Ever heard the quote, “if you aren’t growing, your dying?” Growth is a key element of sustainability for your business and a key performance indicator for small businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, roughly 50% of small businesses failing within the first 5 years, so focusing on growth initiatives is essential. One facet of growth that is often overlooked but frequently discussed is your story. Research has shown that brands that tell their story well can increase the value of their product or service by over 20 times! While we can discuss tips for creating a great story, today, we will focus on two common mistakes that will make your story fall flat.
Storytelling is a powerful tool to help engage customers with your product or service and help them to make sense of your message. Two key factors to watch out for include the focus and clarity of your message.
The first mistake, focus, happens when you talk all about features and benefits but don’t build a message around how your product or service helps your customers to thrive, survive, find love, achieve, or be accepted. Basically, your story needs to talk about how your product or service can help your customers identify or connect with others with similar interests. Great stories are about the physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual survival of the characters (your customers).
The second mistake, clarity, results when you create messaging or a story that does not flow or have a structure which helps walk your customers through to the end, therefore, causing confusion and inability to understand the offer. When people have to try and process too much information (too many visuals, to much text, lengthy sentences, to many colors, or different fonts), this processing competes with the brain’s primary focus to thrive and survive. The simpler the story and clearer the flow, the easier it is for customers to engage with the message.
Whether you decide to tell your story via video, podcast, print, email, social media, billboards, or postcard mailings, there has never been a better time to connect with your target audience. When you remember to focus and simplify your message in a clear structure, you can create a story that customers can connect with and begin to build brand resonance. If your story touches your customers emotionally to help them thrive, survive, and be accepted, you can build greater brand awareness through word-of-mouth, helping to move your customers along the customer journey.