Brand Storytelling for SMEs
Branding is one of the buzzwords of today’s marketing world; we see it in pages, books and several columns. It begs the question of how to intertwine it with our businesses.
People have always told stories for ages, and some of the longest-standing books such as the bible are also written in stories for the Christian audience. We can ascertain with this that stories are a form of communicating messages to your audience just like when you advertise your products or your service to your audience. In telling your stories, there are a couple of crucial elements that drive your storytelling.
These elements are your:
Types of Stories
The first type of story you can share our personal stories. Personal stories form a major part of your brand story. Sharing your process and how you started is music to people’s hearing. Customers want to be inspired when using your product; they want to feel better and transformed. They want to know whether if they wear your clothes, something changes about them.
The second type is showing how you failed and got back up in a difficult time. This shows how you harnessed your people’s power and provided a solution.
The third is your purpose – The reason you exist and why can be the ultimate reason why people buy from your small business. When Blake started the popular TOMS shoe, which is now a retail line, it started as a shoe drive for homeless kids somewhere in South America when he was on holiday.
He sat and thought of a genuine way he could help kids who needed shoes. An idea rose, which helped get more kids’ shoes, but it involved donating a TOMS pair for every single one bought. This pushed more and more people to buy TOMS.
Today TOMS is a household name – not necessarily because it is the best shoe brand out there but a lot of people can relate to the vision of TOMS to get more shoes to those who could not afford them.
Ideally, no one would pass over such a gesture because it aligns with a high number of individuals all around the world—the “Started from the bottom” story.
TOMS is not the only one using brand storytelling. Nigeria also houses one of West Africa’s biggest toy manufacturers who also donates one 1$ for every toy purchased to charity.
Today that toy manufacturer net worth has risen and many more brands are adapting storytelling to get ahead. Some include your favourite Aisha from Carbon, Uche from Bolt who are now household brands that people can’t seem to separate the brand from the person.
Think about the times when you have to pitch your services and products to potential investors to scale your business.
What would you use?
Is it going to be a game or charts and data only or a story?
Stories are the best way to pitch because you can share your values through your story, and these values if aligned to your investors, will lead to a win.
To take advantage of brand storytelling, then you need to do the following:
- Identify the reason why you exist – The purpose for creating your business will be part of your storytelling.
- Determine your values – Values has to do with the culture you intend to grow in your organisation.
- Find your characters – We mentioned examples like Uche from Bolt. Select an employee and start using them to share your values.
- Content – Determine the best way to tell your story.
Storytelling can be learned, and you don’t become a master in one day at storytelling. Small businesses have to put out content to help drive their brand message consistently and as a business looking to scale then brand storytelling can take your business from zero to hero.