I love stories! This probably isn’t a surprise as all I do is tell them.
I’ve taken to introducing myself as a storyteller, because writer, author, or consultant doesn’t quite explain my situation. I’m all of these things, but people can’t grasp how writing a novel and being a marketing consultant aligns.
The answer is simple: storytelling
I can’t recall when the epiphany came exactly, but I realised that I approach everything in the same manner. I look at life as one giant STORY, and it doesn’t matter whether I’m writing a novel, a piece of non-fiction, consulting a business, or something completely different, it’s all about discovering the story.
I spent a lot of time discussing this when I was in London a couple of weeks ago. People found it quite interesting so I thought I’d share my thoughts on Storytelling in Branding.
Storytelling In Branding
Do you recall in school when your English teacher would talk about stories needing a beginning, middle, and end? The same applies to storytelling in branding.
I must have spoken to a half a dozen people who asked about marketing their business. My reply was the same time after time: take me back to the beginning.
The general trend is that people had a vision and plan and structure, but somewhere along the way it drifted off course. It isn’t to say that they were experiencing bad times, if anything, their success was exceeding what they had once imagined.
The future is unknown though. Success NOW doesn’t guarantee success in the FUTURE, and if there’s one thing that savvy entrepreneurs share, it’s this knowledge. They want to ensure that they stay on top!
So I’d introduce the idea of storytelling. I’d talk about building a Brand Story, and how it can keep you focussed through the good and bad.
How Storytelling Can Help
I explain it like this:
In a book certain things are set in the opening pages (aka the beginning). You discover who the main characters are, what they look like, and what they bring to the table. The story and characters develop, sure, but everything must remain consistent.
For example, imagine reading a book where the main character begins the tale as a white female with blonde hair, but by the end has changed into a black man with an orange goatee. You’d be a little confused, no?
This may be a wild example, but the point is that losing focus is easy. You start off with one idea, but time can quickly change it. This is fine, after all evolution is required in all businesses. HOWEVER, you want to make sure the true essence of your Brand remains intact.
Failure to do so loses the interest of the reader, or in your case, the customer.
How To Create A Consistent Story
People love being part of a journey. We all have a favourite book or movie or play. These things tend to grab us tight and drag us along kicking and screaming. You want your Brand to do the same thing!
If you approach your Brand like a report or business model, it can quickly become passive and static. It’s hard for people to care and immerse themselves.
It’s also easy for you to see each aspect as a separate entity, and therefore lose the point of your message. Like I say, you need to be consistent with what you do.
Creating a story fixes this as everything is linked. Your logo, products, customers, research, slogan, style, message, CRM system… they’re all part of the same machine. They’re all part of the story. They all have a role to play.
- Start at the beginning
- Create something with meaning and emotion
- Link each aspect of your Brand/Business
- Edit When needed
Chances are you will change things as you go along. This happens when you write a book, too. You structure it and know the direction you’re going, but things tend to change. That’s fine, just make sure you go back to the beginning and edit so the story remains intact.
This is where entrepreneurs often fail. They evolve the process, but forget to alter the beginning. This is when things begin to strain and break. Look at it like a story and this won’t happen.
Storytelling is an amazing being. I love stories and I love looking at life as one. When I see a brand I think of the story. I consider the beginning, the middle, and the end.
How can Business-A take Customer-B on a journey they’ll never forget?
Fiction… non-fiction… businesses… it really doesn’t matter. A story helps people believe in what you’re saying.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million