In a noisy marketplace, businesses must work smarter to grab prospects and lock in loyalty. But the desire for relationship is mutual. According to Cheetah Mobile marketing director Josh Ong, customers don’t just want to buy, they want to buy into something:
“Millennials are more likely than any other demographic to be brand loyal. But millennials don’t choose which brand to be loyal to at random, instead, they are highly attuned to the story that a brand tells, as well as the values that brand exhibits.”
No one can resist a good story! Need proof? Here’s a fun brand story from eyewear retailer Warby Parker:
Warby was founded as a rebellious upstart to tackle the problem of expensive eyewear because of a frustrating personal experience. During a backpacking trip, one of Warby’s founders lost his glasses. Since he was a broke grad student, he couldn’t afford to replace them, and he spent the rest of the semester squinting.
By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, Warby now provides higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price. The company believes buying glasses should be easy, fun, and should leave money in your pocket. Warby also believes everyone has a right to see, and they partner with nonprofits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
Warby sums up its brand story in this simple phrase: good eyewear, good outcome.
4 Traits of Captivating Brand Stories
A brand story is a valuable marketing asset.
It sharpens your values, shapes your message, and guides your sales. Here are common traits of brands with especially effective stories:
1. Start with Problems
From the beginning, successful brands have identified market needs or specific injustices.
Sharing their journey in confronting or solving these issues builds a very compelling narrative. The founder often retains an active role and holds a starring role in the company’s ever-evolving story.
2. Embrace Underdog Status
Everyone loves an underdog.
Brands that are (or were) on the outsider are considered disruptors. Their adventures in confronting the establishment make them easy to love and fun to listen to.
3. Foster Niche Lifestyle Communities
Brands that have a clear identity and purpose can to form more meaningful connections that result in truly devoted fans.
Make your brand integral to the lifestyle your prospects covet. When emotional attachments to brands are built, this connection often starts with a shared conviction or a particular life vision.
4. Stand for Something Specific
Most people aren’t particularly loyal to a company; instead, they are loyal to what that company stands for.
A recent study published by the Harvard Business Review showed that, of those consumers that had a strong relationship with a brand or business, 64 percent cited “shared values” as the primary reason. Companies that stand for more than just dollar signs will forge emotional connections with their customers.
Whether its fostering sustainability or giving back to specific communities, a commitment to social good can make your brand story more authentic and memorable.
Share Your Story Today
What is your brand story?
You may believe you don’t have a story to tell, but that’s just not true! Every firm can share a portrait of who they are and why they exist. This may include your mission, inspiration, or goals and it can be shared through direct mail, photography, banners, blogs, and any medium that authentically touches people.
Stories create something your clients want to be part of, building confidence and receptivity. People buy into what they trust, so find your story and share it today!