If someone mentions the Honest Company what’s your first thought? Is it the CEO actress? Or a great option for natural products without all the junk?
This is all part of their strategy to make their brand resonate.
And it works with customers because it’s more than just baby or beauty products. It’s you, the customer, making choices that improve the quality of life for you and your children. These choices fill customers with pride and happiness. It encourages brand loyalty. You are part of a group of people who buy products based on your values. All by purchasing a brand that’s not full of dangerous chemicals. How can your brand have that kind of impact?
The Brand Story
You may be thinking ‘why does a story need to be part of the brand strategy?’ It’s not tangible like a logo or a tagline. But it is important. The emotions and facts surrounding the brand make up the brand story. A great example is Starbucks. Starbucks strives to create the ‘third place’ with all its stores. It’s where you come to get your day started on the right foot. The baristas are friendly and even know you by name. It’s where you go to have a great cup of coffee and read the paper. Starbucks is the place to go after work to unwind. Starbucks’s brand story is more than just coffee. It’s about comfort and familiarity.
Why a brand story works
When you think of premium coffee you think Starbucks. If you want to go out for coffee, you find a Starbucks. Their customers are loyal. They will pass up the less expensive competition to go to their favorite location. You know what to expect when you walk in. Customers receive friendly service and good coffee. Loyal customers are telling their friends the story Starbucks has created. The story gets told repeatedly. More prospects become intrigued and become customers. Now, they are the leader in the coffee industry. The ‘third place’ was a successful branding strategy by Starbucks.
Brand stories create trust
Customers prefer brands that are familiar to them. When companies unveil new product lines 59% of customers prefer to buy from a brand they know. They trust it.
How is trust created?
To create trust with your customer you need to relate to them. If your story is fake or boring your target market won’t empathize with your brand. No one relates to boring and fake. Your story needs to be full of personality and genuine.
People trust other people:
Customers don’t want to hear from ‘the corporation’ about the product. They want to hear about the product from real people. Better yet, real customer testimonials. People like those who they can relate to. If someone like you enjoyed the product maybe you will too.
5 Powerful Steps:
1. Make it Meaningful
Before you begin your brand strategy you must think about your customer. Many brands focus on what they are developing. Their product or service is not focused on what their ideal customer’s wants and needs. Then they are left scratching their heads when it yields disappointing results. So ask yourself these questions.
- How would my customer react to the story?
- What makes the brand story unique?
- Why are you creating it?
2. Make it Personal
Why should your customers buy from you? How has your product or service helped you? How would it help your customer? The key here is for your story to have an impact on your customer. They need to relate to you personally.
3. Connect At An Emotional Level
Look at the intangible effects your product or service has on your customers. Tom’s shoes don’t just sell shoes. Their one-for-one program makes customers feel good about buying from Tom’s. They donate one pair of shoes to charity for every pair bought. As a customer, you are part of the brand story. You feel good about the purchase. By buying Tom’s shoes you are helping those in need. Thus, it’s hard to feel buyer’s remorse. Not only are you part of the brand story, but you are making an impact. Tom’s has mastered the emotional aspect of their brand story.
4. Keep It SIMPLE
There is so much you want to get into your message. But simplicity is the key. If your message is too complicated your customers can’t absorb it. Trying to throw too much information at them is distracting. Focus on one aspect and make a great story out of it.
5. Be Authentic
Your customers can detect a fake from a mile away. Don’t let them see it on you. It will make all your hard work go to waste. Don’t hide your personality or your quirks from your customers. They like transparency and honesty. Would you want to buy from a fake sleazy salesman? No. So, don’t be that company.
Creating a brand story doesn’t require a huge marketing budget. The large companies became successful because they developed an excellent brand strategy. It requires an in-depth analysis of your business. How can you create a story that resonates with your customers? What problems do they want to be solved and how can you solve them? Any business can use this strategy to earn customer loyalty. Big or small.