How to create a story for your brand, product or service

Last year we looked at marketing campaigns that have used stories to get their messages across and the impact that good storytelling can have in video content.

This time we’re going to look at how you go about creating your story and developing it into a form that you can use in video and other mediums.

Firstly, you’ve got to find the story that ties into your product/service/brand. It doesn’t matter how boring you think that story might be, hidden away will be a little gem that can be turned into your story.

ready to write your new story

To find that gem, a bit of work needs to go into discovering it.

You need to define three key elements of the product/service/brand you are creating the story for.

What is your market?
What market are you trying to communicate with? This is a great way to explore and define who you are addressing; without this, you can’t answer the next question.

Who is it for?
Who is your customer, who are you going to be creating your story for? If you aren’t completely sure of your perfect customer, then think about these questions about your current customers and how they found you; why did they choose and buy from you? Why were they looking for a solution? How did they find out about you? Did they have an emotional response that encouraged them to buy from you?

Why are you different?
Don’t think about all the features that you built into your product or service, think about what lead you to create it, what your team believes in and why, the values that are the basis of you and your company. Remember that you are building a picture for your potential customers and they need to believe in you to believe and buy into your story.

Do you understand your customer?
You know your customer, and how they might find you, but to pull them in and keep their attention you need to try to understand what motivates them. What they want out of their life and for those around them, think about what they dream about achieving. For example, if you know that your customers are motivated about improving their well-being, creating a story that plays into this theme is more like to be taken on board and remembered.

You’ve now got the information you need create the theme, the nugget that you can build and develop your story from. You find the nugget at the centre of what your product/service/brand offers, the things that make it different and what your ideal customer wants, there’s the little gem of joy that creates the theme and develops your story.

found the gem and ready to use

Next steps…

You have the gem, the nugget of an idea and you’re building your story, but how to form it, and to keep in on course?

It could be very easy to go off on a ramble with your story but remember you’re not creating this for your own pleasure, you are trying to attract your customers; you should consider speaking to your existing customers for their own stories relating to them and your story. You’re looking for something which will speak to your prospective customer, and make them choose you over your competitor.

For example, it could be someone broke their dog lead they bought from a competitor, contacted you and you sent out a new lead so they received it the next day in time for their dog walk, and that you sent a snack for them and their doggy friend to enjoy on their walk.

This is a story of how you as a company went over and beyond and made your customer feel special and important, especially compared to your competitor. It is also the sort of story that can be shared socially and told in various formats, for example as a video shot in a documentary style, or as a cute animation.

You don’t have to use the customers’ experience as it happened, you could use it as the basis of your story and extend it from there. Though remember to keep authentic, with your own messaging clear.

You need to have clear characters, heroes and villains, with the villains being your customers’ problems, and the hero being your product or services solution. By using characterisation like this you keep your potential customers engaged in the story and more likely to retain the key information about your solution.

walking the dog on the lead in the countryside

You are telling a story, so your use of language needs to be more appealing to read, rather than composing a list of facts.

For example, ‘our dog lead is made from ‘technical term’ cord and suitable for all weathers’, you could say, ‘from hiking across windy moors to strolling along a sun-kissed beach our lead will keep you and your four-legged friend safe and sound’.

You are drawing them into the experience, rather than just relaying the facts in the way an information sheet or list would.

The story can be created for one or many forms of communication with your customer, from an infographic to a video. Keep in mind where and how your potential customers are most likely to see and how they prefer to digest your content.

Do remember that by using content that is easy to share, you are more likely to reach more potential customers and be more appealing.

Don’t forget, and it could be easy to, that the main reason for using stories to communicate with your customers and potential customers, is that it is much easier for the human brain to remember stories rather than a list of facts, simply because of how the brain works.

We’ll be looking at the creative structure of your story in the next of these stories of posts.

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