by Upasna Kakroo | Featured Contributor
Storytelling has gone well past its marketing buzzword days. It’s a real branding need for your Startups and small businesses. The reason is not driven by storytelling experts advocating this idea through the world, but by change in consumer behavior. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes for a moment. Each day 5000 adverts get splashed onto us on multiple platforms. Which ones do you end up remembering?
If you allow yourself to think this through, you will realize brands that you do remember tend to be:
a) big brands that you already know;
b) brands that you or your friends have had good experiences with;
c) brands that communicate wonderfully through stories
Startups and small businesses usually fall in the good experience and good communication category. This is where they can really distinguish themselves and create a loyal niche following. So, here are a few steps for you to consider when you’re going ahead and creating a brand story!
- Talk about a single problem: We are often tempted to talk through a host of problems that our magical brands and products solve for. But the key of building brand recall is to target a single thought. And be an expert in a niche. Your brand story needs to be simple, cohesive and connect with the audience. While working with McKinsey we had an interesting rule- if you can’t summarize the thoughts in three points, you’ve not thought them through enough. It’s even more critical in today’s times with a proliferation of products, services and platforms to keep communication simple and clear.
- Choose your storytelling platform: Even if you are a commodity brand “show” something that makes people take immediate notice. Showcase what your product is capable of driving through the brand story. You may be a food brand, and choose Instagram or Pinterest to share everyday food stories. You may be a wine company sharing video stories via wine reviews on YouTube. Remember not to spread yourself too thin. Know which platforms you will focus on to optimize your strategies.
- Have a working resolution: No amount of social media marketing is able to help your brand, till your product does not perform and solve the problem. If you are at a stage where the customer adoption is still sketchy, learn from your customer data. Test, try, pivot and create flexible storylines till you find the right path that adds value to your customers’ lives. Many new brands share the stories of their journeys towards the perfect product with their early adopters. You could be that brand creating a loyal and thriving community in the process. In an Internet led, always beta world that’s never an issue. Everyone fails, but the stories of failure add poetic beauty to the stories of eventual success. Keep ’em coming!
Usually, telling stories about others is easier than talking about yourself. As a brand, you must never hesitate in hiring experts to give you an outside-in perspective and help you create stories!
If you had a tip you’ve used to create magical brand stories, do share them with me on Twitter! 🙂
Upasna Kakroo is the Co-founder of an online branding and content marketing Startup, Brandanew. Her previous experiences include, McKinsey & Co., Rocket Internet among others. Upasna has devoured urban culture, art by traveling in 30 countries, living in three and blogging about these for over 12 years. Upasna sounds overeducated having gone to school for her BS (engineering) in India, MS (telecom) in the UK and MBA (marketing) in Germany. She currently lives in Ann Arbor Michigan.