In today’s sales and marketing world, your story is your brand and your most powerful tool for entering and advancing through the sales funnel.
These compelling and relevant statistics about your customers and your story from HubSpot and other sources validate this idea:
- 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep (Demand Gen Report, 2016).
- 86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks (Sprout Social, 2017)
- Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising (Content Marketing Institute).
- 90% of searchers haven’t made up their mind about a brand before starting their search (Status Labs, 2018).
My STAR system begins with story, so I was so inspired when I discovered these innovative, practical and valuable insights and ideas about brand story from Donald Miller, CEO of Story Brand, whose firm has worked with thousands of clients on brand storytelling and messaging.
I appreciate Miller’s perspective on building a brand story from his new book Building A Story Brand:
- The most important challenge for business leaders is to define something simple and relevant that their customers want and become known (renowned) for delivering on that promise.
- The big mistake that brands make is that what they define doesn’t relate to a customer’s sense of survival or desire. They try to cast a wide net and define a mess of desire which is so vague that potential customers can’t determine why they need it in the first place.
- A powerful story comes from defining a customer’s wants and connecting it with the customer’s desire for survival.
Miller defines survival as “primitive desire for safety, health, happiness and strength. and having financial and social resources to eat, drink, reproduce and fend off foes.”
How does this produce successful storytelling? Miller believes there are seven core desires that inspire relevant, compelling and powerful brand stories:
- Conserving financial resources – no one would disagree with this as a premier desire – saving money. Walmart’s “Save Money. Live Better” nails this. It’s the classic “more for less”that drives every customer decision and solution.
- Conserving time – think about opportunity cost. Can a handyman give customers more time to focus and work on other things as well as spend more time with family and friends? And how about more time to play golf, watch football, movies, concerts or just hang out at the beach. Sounds nice, right? Delivery services and Amazon capitalize on this desire.
- Building social networks (and relationships) – a brand gets value from building a community of customers, evangelists and influencers. All of us desire allies and partners to help manage their challenges. And us humans strongly desire to nurture and be nurtured. Communities benefits include reduced customer support costs.In fact, 49% of businesses with online communities report cost savings of 10% to 25% annually. Communities also heighten engagement and better customer retention.
- Gaining status – how can this self-centered desire be a survival mechanism? Well, it projects a sense of abundance that may attract powerful allies, repel potential foes, and might even draw a partner. We know that Rolex, Mercedes and Louis Vuitton really sell more than just cars and watches. They sell an identity or badge related to power, prestige and refinement.
- Accumulating resources – when your brand helps customers make more money or accumulate necessary resources, that instantly meets their need for survival. More money means greater opportunity to secure other growth (survival) resources. Those can be increased productivity and revenue or less waste. I love the TD Ameritrade ads featuring customers getting clarity and confidence about their financial desires.
- Being innately generous – an identity of generosity helps brands fend off foes, minimize criticism and earn trust within its community. It shows that we want others to flourish especially those in need of opportunity. This can the root of many cause-related marketing campaigns and no one does it more clearly and effectively than Tom’s.
- Desire for meaning – this channels Viktor Frankl author of Man’s Search For Meaning. Frankl asserts that meaning is more important for man. That means customers do too. It means inviting customers to participate in something greater than themselves – a movement or even a valiant fight against a real villain. Like causes mentioned above, the Susan B. Komen Foundation’s and Gilda’s Club’s mission and efforts to deal with and cure cancers personify this. The MeToo movement shows the power when meaning gains momentum.
Tapping into any of these desires can improve your brand story.
So what desires are you using them to craft a more compelling and magnetic brand story?
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