Stories are the best way to capture anyone’s imagination. It is one of the most powerful tools to communicate and express.
You may have noticed we often communicate learnings to kids through stories. But have you ever thought why is it done?
It is done because when you learn to use a story in your communication, kids start paying attention and can retain the learning for long.
The same goes for Brands. Your customers will pay attention to what you are saying when you have a brand story to tell.
Numerous businesses have often failed to project their brand and the reason is none other than the inability to explain their brand to their target audience. Unlike the popular brands, they are not able to display or communicate their storyline.
They get easily sidelined in the market by their competitors. These competitors may not even have good products or excellent services but they are doing well.
And the only reason is their brand story. Yes, brand stories are helping them generate more business.
Businesses spend a lot of money on marketing their brands. But honestly, there is no point in spending huge amounts on marketing strategies and efforts when there is no connection with the brand story.
Initially telling a brand story can seem tedious but like many other important things in life, a few principles related to the brand story must be mastered for enhanced communication with the customers.
The best approach to communicate brand stories from small to medium enterprises is explained very well through the SB7 framework.
It involves around 7 principles which we will explain to you in detail:
01. A Character
Customer is the hero, not your brand.
Whether we are dealing in B2B or B2C form of marketing, we are dealing and selling to a customer or the client.
This is the most common mistake companies often make. They focus on themselves rather than their client.
Therefore always remember, it's not about you. It is about them.
Your customer is the king or the hero, not your brand.
02. Has a Problem
Companies often tend to sell solutions to external problems but the customers are buying solutions for internal problems.
If you will not clearly define the problem you can solve through your brand, your customers are not going to take an interest.
Your customer may encounter 3 types of problems- external problems, internal problems, philosophical problems.
Internal problems are the main reason they are coming to you.
The only reason why they will keep following you is that they believe you will offer a solution to their problems and requirements.
Hence, you should clearly define what problem your brand can resolve for them.
For example: Make your customers realize that your products are the magic wands that can help them solve their problems.
03. Meets a Guide
Customers are looking for a guide.
Just like Harry Potter had his guide in the form of Dumbledore, you will be his guide in his journey.
Many brands are just too focussed on highlighting their expertise.
But the important thing to consider is that we need not focus only on our pros and expertise rather we should be using our strategies to offer support to our customers.
We should be dealing with the client/customer more like a guide who has solutions and answers to all the customer queries.
For example: Brainstorm and devise ways that you can show your customers how you care about their internal problems. And how as a guide you can help them with solutions.
04. Who gives them a Plan
Customers would always trust a guide who has a plan.
Therefore, your customer must maintain trust in you. And this is achieved only when you are well versed with your brand and you have a plan in place.
You have to provide solutions to all the customer queries considering from their point of view.
Donald Miller identifies there are two types of plan- process plan and agreement. And for your customers, you need to make them as simple as possible.
Process Plan - For example If a customer is buying any product from your website he should be able to close the deal in less than a few steps. Like:
- 1. Selecting the product.
- 2. Saving in the cart.
- 3. Purchasing the product.
Agreement Plan - In this plan think from the customer's point of view, what issues they can face before buying anything from you.
For instance - a dress. To create a plan that allows them to dry the dress they chose at their home before finalizing the deal.
When you have a plan and you are sharing it with your customers then you are helping them to overcome the barriers or blocks which are preventing them from taking action.
Prepare a simple plan which motivates them to close business deals with you.
05. Call To Action
Customers do not take action unless they are challenged to take action.
Your main goal is to have your customer take action. You need to tell them to take action by providing them with a step by step guide.
And this is possible only when he trusts your brand and the way you have taken him through the brand journey.
06. Helps them to avoid Failure
As a brand ask yourself whether you have communicated what’s at stake for your customers for not doing business with you.
What are the negative consequences they may face? If no, then it is important to communicate the same as well to your customers.
For example you can highlight not only what they are gaining by choosing your products but also how your products are helping them to avoid any failure.
07. And end in a Success
You should never assume that people will understand how your brand can change their lives.
You would need to explain them.
This can be done by showing your customers how your products can have a positive impact on their lives and why they should consider buying it without any delay.
These are the few principles and they are superbly beneficial.
Businesses should avoid spending on marketing initiatives until and unless they have a brand story in place about their business.
Creating a brand story is not hard but creating the one which will capture their imagination, and make them loyal towards your brand is challenging.
Your customers are normal human beings who aspire and dream to be someone. As a brand you have to fulfill their dreams. It is just that simple.
For example: Brand Chanel, Aldo. They work hard towards making their customers realize and believe that they will make them feel different when they use their products.
You have to show them how your brand can help them achieve their dreams. It can help them stand apart from their competitors and can yield great results.
You should definitely handhold your customers through the entire process. They may be looking for a brand that can help them get results and resolutions as per their needs.
Your brand should tell them the future benefit they will get after hiring and doing business with you.