Telling Your Authentic Story
We all know the story of the One That Got Away. We’ve heard it over and over. Whether it’s a tale about your best friend losing that beautiful rainbow trout after a long, sun-dappled day on the water or the Great Big Fish stories that are their own cultural currency, we are drawn to these and other stories.
Why Are We Drawn to These Stories?
Because we find two things in each of these stories: a connection to an authentic truth and a glimpse into the nature of the teller.
Hardwired for Story
Human beings are hardwired for story. We love to tell stories and love to hear stories. Stories which resonate with us, in which we sense an innate truth and which fill us with questions and curiosity move us in fascinating ways.
Establishing a brand helps to tell that story in shorthand and frames the way in which the brand’s stories are communicated. It opens the listeners to other stories about the brand and the products and people behind it.
Your brand represents that story — it’s the promise that sets you apart from others.
And that’s why we talk so much about it.
Your Brand is Your Promise
We associate established brands with the things they promise us. Luxury and esteem. Caring and concern. Work ethic and culture.
You can, from wherever you’re reading this, probably see a half dozen brands represented around you. When you think about them, what do you see? What do you know about them? How did you come to know these things about the brand? How do you feel about them? What do you see as their promises?
Your Unique Asset
A solid brand is your unique asset. No matter what your business, your brand is a differentiator in the marketplace. This is because people will associate it with your promise and with your story.
An Authentic Story
Authenticity is important. It’s how we inherently sense the kernels of truth in the tale about “The One That Got Away” no matter how old or how exaggerated it’s become over the years. We sense credibility in the feeling behind the tale. When it’s lost, every fish takes on enormous proportions, right? We can accept the fluidity of fact because we can – and do – understand the reality of the emotions behind it.
Sincerity is a Form of Authenticity
Presenting genuine stories is essential. Be real; don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Let your supporters, audience, and customers see behind the curtain.
When you’re sincere, it’s easy to “live the brand” because it’s simply a part of the way your business does business. Its natural consistency in tone, voice, and attitude also reinforce your brand.
Branding Creates Connections
While everyone wants to buy, nobody wants to be sold to. Brands are a lot like people — we more readily support those we trust and like.
The stories behind the brand help to build connections that move past the commodity.
Anyone can sell – but a good relationship inspires people to buy and then to share their support with others. Creating value that’s not only based on a transaction is a key factor for successful brands.
Your Mission is the Message
A few years ago, an AdAge study noted that less than 25% of people under the age of 40 trust print advertising content and the trust in digital advertising is even worse.
Buying into the mission, vision, and values of a company is vital for the modern audience, as they see themselves not only as consumers but also as partners in your success.
It’s also worth noting that people will pay a premium to support companies whose own values match their own. It’s no longer just about value — it’s about values — yours and theirs.
How Do I Know What Consumers Think?
If were were to put a TLDR on this, it would be that emotions matter when people are making purchasing decisions.
Modern consumers seek a more profound connection between themselves and their behavior as consumers. They desire consistency and show the importance of the relationship between beliefs and actions by speaking with their wallets.
Your honest, authentic story helps to show those consumers that when they choose to buy from you they’re not only buying a product, but also supporting the ideals and truths your brand represents.
And that’s no fish tale.