In this modern age we are being bombarded on every device and have become pretty good at drowning out the noise. In fact, many of us (myself included) will only dive in further when something relevant piques our interest and even then, most of us need to feel like what is being put in front of us is authentic and real if we want to keep reading. And if we get that hint of inauthenticity, we’re out. We don’t have time for that. And, most of us have become pretty good at figuring out when that’s happening.
So how do you cut through this noise? And, how do you cut through this noise while providing relevant content? Then, how do you cut through this noise while providing relevant content in a brand voice that is “real” and “human”? “And the green grass grew all around and around and the green grass grew all around.” (Anyone remember that one? Or am I dating myself?)
Phew, that sounds like hard work, right? But if you take the time to sit down and start to craft your brand story by answering just a few questions, you’ll reap the rewards of telling it. You’ll start to build and nurture your customer relationships, ones that are built on mutual trust and respect.
In part one of this three-part series, I want you to answer those questions. It’s the first step in creating an authentic brand story that will help you gain a competitive advantage and stand out in the marketplace. Grab a piece of paper or open a word doc and let’s get started.
Q1: How did your company begin? Every company has a beginning. Revisiting that beginning and history can help you spark memories or call attention to a legacy. An accomplished past can show longevity. It can help you get to the root of why your company exists now.
Q2. What are your company’s mission, purpose, values and beliefs? It’s important to know why your company exists, what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve it, all while staying true to what you stand for and how you can help others.
Q3: What products does your company offer? Hey! I’ve given you an easy one here!
Q4: What are some of the trends and changes that affect the promotional products industry? Staying on top of trends as well as hinderances to your success can help you weave a better story into your narrative. But, be careful you don’t back yourself into a corner by only focusing on hot trends right now otherwise you risk becoming old news.
Q5: Who is your audience and why should they care about your brand? Determine who your ideal customer is, what their challenges are and how you can help solve them.
Q6: If your company could be endorsed by a celebrity or public figure who would it be and why? Relating your brand to someone well-known can help you to better understand your values. If you choose someone whose personal brand may not align with your company’s mission, you may need to take a harder look at what you might be putting out into the marketplace and if potential customers might be getting the wrong idea about who you are.
Q7: Who are your biggest competitors? Everyone in the industry has a competitor. It’s important to know who they are, what they offer and what they stand for. Knowing these things can actually help YOU stand out.
Q8: What do you do better than them? Finally, while you may have the same product, how does your company go above and beyond to make sure your customers are satisfied? Why should they buy from you in the end?
Creating your brand story may seem overwhelming at first but these questions should help you get the answers you need to start writing your narrative. Get a few colleagues together in a room and answer the questions as a group. If you find your answers differ on some of these, then it’s now more important than ever to write a brand story that’s consistent. You don’t want different messages out in the market. You want your entire company to be able to answer these questions in the same manner to ensure that how you’re presenting your brand and your products is consistent across all channels.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll dive deeper into telling your brand story. Part 2 of this series will highlight some of the benefits of telling your brand story and part 3 will show you how others communicate their brand stories in the marketplace.
If at any point in time you need some help crafting your story, let me know. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can put you in touch with our talented team at ASI Creative Labs. For the past 3 years, they’ve been writing compelling brand stories for our valued supplier partners – getting them noticed and considered in this crowded landscape.