Stories have the power to connect all kinds of different people to a singular experience. This is powerful for marketing. No matter what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, or why you’re selling it, you have to tell a story. This is how you truly stand out and capture the customers your business needs. To do that, you need a brand story.
Thankfully, it’s easier than it sounds because guess what? You already have one! A brand story is how customers perceive you. Your branding includes, but is not limited to, your logo, the colors you use, your website, the website’s copy, the header image on your Facebook page, your Tweets, your reviews–everything they’ve come across with your business’s name attached to it.
You can take control over how customers perceive you. Your brand story will underscore your entire web presence. This is more than just marketing materials. You will engage with your customers on a personal level.
There are many directions you can go in telling a compelling brand story. What I will focus on here is how to tell a story of trust. It’s a valuable asset for a service-based business. Potential customers will choose a service they can trust in their home or with their vehicle. And that trust will make them more likely to return to you in the future.
Every story needs a character. The character of your brand is your company. Write a compelling company origin story. Highlight moments that have emotional or cultural meaning.
Also consider looking at your customer feedback. Look for definable attributes used to describe your service. These are your company’s “personality traits”. Take those highlighted traits and skills and utilize them for your brand story.
Questions to consider:
Who is your business and where did they come from? What are some the definable attributes customers associate with you already?
One of the unique characteristics of service-based businesses in comparison to product-based businesses is consistency. You can’t replicate a service exactly the same way you would replicate a product. You can still confidently ensure customers that you provide quality service. When crafting your brand story, you want to communicate how that process will always deliver results.
Some brands choose to romanticize how their product or service works. When you go to the website of a carpet cleaning service, they will likely display bright, high-quality images of families and their pets lounging on freshly cleaned carpets. That’s romanticizing your service.
Focus on your strengths but give meaning to your brand’s weaknesses as well. Old Spice adopted a new marketing campaign in recent years to attract a younger customer base. They advertised the strength of their product but also acknowledged the weaknesses that could prevent a desired demographic from considering them.
Think about the perceptions your potential customers could have for the type of service you provide and use them to your brand’s advantage.
Questions to consider:
What are some of the perceptions potential customers have of your service and industry? Can your brand benefit from standing with or against this perception? What are elements of your process that can complement your brand story of reliability?
Crafting your brand story is an ongoing process. It will involve input from every level of your business from sales to technicians to customer service. It will involve having a style guide and records of how to properly carry the brand everywhere someone takes your business.
Customers bring their own unique experiences to your business but your brand story will give you something to connect with them.
Below are some tools and resources you may find helpful to further craft an engaging brand story:
The First Step to Understanding Your Customers: Listen Up! – Customer Lobby
10 Things Customers Love About You – Customer Lobby
Positioning-Roulette – web-based app for brand story crafting