As a business owner or brand manager there are tons of stories you can tell to ignite a spark with prospects and customers. However, these are the 3 most important stories you must start with. They should be the foundation of all your story-driven marketing activity.
YOUR ORIGIN STORY. How did you get here?
We all started somewhere. Your Origin Story gives your customers a sense of the foundation upon which you built. It tells of the birth of your business, whether it was a well-researched and planned out process, or an “a-ha!” moment that got things going. It forms the basis of the personality behind your brand and it continues to evolve as your business grows. Your Origin Story should be uniquely yours. By developing the right narrative to tell it, you make sure you’re capturing the hearts of your audience, right from the beginning.
The start of this origin story for Burt’s Bees is just wonderful.
It was the summer of ’84 and Maine artist Roxanne Quimby was thumbing a ride home (back when you could still do that sort of thing). Eventually a bright yellow Datsun pickup truck pulled over, and Roxanne instantly recognised Burt Shavitz, a local fella whose beard was almost as well-known as his roadside honey stand. Burt and Roxanne hit it off, and before long, Roxanne was making candles with unused wax from Burt’s beehives. They made $200 at their first craft fair; within a year, they’d made $20,000. Pretty auspicious beginning – but just the beginning, all the same.
You can read the rest of their origin story here:
YOUR PURPOSE STORY. Why are you here?
What’s your why? Simon Sinek has nailed down the heart of the Purpose Story – connect with people by going beyond what you do and sharing why you do it. What are you trying to accomplish, whose lives are you affecting? What drives you to get up and do it again, day after day? And no, ‘to make money’ is not your purpose. There are millions of things you can do to accomplish that. Your Purpose Story reflects the motivation to do the particular thing that you do. It makes you human, relatable, authentic, and draws an audience that wants to champion your cause.
Here at Story IQ, one of our favourite quotes on purpose is:
Get a bigger why – the bigger the why, the easier the how.
Dove is one of the greatest examples of a brand that has created an inspiring Purpose Story. Their mission is about something deeper than just selling soap. They are using their brand to improve the self-esteem of women worldwide.
You can read about their Real Beauty Pledge here: https://www.dove.com/us/en/stories/about-dove/dove-real-beauty-pledge.html
YOUR PRODUCT STORY. What’s unique to you?
Your product gives your customers the tools they need to be the hero of the story. Gone are the days of showing how well your product works and expecting that to be enough to engage customers. People want to know what they stand to gain. Is it environmentally friendly, appealing to their sense of ethics? Or is it the cutting-edge of technology, appealing to their desire to have the latest and best?
You need to craft your Product Story narrative in such a way that it engages both the head and the heart, using evocative sensory language that takes the reader on a journey to another world. The world your product lives in.
The product category with the most inspiring product stories on the planet is the wine industry. Here’s a delectable product story from The Francis Ford Coppola Winery for their Director’s Cut, Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
This vintage’s Cabernet Sauvignon is quite opulent with deep, dark flavours of fruit framed by firm tannins and rich oak character. Full-bodied and beautifully textured, this wine’s flavour complexity is heightened by the addition of Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Enjoy a luscious palate of blackberries, cherries, and cassis along with fragrant earthy minerals and notes of anise and cocoa. As the flavours build and flow, a toasted caramel impression at the end creates an alluring finish. Best with a few years of aging, but you can enjoy this wine now with 1 to 2 hours of decanting.
Are you having trouble creating a memorable origin, purpose or product story for your business or brand? We can help.
Get in touch with me by email [email protected]
or phone 021 744 960 for a free 30min consultation. Yes, free. And so easy!
PS: In next week’s blog post, we’ll examine 10 ways to get your business out of a rut.