Unlock the magic in your story now.

Get the free 20 Questions to ask before launching your Idea Workbook when you sign up for updates.

The Value Of An Internal Brand Narrative

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

In a commercial world, we use stories tactically to convince and convert prospective customers. We work hard to change minds and capture hearts, with persuasive words and evocative images in an attempt to make an emotional connection with the people we want to reach. The stories we tell our customers form our external narrative.

We’re less aware of how the stories we tell ourselves shape our sense of meaning, purpose and agency about the journey we’re on. Our internal narrative creates value by helping us to make sense of the difference we’re here to create. It develops our brand’s identity, influences our behaviour and ultimately helps us to differentiate and realise our potential.

It’s easy to describe features and benefits and far harder to demonstrate what you stand for and why. Your goal should never be to invite a like-for-like comparison. It should always be to affirm the truth about what makes your brand incomparable and worthy of the customers you hope to serve.

Image by Arjun. V

Marketing Discernment

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

Much of our marketing is designed to convince or convert a customer in the moment. A particular colour applied to a ‘buy now’ button, the timely Instagram post or product placement at the checkout—tactics to get the lukewarm prospect over the line.

Our customer’s path to her decision is convoluted. It’s influenced by the story she tells herself. Her choices are shaped by regrets about the past, her challenges in the present and fears for the future. And yet, we market to her like she’s only considering the merits of what’s right in front of her eyes this second.

We mistakenly believe we always have the power to manipulate the decision to our advantage with a tactical nudge, forgetting that sometimes the factors influencing the decision are in motion long before we encounter the customer.

You will win some and lose some. Sometimes the losses happen long before you show up. The job of your marketing isn’t simply to help people to make up their minds. It’s to discern which people you can genuinely help.

Image by Thomas Hawk

Choosing The Customers You Want

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

More cafes in Melbourne have begun offering a 10% discount to customers who bring a reusable cup. It’s an intentional choice that says something about their values and those of their customers. Theses cafes are attracting the kind of customers they want to serve.

The clothing store manager gets disgruntled when people rarely buy full priced items, forgetting she conditioned her customers to look for red sale stickers by consistently offering discounts on Fridays to entice weekend shoppers. Sustainability stories and premium pricing are deliberate strategies designed to attract the kind of customers a particular business wants to serve.

We get the customers we want by speaking to the customers we want. You’re choosing your customers and clients, partners and employees by telling the story you tell. You might as well tell a story that gets you the right ones.

Image by Angel Ganev

What Do You Want Your Brand Story To Do?

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

What’s the role of storytelling in your business? What are you expecting your brand story to do? Most of us tell stories to describe the value we create. Storytelling is a tactic used to convince or convert prospects to customers—a way to close the sale. We’re selling the power of story short.

Before they had words our ancestors told each other stories in paint and pictures on uneven stone walls. Storytelling has forever been the way we related to one another—how we connected, informed and inspired. Stories created a sense of belonging. They brought us closer.

That’s also the job of the brand stories we tell. Our stories signal belonging to the people who believe what we believe. It’s important to remember how the stories we live and breathe are shaped by the outcomes we pursue. You might make the sale by focusing relentlessly on tactics that support near-term goals. But in doing so you may miss the opportunity to forge lasting connections with the customers who will sustain your business over time. Significance scales.

Image by Bryn Pinzgauer

The Limitations Of Marketing To Persuade

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

We assume sales and marketing are simply a case of fulfilling unspoken desires or unmet needs and making the people with those needs aware we’ve solved their problem.

But there’s another piece of the marketing puzzle we often overlook—the doubts our customers must overcome. People don’t just want to know that our products and services exist or how they are better. They also need reassurance that the product enabled the change they are seeking. What most people care about isn’t making the right decision, it’s making the wrong one.

We market to persuade, often forgetting the place of marketing to reassure.

How are you ticking the reassurance box?

Image by Art DiNo.

Unlock the magic in your story now.

Get the free 20 Questions to ask before launching your Idea Workbook when you sign up for updates.