Gone are the days of simply selling people on the quality of your life-changing products. With an overly inundated marketplace and an ever-expanding social media landscape the odds of standing out in an innovative way are stacked against you form the onset of your entrepreneurial voyage.
What can set your fledgling company apart from another fledgling company is a crystal clear inspired narrative, your story. And your brand is only as captivating as that story you’re telling. The more moving your story, the more movement will follow. But what are the most essential qualities of that story? What does it mean to successfully brand yourself via a narrative? Here are the top four components that will guide you to the most powerful world for your brand story.
When constructing your brand narrative one of the first things to ask yourself is: What are the core values of your brand? What is the promise of this company? The clearer you get on your set of values, the faster you know what you’re actually selling, and the more effectively you’ll be able at attract the consumer destined to buy it. People purchase value system. If it lines up with who they believe they are, or who they most prize themselves on becoming, you have sucessfully laid out a value system worth aligning with. With this value system you can now tap into a powerful story whose protagonist will hold the same clearly defined values.
Once you have solidified your company’s value system, you will begin to see that the rules of your company’s “world” becomes the rules of your brand story. Authenticity is your ability to express that specific value system through every avenue of your brand’s world. When you are able to spell out what you offer that no one else can, you have successfully added authentic value to the world, and in turn created an indispensable experience that can only be catered through the integrity of your company’s services. This simple expression of your clear value system, enhanced through the power of story, becomes the hallmark of authenticity. And authenticity is always indispensible.
3. The Collective Conversation
Advertising used to be a one way conversation. You tell your consumer what to think or feel, and they either buy it or leave it. But in today’s social media frenzy your brand story must become a collective narrrative, meaning your story must be shaped by the many tweets and insta-hearts of your brand’s world. When building your story brand think in terms of a long conversation that you would like to be having with your most devoted followers. This means keep clear to your authentic value system, but allow the collective conversation to inspire your next response. Aim for a “journeying” story that can continue to evolve with the larger conversation.
4. Emotional Transparency
Consumers today are far too savvy to be manipulated. What people respond to most in this overly saccharine landscape is acute sincerity. Sincerity is mostly felt and activated when provoked via a story that carries the quality of genuine emotion. Research now reveals that the hormone cortisol is released during the rising arc of a story, when the emotional impact is at its peak. A strong brand story will illicit the strongest emotional reaction from its audience. The first step towards solidifying this audience bond is to mine for the deepest emotional truths that line up with your brand’s core values, and then to reveal that to the audience at the exact climax of your story.
You have the power to create worlds with words and images. Choose them wisely!