In business today, it’s not enough to offer a great product or service. People want to be inspired by you. When your customers or followers are inspired, they become raving fans and tell others why working with you is so great. So how do you inspire current and future customers – by telling your brand story.
I’m Jennifer Roberts, the owner of Back Porch Communications, and I help business and nonprofit leaders I work with one-on-one to tell their stories.
This is especially critical for you, my nonprofit friends! When people donate to your cause, they don’t get a product or service – they get a good feeling that they are making a difference. You have to explain what they are “investing” in. That is your brand story.
Business leaders, don’t think for a second you are off the hook here. A brand story can inspire your current customers to bring new customers. That is nothing to ignore.
What is a Brand Story?
I’m going to give you an example of my favorite brand story. It’s is about a company called Outdoor nativity sets.
About seven years ago, our last inflatable Santa Claus died. About that same time, my kids were starting to outgrow the need to have an inflatable Santa in the front yard at Christmas time, so I decided it was mom’s turn to decorate the yard how I wanted for Christmas. We had some very specific requirements for this job.
My husband does not enjoy putting up Christmas décor. If it takes more than one hour of work and requires a ladder, he is out. Plus, it has to be easy to store the other 11 months of the year.
I required something classy and religious that focused on the true meaning of Christmas. I had seen some white cut-out nativity sets that I liked but had no idea where to find them in stores.
I started searching online and found a place that sold something similar. They had a video about their business, so I watched it. Here is the link so you can check it out too. I’ll sum up their story.
The company video explained they were a boat cabinet manufacturer in Central Florida. Each holiday season, boat sales would go down, and they would have to lay their employees off over the holidays. One year they got an idea, why not make something over the holidays to keep us busy instead of boat parts? They came up with a marine-grade plastic nativity set. In the video, they showed their employees making the nativity sets in the warehouse.
Then I saw a second video on assembling and storing the nativity set. It showed a young woman putting it together all by herself. Minimal tools. 10 minutes tops.
The basic set was $250. But for another $250, you would get the wise men, shepherds, and barn animals.
These little videos explained everything I needed to know to make the purchase and be inspired by the company.
1. It was easy to put together and store
2. It was classy and religious
3. I happen to live 45 min. away from this company, so I supported people in my community to stay employed over the holidays!
I whipped out my credit card and charged $500 of marine grade nativity without a second thought and felt fabulous about it.
Why do I love this story? It didn’t take a lot of money or a fancy marketing agency or hundreds of social media posts to tell this story. There are three videos on this company’s YouTube channel, and I’ve talked about two of them. Those videos were created ten years ago and are still relevant today. This is a brand story about a small business in my community trying to find a way to survive. Their brand story was simple, inspirational, and I’m a raving fan. I get lots of compliments about my nativity set, and I tell this story every time someone asks me about it. I probably would have made this purchase without knowing the story, but the story made me a raving fan.
Telling Your Brand Story
So let’s talk about how you uncover your brand story. I want you to ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers.
· Why are you different than your competitors?
· What inspires you to do what you do?
· What do your customers say is magical about working with you?
· What is the history of your business/nonprofit?
· What need did you see, and how do you solve it?
After you get down into the inspiration part of why you do what you do – you can start thinking about how you tell this story. Is it a video? Maybe it is some copy for your About Us page of your website. Perhaps it’s a series of social media posts. Think about ways you already communicate with your future customers and insert your brand story there.
Want to learn more about creating a brand story for your business? Are you ready to STOP being the best-kept secret in your industry and let people know who you are and what you are about? This is the work I do with clients one-on-one. If you are interested in talking more about your brand story for your business or nonprofit, send me an email at Jen@backporchcom.com.