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The Power of Storytelling to Boost Your Brand

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

True story: Each year my English boarding school held a 14-mile cross country run through the Surrey countryside. It was called the Box Hill Day Run and every student from 1st through 5th form (6-18 years) was expected to participate. We were all bussed to the top of Box Hill. The race commenced at 10AM and we were handed an old-school compass and map with periodic checkpoints to track our progress.

When the starting pistol sounded, the school’s distance runners were in their glory and dashed off into the nearby woods with glee. The rest of us ran, walked and dragged ourselves through 14 miles of wooded terrain, fields, and walking paths in rain or shine.

Often, the older children helped the younger ones along the way by piggybacking them for stretches and it wasn’t unusual to hear them singing a cheery tune to a youngster as you passed them by. Many of us formed small groups of like-minded non-runners that walked, gossiped, and laughed our way across the miles.

The top runners ‘polished off’ the race in about 4 hours while the rest of us “crawled” across a finish line of cheering teachers later that afternoon - thankful that it was over and we had survived another year.

The annual cross country run was rugged and grueling - pushing us all to the outer limits of our endurance, but it was hands-down the best team building event of the school year.

I used a true story from my childhood to illustrate what a powerful tool storytelling is for connecting with your audience. Whether you recognize it as such or not, stories are everywhere.

  • Commercials use stories to convince us we need what they are selling.

  • Weight-loss companies use success stories to sell the next diet fad.

  • Movies use stories to connect you to their characters.

  • Songs use stories wrapped up in music and lyrics to evoke emotions.

  • Podcasts use weekly success stories to promote a niche.

And in a highly competitive social media-frenzied market you need stories to carve out your unique space. In a 2019 Forbes Article titled 3 Reasons Why Storytelling is the Future of Marketing stated that stories are what makes you human and relatable. Unless your business name is Coca Cola or Microsoft, gone are the days of nameless, faceless marketing, especially if you are establishing a brand.

So here are 4 powerful Reasons to Tie Stories into Your Branding.

1 Your Story is Your Why

Business owner and thought leader Simon Sinek says “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Stories tell your audience, customers and prospects why they should care about your business.

Your story is the why of what you do and can include your personal or organization’s history, as well as your mission, vision, and values. Your audience wants to know what you are about and the story of why your brand adds value to the arena. Therefore, weave stories into your brand wherever possible, Include them as part of your website, social media pages, newsletters, and advertising.

2 Your Story Differentiates You From Competitors

What sets you apart from the competition? Because you occupy a unique space it’s important to let that show to your audience. Make your story a powerful tool for illustrating what sets you apart in your niche. The truth is that others may be doing something similar in your space, but none of them will do it with the exact same flair and flavor of your brand.

3 Stories Establish Trust and Credibility

If you have signed up to an online subscription or purchased an offer through an email or an advertisement, it was because you resonated with the seller’s story that identified a pain point or a need in your life. The seller crafted their message so advantageously that it prompted you into taking action. You subscribed, opened your wallet, saved or shared their offer (story) with others. But your action arose from trust in the seller’s credibility over time because you resonated with their stories. This is one of the most powerful ways that stories can grow your business and sales.

4 Stories Inspire Emotions

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve purchased a book, bought a course or followed someone simply because I moved by a stirring narrative - even if their work was completely unrelated to mine. That’s because inspiration packs an emotional punch. Whether we like it or not, we are all emotion-driven. Every year we collectively spend billions of dollars on emotional purchases based on inspirational product stories. Think about how you can inspire others by telling your story.

Beyond Sales

Also, remember that everything isn’t always about selling. You don’t realize how your story could be an overall source of inspiration to the masses. You have the potential to impact the world by sharing the struggles, highs and lows that got you to this point. Your story is what makes you unique and it’s worth sharing.

Perhaps you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry - I’ve got you. You can begin by picking up a pen and paper and completing the sentence below.

I started __________ because_________________

Congratulations, that is the beginning of your story! Are you ready to allow others to be inspired by it?

Bonus Tips for Sharing Your Stories

  1. Be consistent on social media regularly sharing snippets of your story.

  2. Share your story on the “About” section of your website.

  3. Create a memorable mission statement that identifies your speciality.

  4. Tie in personal stories wherever possible.

  5. Showcase your team by shouting them out on socials.

  6. Include your story in any e-book publications.

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