Who are you?
What do you stand for?
Millions of businesses have asked themselves these questions when they’re starting out and need direction, when they want to unite behind a singular vision, or when they’re lost and need to refocus. In the past, the answers to these questions have often only been used internally to define missions, visions, and values. Now, businesses are realizing that asking and answering these questions can also lead to brand storytelling, which has immense value when shared in the marketplace.
Creating Your Brand Story
Answering who you are and what you stand for is a far cry from having a fully fleshed out brand story. To start building your brand story, you still have to answer those questions, but you also have to include the why behind it all.
You started a business. Why? You decided to conduct your business in a certain way. What was your approach and why did you choose that approach? Over the life of your business, you’ve made decisions that have altered your course. What were those decisions and why did you make them?
Once you’ve explored the why, you need to ask the most important question:
How are my customers central to my story?
You may have started out responding to the why questions with self-centered answers, but if you dig a little deeper and consider the questions from another perspective, i.e. the customer’s, then your story will evolve into a brand story that will resonate.
Why Brand Storytelling Works
Regardless of whether you’re using the word brand to refer to a product line or an entire company, brand storytelling has the inherent power to connect with your customers in a way that other marketing strategies cannot. That connection is formed by making your customers the main characters in your story and deeply engaging them on an emotional level.
Brand storytelling works because it:
- creates a personality for your brand.
- engages people with emotion.
- makes your message more memorable.
- attracts likeminded people who share your vision and values.
- encourages loyalty through shared experience and value alignment.
- focuses your company’s energy and decisions around a central theme.
Brand Storytelling in Foreign Markets
How you tell your brand story in a foreign market requires special consideration for the norms and values of the local culture. Generally, we can rely on most values to be universal. For example, we can all agree that honesty is an important value in business. The difference in telling your brand story in a foreign market is knowing which traits are most important. For instance, you may find that loyalty is valued more than honesty or fairness. Find those values in your story and emphasize them. Don’t change your story. Just change where you’re directing the customer’s attention.
As with all marketing in foreign countries, it’s best to consult with a cultural expert—someone who understands the language, behaviors, and beliefs of the market and can help guide you through localizing your sales and marketing strategies. A consultant can help you adapt your brand story and can also assist you with other aspects of your marketing, such as tone, color choices, and images, to ensure you’re sending the right message.
Learn how to best capture your brand’s story – reach out to Wavelength Marketing today. Visit our website or call Gary Peterson at: 717-823-6939.