Mister Rogers frequently told his audiences, “It’s hard not to like someone once your know their story.” I latched onto that phrase the first time I heard it because I think it delivers a powerful business lesson.
People connect with stories that move them and most every business can and should tell a story that helps prospects and customers connect at a deeper level. I truly believe the Internet, while making it easy to find information, has left us craving real connections, with real people, and the companies they serve.
A carefully crafted marketing story is a tool that can serve any organization trying to break through the clutter and connect with new markets. Once you uncover a story that helps people connect with your organization on a more personal level, you must use it and tell it as a key element of your brand. The story can be used on web pages, in marketing collateral, and as a tool to recruit new folks to your team.
To find and create a marketing story for your organization, one that can act as a backstory for why you do what you do, I suggest you look at your business like a writer developing a great character.
Think about the things that draw you into a story. It’s usually a character that creates a dramatic impact through actions, desires and shared experiences. Great stories and characters usually come to life through the careful telling of seemingly small details.
A seasoned writer might use the following kinds of questions to help get started unearthing the key marketing story. Play with answering some of these and you just might discover your most important marketing message to date.
- What do you know about where this business is going that no one could know?
- What is your industry’s greatest flaw?
- If your business could choose a new identity, what would it be?
- What is your favorite customer story?
- What is your secret wish for your business?
- What is the greatest challenge your business must overcome?
- What is your greatest fear for your business?
- What is your greatest achievement/disappointment?
- What about your childhood shaped you for this moment?
- What choices have you made that you regret?
So, have you got a story to tell?
Image credit: Sugar Pond