Forbes Technology Council — If you are searching for the best way to build brand loyalty and separate your business from the flock of competitors, it’s time to reconsider how you tell your company’s story. Humans have learned through storytelling since the beginning of time. It’s knitted into the fabric of our history.
Thousands of years ago, cave dwellers used paintings to tell stories of their adventures. Then people started writing their stories down and distributing the news. From folktales to newspapers and television, we’ve developed ways to keep the art of storytelling alive. Over time, we’ve relied on technology to offer innovative new ways to tell stories. Whether it’s a social media post, a carefully crafted direct mailer, a report on the local news or simply a family chat around the dinner table, stories are part of our everyday conversation and an integral part of our lives.
Stories from the heart can be a valuable business tool. Your company’s story should be the backbone of your marketing strategy and will help raise the value of your brand. We all recall how the founders of technology giants Microsoft and Apple got their start building computers in their garages. The first glass of Pepsi was served by a pharmacist in historic New Bern, North Carolina, and James L. Kraft began his cheese business selling door-to-door before it became a grocery store staple.
Many businesses offer a unique and personal story, but it’s up to you to use a variety of platforms to convey your history and tell your brand’s tale. Here are some tips to tell your story and grow your business.
Don’t Just Scratch The Surface
You created your business to help fill a need in the community. It’s not enough for you to simply tell customers what products and services you offer. You must share the real-life reason behind the idea for your business or a new product. Making it personal will help your customers relate and drive sales. Imagine if the owner of Spanx never revealed her desire to look slim in a new dress or Trader Joe’s stopped touting new products in its creative newsletter.
Get Up Close And Personal
Let your customers see behind your company’s logo. No matter the size of your company, it’s important to allow customers to get an inside look at your employees and daily operations. One only has to look at their television lineup to see the popularity of reality television and the demand for a behind-the-scenes approach. This tactic will help drive sales. Your customers identify with people at their level and appreciate hearing from employees in all positions. Not only does this strategy appeal to customers, but it shows your staff that you value their input.
Get Customers Involved
Smart brands are already letting their customers tell their story. New technology like GoPros, smartphone apps and social media tools provide businesses with the opportunity to let customers show others how the brand shapes their lives. Companies can rely on social influencers for storytelling by way of contests held online designed to engage customers, for example. Co-creating content is a great way to humanize your brand and provide authenticity.
Emphasize How Your Business Promotes Social Change
Customers like to know that the brands they support are also doing their part in the community. Whether you are committing a portion of your profits to charitable causes or simply supporting a youth softball league, customers like businesses that promote social change. Make your efforts part of your company’s story.
Think About Direct Mail
Your company can use a variety of marketing tools to tell its story. In addition to a robust social media presence, you can implement a New Mover Marketing program to introduce your business to new residents. What’s better than introducing your brand through a personalized gift made possible by technology-backed data? This unique marketing avenue tells a clear story to the customer: Your business is tech-savvy, thinks outside the box and cares about new community members. New mover direct mail marketing is a cost-effective way to target your customer demographic and get your message out to the community.
Great storytelling is a skill that shouldn’t be overlooked by new business owners, as it’s key in building a loyal customer base that is excited about what you are selling. Following these tips for telling the story of your business through social media, print advertising and email marketing will help your business flourish.
Article by Forbes Technology Council Member and President/CEO/CTO of Our Town America, Michael Plummer Jr. Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives.