It’s easy to overlook this.
Here are five good ideas that we learned from Camille Rickets this year at HubSpot’s INBOUND conference, on how to create a brand story that buyers will emotionally connect to. Buyers are overwhelmed, skeptical, and looking for someone who understands who they really are. Any company who gets that, gets inside.
1. Know your audience. But assuming you know them doesn’t mean you do. What’s their life like? What do they really worry about – and not just at work? What are their hobbies? This is the emotional heart that lives beneath every sale, even if your prospect doesn’t put it on the table.
2. Rethink your positioning. This doesn’t mean changing your value prop – but it does mean giving a new look to the classic run-on sentence about what your product does. Focus instead on who it’s for, its benefits and differentiators. The more we can connect this to a buyer’s greater needs – whether its innovation, or even job security – the more likely we are to hit the emotional target.
3. Find your brand hero. How do you get someone to relate to a product? It’s easier when there’s a human connection – and not to the sales person, but to someone that a prospect can see themselves in. Subway did it, of course, with Jared and his diet. H&R Block did it with Richard Gartland, its tax man. Angie’s list is doing it with moms. You can do it, too. This is a natural for video, of course, which is become more increasingly necessary.
4. Be Authentic. This may be the most over-exposed CEO buzz-phrase, but it still matters. Because as customers, we all know when someone’s offerings, story, and look aren’t hanging together. Analyze your collateral, across all products and services, and double-check that they’re working together to support your brand story. Being multidimensional is good. Having multiple brands cobbled together without a unified message? Not so good.
5. Make it Shareable. Once you’ve got your brand story down pat, create content that people will want to share. We haven’t found the secret sauce to guarantee viral content yet (besides maybe dogs and cute babies) – but we do know the emotional factors that drive people to share content:
Take the time to create a brand story that your prospects and customers relate to. You may see surprising benefits in the short and long term. Because selling a product is a single transaction.
Selling a story? That creates a relationship. Which would you rather have?