Indistinguishable Marketing? Your Business Needs a Narrative
As a business owner, your company is much more than a business. Ask many who strike out on their own and you'll see, their business is more of a mission. It started as an itch and became a calling that they could no longer ignore. This is also how most owners hope that clients like to look at it. In reality, this isn't always the same. It's a dangerous assumption to make that everyone knows about your origins and cares about the business in the same way its owner does. All too often customers only see a commodity. They look at the label and location, judging the level of convenience and comparing businesses to their competitors based on price or another solitary-yet-common quality like it. This overlooks many of the aspects that make a business unique. Worse still, it could be you who's forcing them to do this. If so, it's high time to share your unique story with the world!Marketers Build in the Notion of Narrative
As simple as it sounds to tell the story of your business, doing it well is not going to be as easy as you think. We've all been around someone who's telling a boring story... that's not what you want for your business! This difference between compelling and coma-inducing comes down to narrative. This is what turns your tale from a series of related facts and figures, into an engrossing story that keeps customers interested. Effective marketing is boosted exponentially when a narrative is introduced. What does that mean for your business? An important starting point is to gather a selection of stories and details that set your business in context. As you bring these elements together into a cohesive whole, you'll find they communicate your background, origins, outlook, and values far better than any corporate release or stale mission statement could. Try to revise all that talk about your services, products, prices, and operating hours into a new piece of content that looks at your business in a more emotional way. Write the wider story of your business, including all of the aspects important to you and your employees. Consider the following questions that could attract and engage customers. Use the answers as a basis for all of the marketing copy that flows around your story:
- What was life like as you started your business?
- Did you struggle, work day and night, or was it an overnight success?
- Did your business begin as a way to solve an issue you had or a common problem that everyone experiences?
- Do you have years of experience working in a related industry or were you new to the field? What was the "eureka moment" that prompted you to go your own way?
- What are the memories, experiences, and events that helped drive forward your desire to get into the industry you chose? Who are the people that pushed you to do so?
These kinds of question give you the essence of what makes your business special. They will help you add a narrative to your marketing that wasn't there before. For your audience - which comprises existing clients, potential customers, and anyone who could be helpful in connecting them to you - these are the engaging aspects of what you do. These are the things that help them distinguish your business from all the others with similar prices, location, and products, and what will influence them more towards buying from you than all of those competitors. [search-tag]
All Company Stories Can Be Compelling
Take any company and you'll find a unique story lying right under the surface. The truth is that many owners simply fail to tell it -- or, if they do share that story, they don't do it justice. Every business offers a different perspective on the industry and their place in it. The way you approach the products and services you sell, the people you employ, and the values you instill in them cannot be replicated by competitors. As unlikely as that sounds, given the number of businesses competing in most sectors, think about the origins of each company. If no two business owners are the same, why would their companies be? No company has the same set of formative experiences, challenges, and outlook on business as another, so it stands to reason that the story of each is a potential competitive distinction. Tell it well and you turn it into a competitive advantage! While customers don't directly spend on your story, it's a factor that will sway them towards your business. As you know from reading this site often (we hope!), if you can catch their attention, you can win their business. Your story helps potential customers to see the individuals and values at work behind your name and logo. Branding is always important, but anytime you can add a layer of personality and the human touch to your business, you will immediately enhance your brand. Help prospective clients get to know you. No matter what product or service you’re selling, there's an interesting angle and people are typically interested in learning more about it, assuming you tell it well. Try to incorporate who you are and what you stand for. You'll quickly find out just how much this matters! Try to craft a story around who you are and what you stand for. You'll quickly find out just how much this matters, even when customers say they only care about price!
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