What’s your story?
Stories are the best way to communicate. Every culture and every age group that’s ever existed has used stories to teach lessons and impart wisdom. Consumers crave genuine connections with brands. Here are seven tips for humanizing your brand and communicating what you do:
- Ask why. In his TED Talk, author Simon Sinek urges organizations and leaders to “start with why” by considering a company’s purpose, cause, or belief. The same idea applies to storytelling: What is the “why” of your brand? Answering the “why” can have a big impact on what shape your story takes.
- Make it meaningful. Focus less on what your company makes, and more on what your brand makes possible for consumers. .
- Keep it simple: A story that’s both simple and authentic – especially one filled with emotion – has far more impact than one trying to say too much.
- What’s the “take away”? What do you want consumers to take away from the message? What do you want them to do, feel, think about your brand?
- Choose your medium. Where will your story live? On your website, in a blog post, on a series of Tweets? In 1964, communication philosopher Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” In other words, the way we send and receive information is more important than the information itself. Before you start telling a story, think about how you’re going to do it; the means you use to communicate have a huge effect on what you’re communicating.
- Think about structure. Every creative writing class in the Western world will at some point mention the 1949 book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (although very few people have actually read it). In Hero, author Joseph Campbell points out that stories from all over the world share the same basic structure—something he calls the “monomyth.” This pattern just sticks in people’s minds no matter who they are or where they’re from. What will be the structure of your story? In what order will events happen?
- Consistency is critical. Every piece of content should accurately reflect your brand, from the visuals to the content, including tone, voice and personality.
Finally, remember to think back to your “why.” Every sentence you write, say, or Tweet should connect back to that “why”—if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to eliminate it.
Do you have a favorite story? Why does it resonate with you? Share it with us in the comments below.