What’s in a story, though? How does the story develop authenticity? More to the point, how does such a story create that trusting feeling that customers crave?
Stories are a powerful tool in human communication. Research indicates that the human brain responds to the descriptive power of stories in deeply affecting ways, influencing both the sensory and motor cortex. To read a story is to feel an experience and to synchronize our minds with the subject of the story.
Stories produce trust. But not just any story will do. You must tell a story that has the right features — features that produce successful neural coupling, plus those which exhibit integrity-building features.
So…how do you do this exactly?
The story must be driven through personality.
Brand stories are not marketing materials. They are not ads, and they are not sales pitches. Brand stories should be told with the brand persona and the writer’s personality at center stage. Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can.
Instead, your story is inspired by the presence of people who participate, create, connect, and develop the saga of growth and success.
People trust other people. The core reason why your story should be personality-driven is so that it will provide someone real for customers to trust.
The story should be simple.
Even though the description of the company’s origin takes up a few thousand words, it is conceptually straightforward:
Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The three-part model mentioned above carries this natural progression:
- Beginning: Problem. Explain the problem that you set out to solve.
- Middle: Solution. Describe how you solved it.
- End: Success. Get excited about the success this produced.
Be careful with the ending, though. It’s not supposed to be an ending like the end of the road. It should suggest the beginning of success and continuation
The story shapes your reason for existence.
Why does your business exist? The answer should be a story.
The story must connect with your customers.
Tell your story in such a way that it tells your customers we relate to you, we understand you, we are like you.
When your story connects with the target customer, you build trust. You win.
Because a customer is not only participating in the story itself, but they are participating in a monetary way. They engage the story by purchasing from the business that is telling the story.
Get other people to tell your story.
A good story is shareable. Others will appreciate and engage in the story. That being said, there are a few things that you can do to enhance the stories virality:
- Build your personal brand. Remember how a story is infused with personality? You and your team are the personality behind this. Grow your reach through your personal brand.
- Be active on social media. Stories will spread through the power of social media. Snippets, extracts, and anecdotes are passed around, retweeted, liked, and explained bit-by-bit. Meanwhile, you build a presence and a brand that lives in a public social consciousness.
- Tell the story everywhere. Make the story part of who you are and what your company is. Communicate using the power of the story. Whether you’re writing a guest post, piecing together a biography, or just tweeting about your day, give your story and elemental presence.
- Encourage your customers to tell the story. Customer testimonials are one of the most effective ways of broadcasting your story. Customers themselves will experience the problem//solution//success momentum of the story. If they’re satisfied, they will be more than happy to crow about it. Use these stories on your website and marketing materials. They will reinforce the brand’s story.
- Encourage storytelling everywhere. When your brand hits the mainstream, its story will become further entrenched in public awareness. Don’t suppress any accurate telling of your brand’s story.
Stories are a vehicle for trust and belief. When people hear your story in more places, it reinforces their trust. And when they start telling your story themselves, they trust it even more.
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