Branding: What’s your story?
I was recently asked by a friend of mine to assist with the launch of a new company. In this last year as we talked about product development and demographics, it became very clear that we needed to narrow the focus for the marketing launch. We had to have a better understanding of who we were before we could launch the product to any one group. The creator had a lot of views on how his products would be or could be used and wanted to offer something for everyone. The question I kept coming back to was “but what do you want the company to be known for?” Even though it would be nice to be everything to everybody, I felt it was important to have a core group that would be the focus. I considered this to be the vital key to the marketing puzzle.
In her book, “The Fortune Cookie Principle: The 20 Keys to a Great Brand Story and Why Your Business Needs One” by Bernadette Jiwa; I learned about back stories. Explaining why a company exists is just as important to the customer as the actual product. I needed to know why my CEO was passionate about his products and what he saw as the company’s purpose. I also wanted to know how he envisioned the products to be used. I knew I needed to buy into the idea way before I created the marketing plan; not just because I had to know my demographic, but because it was important that I believed in what I was saying when out there touting this company. I had to be the first one to “buy in” and only then could I sell it to others.
From the first I liked the idea, but I needed to know why HE was passionate about it as well. After reading Jiwa’s book, I understood better why that was so important to me. I had to have a connection to the story. The company’s story was vital to my “buy in” and if it were important to me, then it would be extremely important to most of the people we were hoping to sell our product.
The customer needs to feel connected in order to become a repeat customer. When we look at the customer journey first there is Awareness, and then Consideration and lastly the Decision. At all of these points or just one of these points, the story being told has an opportunity to resonate with the buyer and lead them back to your company. When your story is told from a point of sincerity, it’s even more convincing. At the end of the day, it is all about trust. As we narrowed down our customer fields to focus more of our production on the main customer base, our story was becoming clearer and clearer. We knew then that we wanted to be an aid to our customers own creativity and be one element that inspired their uses of our products. Not a company that dictated how to use us. So this became our story, and would ultimately be our brand. Remember branding is what they say about you when you are not in the room, so if the client doesn’t trust you and trust your intentions, then they will not reward you with repeat business. The customer of today drives brand acceptance. If your story resonates with the customer, then it gets shared and liked and reposted and does the work for you. But it all starts with you and your story. So ask yourself, what story do YOU want to tell?
Source: Pace Feed