Nathalie Cohen Sheffer
You might be surprised to know this, but in the same way your favorite book or movie are constructed on the foundations of classical storytelling, so is your brand’s story. From dealing with your antagonists to building a setting your “love interest” will appreciate, we’ve covered the ground for everything you need to know to get people to keep reading!
The art of storytelling is one that can take years to master, as every writer will probably tell you.
And since a person is likely to stop reading a text or book that doesn’t automatically capture his or her imagination, it is vital your story captures the reader or viewer from the very beginning. Scriptwriting guru, Syd Field, was on point when he wrote, “I cannot emphasize enough that this first ten-page unit of dramatic action is the most important part of the screenplay.” So make sure you capture your potential audience from the very beginning. Whether it be a movie script, a novel or an article describing your brand, you want your viewers/readers/customers to want to come back for more.
Remember, your brand has a plot just like any other type of story does, and you want to make sure you break it down so that your storyline captures your readers and compels them to believe in your service or product. Here are 4 ways to tell your brand’s story like a true scriptwriter.
The Protagonist - Your Brand
When first starting to write your brand’s story, you should keep in mind a few main things: the story you wish to tell, what people must know about your brand, and the goals and guiding lines that stand behind every step your brand makes. As with any type of story, you want to introduce yourself and your brand in a coherent way that will make it easy for your targeted audience to identify with you. While in interviews and meetings with clients or backers, you’re supposed to talk yourself and your brand up, in storytelling, people want to root for an underdog. As in the case of Bill Clinton insisting he never inhaled, when Obama admitted to smoking in his youth, people commended his honesty and moved on.
The Antagonist - Your Competitors
No story would be worth telling if it didn’t have an antagonist or nemesis shaking things up and making the protagonist defend their goals and love interest, or in this case - its customers. In order to stand out in a crowded and competitive market, your brand should focus on creating a human relationship with your target audience. Communicate regularly on social media and in emails with your customers, and reward them with customized discounts and special deals that will actually be relevant to them. Ask them for their feedback and take it into account, and always be honest, particularly when it comes to mistakes you’ve made.
Make sure to build a coherent marketing and PR strategy that will emphasize the differences between you and your antagonists so that it will be clear that you are the better choice. Remember, branding is about showing the real value you bring to the table, so if you’re imitating someone else’s company, blog or brand, you’re not conveying truth or relevance to your service or product. At the end of the day, the success of your storytelling and what’s working for your brand will come down to one thing: conversions.
Love Interest - Your Customer/User
There aren’t many stories that don’t have a love interest. In the world of business storytelling, the love interest is the customer or site user who will eventually either show loyalty to your brand or try to ruin its reputation on social media channels. Perhaps similarly to real-life relationships, it takes 12 positive experiences (or roses) to make up for one unresolved negative experience. Furthermore, in the same way news about a bad ex travels fast, news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.
And if we’re already comparing your relationship with your customers to a romantic relationship, statistics point out that loyalty is equal to favoritism. As with human relationships, customer relations are both emotional and instinctive. That is why it is crucial to have your technical and human dimensions tightly interwoven, and to keep in mind that while general purchases are driven by price (81%), quality (80%) and convenience (55%), loyalty is what really counts, and it’s all about likeability (86%) and trust (83%).
Gil Eyal, the CEO of HYPR, a company whose business offers real time social analytics for millions of influencers worldwide, points out that “we're seeing a meaningful shift in the way advertisers think about their audience. It's no longer about measuring recall or how many times you can get an ad in front of their faces, and more about building a relationship with them. One of the best ways to do that is by identifying key opinion leaders in your space and within your customers and having them champion your brand.”
Setting - Your Site
Now that you’ve figured out your storyline, you should focus on creating a reliable, interesting and engaging setting your readers/users will want to visit and return to. When discussing your brand, your setting is essentially your brand’s website. Focusing on your site’s design is crucial to SEO and branding as well as to conversion rates. In fact, your site’s web design plays a major role in how your brand is perceived by consumers.
Your site’s design should make it easier for your customers to trust your product and your service. In a study conducted by web designer Joseph Putnam, users stated that content played the most important role in them trusting a particular website whereas sites that included pop-app advertisements, small print, and a lack of color or design were among the reasons they mistrusted a website.
It’s important you keep in mind that your website’s design is not your brand, but it’s one of the brand elements that helps you build trust with your audience. While navigation on your site and wording are important, the use of color is vital as well particularly for headlines, and in a call-to-action button.
One of the ways you can incorporate color into your website’s design is with platforms like Tailor Brands that enable users to create and design their own labels in an automated and instant fashion. When it comes down to it, if a website is designed and managed properly, customers will continuously return to it and do business with you.
And Your Brand Lived Happily Ever After
Once you’ve gone through the aforementioned stages, you’re officially ready to tell the story of your brand to your targeted audience. When you do, make sure it’s a story people can identify with. Try to think about the "user experience" of your story and remember that good stories, even brand stories, are both universal and personal. Now go make the best one you possibly can!
Since receiving her second degree in script-writing from TAU back in 2012, Nathalie Cohen-Sheffer has been busy writing full-time and as a freelancer in both English and Hebrew. She is currently working as a content marketer at Ranky. When she's not busy writing you can find her practicing her yoga positions, as well as singing professionally and dubbing. Feel free to get in touch to learn more on Twitter.