Stories are powerful, magical things. A good story sticks in the mind, and a great one etches itself into your heart. If that sounds cheesy, it absolutely is — but there’s also truth to it.
Research suggests that we retain information learned through stories for much longer and with greater accuracy. That’s great for brand recognition, and it’s a highly-effective way to get your message across. But how does storytelling factor into everyday business?
Read on for 4 ways you can wield the power of storytelling in your 2022 brand strategy.
1. It’s All About Us (And You)
There’s a reason why so many small and mid-level businesses have that neat little “About Us” section on their websites. This glorious page is your built-in chance to introduce your brand to prospective customers/clients. Businesses typically use this section to summarize how they got started and what their mission objective is. In short, this is where you tell your story.
When visitors peruse your “About Us” section, they’re trying to get a feel for who you are and whether they can trust you. If I’m on the hunt for an ethical, cruelty-free and vegan brand, seeing this philosophy stated in their brand story assures me I can trust their products. If your brand operates around strong core values — and you can back it up with your business practices — this is an essential part of your story.
Craft a killer “About Us” section with these tips:
Provide a brief history on how and WHY your company got started
Introduce your core values — not just how you do business, by WHY it matters to you
Provide specific examples that showcase WHY customers can trust your brand
List any relevant awards, qualifications or achievements and WHY they back up your claims
State your mission plainly by telling the reader exactly where you’re going and WHY
Connect your purpose directly to the reader and state WHY you want to help them
If the power of repetition holds, you’ll notice a common denominator above. How your brand got started is interesting, but why you started your brand is what will get readers invested in all that you do.
2. Brand Voice
A strong, distinct brand voice can be applied consistently across all marketing channels — and it’s a great tool to help flesh out your story. This is an important aspect of your company’s identity. Do you want to come across as cheeky, intellectual, irreverent or fun and light-hearted? If your brand was a real person, what would they sound like? Who would connect with them at a party?
3. Heartfelt Testimonials
Heartfelt testimonials from existing customers represent storytelling in its purest form. You can feature testimonials on landing pages, social media channels or on traditional marketing materials like print media.
Customer testimonials offer a great way to showcase how your product helps real-world people. Hearing from someone who was in the same position they are in now can convince a potential client that your product or service is right for them.
Here’s how to get powerful customer testimonials:
Use real, authentic examples
Peruse your company reviews to identify customers you’ve truly helped
Ask specific questions when recording a customer testimonial, such as why they chose your product, what the process was like and how your business ultimately helped them
Always ask permission to feature a customer’s story
Opt for visual testimonials, whether you ask customers to record themselves or send a professional video crew
Create a process to showcase the story of your work, such as taking before and after photos
When prospective customers can connect with the stories of others just like them, it helps build trust in your brand and in your process.
4. Philanthropic Efforts
Company ethics increasingly factor into consumer decisions, but individuals are quick to point out when claims are performative or meaningless. Engaging in philanthropic efforts that back up your brand’s core values can help bring your story full circle. Above all else, authenticity is key.
If you’re interested in philanthropic endeavors, explore avenues that align with your company’s core values. If you’re committed to producing eco-friendly products, you can organize company-wide beach clean-ups or donate a portion of your profits to environmental organizations. If you’re committed to creating equal opportunities for all, you can start a mentorship program in an underrepresented community. You get the idea. Make real-world changes an intrinsic part of your story.
Brand Strategy 2022: Tell Your Story the Right Way
Stories allow us to transcend boundaries and connect with those around us in meaningful ways. When used with intention and authenticity, storytelling can help you define and pursue your brand’s overarching purpose with clarity.