We remember stories read to us years ago as a child. If our mind starts to lose focus when listening to a speaker, it will snap back to attention when a story is shared. Watching a good movie leaves us with a longing to stay lost in the story world even as it ends. The Bible uses stories in parable form to teach wisdom. My kids would listen to stories late into the night if I had the patience to keep reading.
There is something about a good story that draws us in. It invites us into another world where we forget distractions. As we connect with the characters, we feel the emotions of the story and our heart engages. We subconsciously open up to what is being communicated. Because we connect with and see ourselves in the story, we feel compelled to apply our own life insights from the story and make the story our own. A good story will change who we are, how we view the world, and evoke a response.
A story connects and invites. The same goes for a brand story. Tell a story that connects on a real, deep emotional level and your people will feel compelled to join your story. But, of course, this is easier said then done. A brand story that connects rarely happens by accident. It takes hard work, patience, and begins with with these five characteristics.
1. Customer Centric :: A brand story seeks to understand because it truly cares about those it’s serving. The brand’s purpose must matter to others and help them become who they want to be.
2. Clear :: A brand story is direct with a clear message and storyline resulting in effortless understanding.
3. Consistent :: A brand story delivers the same experience on all touch-points. Predictable and reliable, it forms trust through consistency.
4. Compelling :: A brand story exudes that extra special energy that draws people in. We all know it when we feel it and it is hard to ignore. It comes from passion and a deep belief in the why behind the brand.
5. Collaborative :: A brand story is a collaboration between the brand and the people listening. On it’s own, a brand story is lifeless. The magic happens when a brand is so acquainted with it’s people that it knows their next step and is there to catch them when they fall. In this synergy, the lines between client and brand become blurred because both value the other and believe they are on the same team. This is when a brand story become alive, powerful, beautiful, and truly successful.
A story is a powerful communication tool. But it’s so much more than that. It is a way of doing business. A good story never shouts, pushes, or pulls. It simply connects and then invites – with grace and strength.
words by char – founder & CEO