although the strategy has been around for a long time. Big tobacco used it for years, as have automobile and motorcycle manufacturers, traditional grocery and pharmacy chains, countless fast food concepts, and many others.
Small businesses utilize it, too — and sometimes do a better job of it than the big players. Does your marketing strategy include some type of brand narrative?
What Is Brand Storytelling?
Every brand has a story, either potential or actual, to tell. Yes, some are more worth telling than others. But what exactly do we mean by brand storytelling? Think of your brand’s story as your why for existing in the first place, how your mission and vision came into being.
Effective brand storytelling weaves facts and feelings together in a manner that compels an emotional reaction in those who would buy from you. You will often see the terms “brand storytelling” and “brand narrative” used interchangeably, and we will do likewise for purposes of this brief article, although the nuances differ. The term “story” implies a sense of completeness, whereas a narrative is an ongoing story in progress, whose conclusion may or may not yet have been written.
People Look for Reasons to Become Customers
A business in and of itself is a finite entity and not always a terribly exciting one at that. A company’s brand may be defined as the sum total of all the experiences one has with a given business, product(s), or service(s). A brand can certainly have a personality (or a culture) without being personal. Who cares? You should. People don’t buy from ledger accounts, big boxes or machine interfaces — not for long, anyway.
People want a reason to become customers. They look for it. Moreover, they deserve it. This requires a human touch on the part of the brand. And that is exactly why brand storytelling matters.
The Power of Brand Storytelling
Brand storytelling — the why behind your brand — has the power to provide that human touch. Iconic brands such as Apple and Harley-Davidson do it, as may the local butcher shop or old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Certainly your neighborhood lawn care professional, Spring-Green, also tells a compelling story.
What do these brands, large and small, have in common? They each weave their own compelling story, blending an optimal balance of necessary information and feelings that inspire an emotional connection between the brand and its customers.
In order to accomplish this, the brand narrative is about more than just the brand. It’s also about the customer and the core values that connect both parties. Effective brand storytelling can provide a wellspring of meaningful marketing content, which in turn drives customer engagement and loyalty. In some cases it’s downright tribal. We’ve already mentioned Apple and Harley-Davidson, but consider also Trader Joe’s and Jack Daniels. Each has used brand storytelling to gather and hold a brutally loyal following.
How to Create a Brand Story
Crafting a compelling brand story requires at least three components and a fundamental understanding of each. You also need a compelling storyteller who can draw upon these elements and craft a compelling narrative that continually resonates with the intended audience. This is not always the stuff of complex sophistication, yet none of this should be taken lightly.
1. The essence of what your brand does — both literally and in terms of the value provided to your customer.
2. Your target audience — those to whom you are telling this story and what about them compels the company and target audience to connect.
3. The essential need or want — the inherent desire you can fulfill or pain you can alleviate.
The Spring-Green Story
From our humble beginning around a dining room table in Naperville, Illinois to our proven national franchise concept, the Spring-Green story is embodied across the United States by every Neighborhood Lawn Care Professional® in our organization. Our story is an integral part of our omnichannel communications strategy, both internal and external. Our story cannot be separated from who we are and what we do. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com to learn more.