Creating connections to your customers helps grow your business and increase revenue. Learn how the brand narrative you create draws people to your business.
Every business wants to stand out from the competition, but how? It’s all about storytelling.
Of course, an original idea and/or a fantastic product is a great start. However, that’s not always enough to set yourself apart. In order to grow your business, you need to reach out and connect with your customers.
Let’s think about an industry that has a massive amount of competition: footwear.
What makes TOMS different than other companies that make canvas slip ons? Their mission to help the world by giving a pair to a person in need every time a pair is purchased.
Talk about a way to make your customers feel good about buying your product over the competition’s. That’s probably why the company is now worth $625 million, according to Forbes.
TOMS set its horizon past footwear alone: they started selling glasses too. They kept up with the direct buy one, give one model and amped up the story, giving prescription glasses and funding surgery for those in need. Everyone wants to be a part of making the world a better place by helping others in need!
This kind of business model helps to create a brand narrative: a form of storytelling that draws in customers. Even better, it builds customer loyalty by giving them a reason to keep coming back.
Why Your Business Needs a Brand Narrative
With the growing saturation of digital marketing in today’s culture, it’s harder than ever to get your brand to stand out from the rest.
Grab that valuable customer attention by associating your brand with your company’s values.
But how do you develop a brand narrative?
It’s as easy as developing a story. Start by forming a beginning, middle, and end.
The beginning is a problem, the middle is the solution, and the end is the feeling the solution leaves the customer with.
Let’s take each step one at a time.
1. The Beginning: The Problem
Think of the product you sell. How does it improve the life of the customer? In the case of TOMS, it appeals to customers by making them feel their purchase directly makes the world a better place for a person in need.
Plenty of companies make charitable donations, but the real genius of the TOMS’ marketing plan is the direct association. The customer is essentially making a charitable donation with every item purchased: making the customer feel great.
Perhaps this even allows the consumer to justify a higher purchase price since it gives them the credit for the good deed.
The “problem” or beginning of your brand narrative doesn’t have to be a call to save the world. It can be as simple as Dollar Shave Club‘s model: buying expensive razors is annoying.
2. The Middle: The Solution
So now you’ve caught the attention of your customers by presenting them with a relatable problem. Next, you have to supply them with a solution if you want to secure the sale.
The solution is the easiest part: it’s your product. Why does your product (or service) solve this problem? More importantly, how does your product or service solve this problem better than the competition?
This is a great place to present what makes your product different in a way that customers benefit from. Does it save your customers money and time like the shipped to your door, no fluff razors model? Does your product make your customers’ lives better because of its superior quality?
3. The End: The Emotion
Now your customer knows they need your product to make their lives better. The last step is to secure an emotional connection. This emotion should be one that is encompassed by your brand narrative.
For example, note the feeling of victory at the discovery of superior razor purchase model of Dollar Shave Club. Similarly, a TOMS ad leaves you with the hope for a happier world and a feeling of progress.
The emotional connection with your customer must be accompanied by a call-to-action. This is often presented as a motto or catchphrase that encompasses the brand. It’s your chance to leave a lasting impression on the customer that secures the association of the brand narrative with your product.
It’s All About the Connection
Building customer loyalty is one of the best ways to grow your business. In order to do this, you have to find something about your product or service that feels personally relevant to your customers.
A personal connection transforms the ad into a personal recommendation, like one from a friend. “You will love product X because will help you solve problem X!”
For example, instead of telling the customer to get this product because it will make them more productive, explain to them that it will get them home in time for dinner with their family.
Kayak does this well by appealing to their customer base with humor. “KAYAK can’t search hundreds of pants for you but it can search hundreds of travel sites. #TravelProblemSolved”
The subtext of Kayak’s ad campaign is “We can’t save you time on all of life’s annoyances, but we can save you major time comparing travel prices!” This creates a connection with their target demographic: people looking to save time and money.
Humanize Your Brand
A good brand narrative goes beyond just marketing and tells the story of the company.
A great way to accomplish this is by creating quality video content showcasing your company origins, founder, how your products are made, the employees behind your company, etc.
Telling the story behind your brand humanizes your company, builds trust, and connects with your customers.
Make your customers feel good about purchasing your product. This will only have a positive effect on your revenue.
Creating a personal connection with your customers is a fantastic way to help you stand out from the competition and ensure the growth of your business.
If you want more articles on entrepreneurship and the startup grind, check out the rest of my site. Some articles I think you’ll be interested in reading next include “Emotional Stress: How to Avoid Founder Burn Out” and “Summer! Keeping Your Startup Motivated.”
Connect with me here for coaching services, a startup pitch, or any other general inquiry.