Marketing, at its heart, isn’t really about selling a service or a product. Marketing is about selling yourself—your brand, your story. Stories sell. Most services and products are available from multiple sources, so why should customers choose you? Many factors influence customers’ decisions: price, product quality, convenience—but the most powerful factor is brand loyalty and the connection customers feel to your company’s story. If you’re struggling with how to get your story across to clients, here are some approaches to try.
Who are the main “characters” in your story? People are the most interesting and relatable component of any company. Find ways to get yourself, your family, your employees, and your customers at the forefront of your brand. Here’s how:
What sets you apart from others in your industry? Not just what makes you better, but what makes you different—unique, original, memorable. Too often companies only attempt to differentiate themselves from competitors by describing how they’re better or less expensive, but quality and price are just a few factors that clients consider. When you tell your story, include specific details such as when/where/why your business opened, the philosophy that drives your business, and the type of people who work there. These details set you apart from other brands in the industry.
Establish a company culture. Decide the unique personality and tone you want your brand to exude. As much as possible, make it original to you and your company and distinct from other businesses. Write a unique company motto or tagline that embodies your mission, and include it in your website, social media posts, emails, etc. Make sure all published images and text are consistent with your company culture. For more on establishing a unique personality for your company, see our blog post on creating a consistent voice for your brand.
Good stories spread. If you run your business well and build authentic relationships with customers, they’ll notice and they’ll share their experience with others. A solid word-of-mouth reputation is the best way to spread your story throughout your community.
You can encourage some of this word-of-mouth story telling by providing platforms for customers to share their experiences. Dedicate a section of your website to customer reviews. If customers send you positive feedback, ask if you can post it to your website or social media page. Also, pay attention to reviews posted on external sites like Google or Yelp. If you see negative comments, address the issue with the customer if possible and take steps to ensure future clients don’t experience the same problem. Perhaps the customer will amend or remove the negative feedback, but even if they don’t, the improvements you make will impact future customers and the positive feedback will soon outweigh the negative.