Be More Yoda - May the 4th be with you!
Facts tell, stories sell, as the maxim goes – and Charlotte Nichols, managing director of PR, social media and content marketing agency Harvey & Hugo, knows that better than most.
Here, she explains how thinking of your brand as a story, with heroes, villains and a happy ending, can propel your business into the big time. So let’s take a deep dive into storytelling, May the 4th be with you!
Our mission at Harvey & Hugo is to build lovable and memorable brands, one story at a time. And actually telling your brand story in the same way you’d craft any other tale can give you a clear idea of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what it means to your audience.
So, with half an eye on the date, let’s take a look at how you can bring your brand story to life.
Contrary to what you might think, the hero of this story is not you – it’s your customer. This means you need to get to the heart of who they are and what they want before you even think of telling your tale. And remember, they need to play a part throughout the narrative, so never forget them as you go along.
Star Wars has Darth Vader, Batman had the Joker and Harry Potter has Voldemort. For your brand, however, the villain is the problem your customers need to solve – whether that be external, internal or more of a philosophical issue. Wherever the problem comes from, it’s the job of your products or services to defeat it.
This is where your brand comes in; you are their guide, and your role is to support the hero (the customer) on their journey to defeat the villain. A good guide must be empathetic but also authoritative, so make sure that your client – and your stuff - you know.
Customers trust a guide who has a plan; after all, nobody will put their faith in a brand that is just making it up as they go along. So make sure you let your client/hero know what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it and what their role will be. And remember that what’s obvious to you may not be to the client, so clear communication is paramount.
It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often a clear call to action is missed. Your CTA may be obvious – a ‘buy now’ button for example – but it also may be more transactional, sharing expertise in such a way as to make sure your brand is at the forefront of the client’s mind when they need you.
The near miss
It seems counter-intuitive, but research has shown that people are more motivated to avoid a loss than actively achieve a gain, so use this to your advantage. Tell your customers what could happen if they don’t work with you – will they buy an inferior product? Will they miss out on something? – and let human nature do the rest.
The happy ending
Every story needs a happy ending for the hero, so make it memorable. Remember, when John F Kennedy was selling the space programme to the American people, he didn’t waffle on about technicalities and details. He simply said the mission was to put a man on the moon. So don’t overcomplicate things.
All in one
Speaking of keeping things simple, it may be an idea to develop your brand story one-liners. These four key elements – character, problem, plan, success – can help you clearly see the end goal.
Say, for example, your brand is a workout app – here’s how your story can be reduced to those four elements:
- Character: Mums
- Problem: Busy lives
- Plan: Short yet effective workouts
- Success: Health and energy benefits
Keeping it this simple can help you clearly see your story – and, if you can, your audience can too.
Stories sell, and to be heard over the noise of modern life, your brand’s story needs to worthy of an Oscar.
For more information on creating your brand’s story, a lot of the background can be found in Donald Miller’s excellent book, Creating A StoryBrand, which I reviewed here.
Or, if to get your brand’s story heard you’d like, help, Harvey & Hugo can. Simply throw us a bone on 01325 486666 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Harvey & Hugo .
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