The power of brand storytelling - be honest, consistent and connect
Updated: Mar 25, 2022
How brand storytelling is important but only if you're honest, consistent and maybe just a bit fun....
Honesty, consistency and connection are the key factors in brand storytelling.
What do we mean by that?
By being honest we want a story or a pinch of authenticity that forms part of the reason why you established your book, business and/or innovative idea. It has to come from a place of honesty and truth and not a tall tale liberally sprinkled with falsehoods and lies. You will be found out eventually.
Some people have come to despise the word ‘authentic,’ but perhaps that’s because it’s been used so many times its meaning has become diluted. However, the most cliched words and phrases are usually the most truthful. Being authentic is only a bad word if it’s too closely associated with a lie.
Make sure that what you tell people is real.
Make sure your story is consistent
That it’s relevant to your brand
That It helps make the reader the hero
That it leads to a shared experience and a solution to their own problem.
It needs to be consistent. This is true of anything that takes a long time to complete or is ongoing and long-term.
Consistency is seemingly simple but hard to sustain long-term, but used effectively it’s the greatest tool you have in ensuring your brand is believed, loved and followed.
Telling people something one week, and then something different the next will only create confusion and distrust - your core brand message needs to be the same throughout.
You can alter something, you can make it a much bigger robust thing or make it a smaller and quieter thing, whatever suits the brand, but don’t change it without good reason.
Explain your reasoning if you’ve changed direction, but don’t just change your key message overnight without explaining why.
“The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.” Dean Ornish
Your story should connect, it should make people who’ve seen you and heard you remember you long after they’ve moved on. It doesn’t have to be mawkish and overly sentimental or deeply personal and confessional.
It should motivate them to find you online, to bookmark your site, to remember what it is you promote, to have you somewhere they can come back to.
They don't necessarily have to like you, I've often fallen in love with a brand and disliked the person behind it, but as long as they're honest, consistent and with a clear brand message I'll still buy from them.
Potential clients don’t always touch base immediately, they may stay silent, hovering in the background, but that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten you, they may come back at a later point when the time is right for them.
Be constant and make them want to find out more about you, in a way that's dynamic, human and engaging - just don’t give too much of yourself away.
If your story, whatever it is, truly connects with a particular demographic and you’ve done your homework, that connection will pay off in dividends in the long-term.
What is the most important of these in brand storytelling, probably all three….and yet
For me it’s probably honesty, because I’m not going to exchange money with someone who isn’t honest, but consistency would come a close second, because even if they don’t think you’re authentic, at least they’ll admire you for your persistence. Yes, honesty is important and is number one, but don't ever be boring.
“It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than be absolutely boring.” - Marilyn Monroe
Being consistent doesn’t have to mean boring, and it is something I’m constantly fighting all the time. In an effort to be both honest and consistent, sometimes the magic is lost.
It’s because we want people to see us as important, philanthropic, vital and someone to listen to, someone with authority, someone to buy from. But don’t forget to be human, because It’s important to remember that humour and a sense of the ridiculous can take you far in life.
“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” Dr Seuss
You don’t have to be funny all the time, unless it’s part of your brand, and obviously if being funny is part of your brand then fill your boots, but be consistent, don’t suddenly change tack and voice and suddenly talk as if you’re about to run for parliament.
Use a separate avenue to express your personal views, another blog perhaps, not your business website.
Because in being consistent, you’ll be connecting, and with plenty of content for your audience. Content may not be king anymore to some, but it certainly still has a place in today’s brand marketing. There is an authority that content gives you that is a permanent celebration and acknowledgment of your expertise.
Visibility may be the word of the moment, and yes it’s important to be seen, and yet appearing on a million podcasts no one will listen to and appearing on a webinar no one cares about will do little for your brand
— but content will, content that's optimised in a clever and intelligent way using SEO, because it will guide web traffic to your site so you get more leads leading to potential clients and more subscribers to your list. It’s a long game, but it’s worth it.
Choose your podcasts and your webinar appearance carefully - and make sure you leave plenty of room for content on your own site which can then be repurposed and reposted on social media.
Have a bio, story, profile whatever you want to call it that really kicks ass, whether your tone is professional, fun, serious or a combination of all three. You can be the most fascinating person on the planet and your ideas, products and services can be amazing but if your bio makes you come across as a borefest - you’re done before you even start.
Be honest, be consistent and connect.
If you need help with your brand story, bio, profile come stay at The Story Hotel
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