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Brand Storytelling: Are You Telling the Right Story?

Here’s how businesses every day bore a prospect and create a sales prevention department:

Hi, I’m Susan Vincent and I’ve been in business for 20 years as a marketing copywriter. I’ve worked internationally and have helped businesses large and small get clear on their message.

Are you the least bit interested in doing business with me? No? There’s a reason for that.


Little girl with a magazine talking to her Collie dog.

It’s not the right brand story to tell!


Yet, this is the brand storytelling countless businesses and entrepreneurs tell everyday as a way to engage prospects into buying from them.


Listing the number of years you’ve been in business, what you do, and naming your successes don’t excite prospects to buy from you. Yes, these pieces of information have their place, it’s just not a front row seat.


That’s because the facts, while important, don’t engage people and they certainly don’t sell. Here’s what works.


The Art of Brand Storytelling: Tell the Right One


Humans are egocentric. We’re mainly interested in things that we like or that in some way affect us because humans really are “All about me.” It’s the way we’re wired. And it’s why philanthropy is so highly valued.

Selflessness is learned; it’s not innate.

To grow a business, your time and your money is better spent on flipping this ego trait and making humans need for attention work for you.

Facts speak to the logical part of the brain. But here’s the rub. No matter what Mr. Spock has to say about logic, the one thing we humans know is…Logic doesn’t connect with your audience, nor does it doesn’t sell.


Logic will never change emotion or perception

People buy based on emotion and back up that decision with logic, or facts.


Stories do both. The trick is to tell the story so that right from the git-go you engage the prospect. The best and quickest way to do that is to tell the story they most want to hear.


That means telling a story that places the focus squarely on your customer, showing them that:

  • You understand their problem

  • You have a solution for that problem

That’s the bottom line. Everything else is just noise.


If you fulfill that promise you win customer trust and loyalty.


Don’t Be Afraid to Be A Little Negative

Too often businesses want to start with a solution because they don’t want to appear “negative.”

But starting with a negative is exactly the right place to start.

Why? Because the brain is specifically wired to process problem/solution, problem/solution.

If you start with the solution first, the human brain has no place to go. It’s like watching a movie and seeing the ending first. You can’t enjoy it because you never got to see how the main character won.

In marketing, people become bewildered. “How can you help me if you don’t know what my problem is?”


Big questions mark with red ladder

For as long as humans have roamed the earth they have rallied around numerous causes to create change.


The truth is marketing does the same thing for your business. It’s all about solving problems. Theirs. Not yours.


It’s okay to lead with a bit of “negativity” because it focuses on the problem your prospect wants solved. For example:

  • Weight loss—Why hang on to that stubborn weight?

  • Housecleaning—Don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have time to clean your home!

  • Finding love—Another night with Netflix and take out?

A short one-sentence statement or question reminds the reader of the problem to be solved.


You just don’t want to stay negative. You want to lead your prospect down the path of a better tomorrow.


Here’s how you do that.


The Business Storytelling Structure


Think about it. Good storytelling is about solving problems and living a better life than when the story opened. Isn’t that what you do for your customers every day?

Tell that story.

Here’s how.

Think of the problem your customer wants solved.

For my business, it looks like this:

Problem

Many businesses have a hard time telling customers what they do.

Solution


Man talking to a woman

That’s why I use a 7-part proven communication framework to help them get clear on a message that resonates with prospects.


Overdrive (Drive it home, baby!)


Clarifying your message reduces wasteful ad spends, attracts more of their target audience, and businesses sell more with less stress.


When you put it together, here’s what it looks like.


Many businesses have a hard time telling customers what they do. That’s why I use a 7-part proven communication framework to help them get clear on a message that resonates with prospects. Clarifying your message reduces wasteful ad spends, attracts more of their target audience, and businesses sell more with less stress.


Business Storytelling Techniques: Choose to Go Deeper


A targeted message means you go deep. Find out everything you can that irritates, irks, or causes setbacks for your audience in solving the problem and talk about it.

Magazine are the masters at deeply understanding their audiences. Grab a few. Read them. Learn.

Show prospects you understand their obstacles intimately.

Then show them how you’ll take their pain away.


Graphic saying marketing is telling story
  • Will they get more sleep?

  • Grow more hair?

  • Attract a mate?

  • Will their lawnmower cut down on mowing time?

  • Will kids eat better?

  • Will hair be softer and shinier?

Whatever it is, the final bow should tell them HOW your solution will make their life better. And it should tell them what life will look like without your help.


Adding in that pinch of failure (negativity) gently reminds people why they came to you in the first place. So, your transformative statement might look like this:


There’s no need to spend hours fighting with your hair, get XXXX for smooth, silky, manageable hair!


See how nicely that flows together? The art of storytelling in business is understanding that it’s not about you. It never is; it’s about what you can do for your prospect.


That’s why using logic works only for Vulcans. For humans, center your marketing around the question, “How can I make my customer’s life better?”


That question tells a profitable story, one that reduces wasteful ad spend and gives you a bottom line you love.












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