What You Need to Know Before You Develop a Brand Strategy – Part 4

Posted on Mar 31, 2014 by Kerry O'Malley

story telling in your brand strategy

I hope you’ve benefited from reading the previous three parts of this four-part brand strategy series! As promised in Part 3, in this final part of the series, I’m going to cover the topics of brand identity, brand strategy, brand positioning, and last but not least, brand storytelling.

If  you’ve read the former three parts of this brand development series, you’ll have a strong grasp of the first three items on our list, especially after I provide you with the basic definitions of each. This article will really be spent diving into the ever-important topic of brand storytelling; what it is, what it can do for your industrial company, and a few methods you and your inbound marketing team can use to create a successful brand storytelling campaign.

Brand Identity | Brand Strategy | Brand Positioning

Brand Identity is quite simply: how YOU want YOUR business to be perceived by your current clients and potential customers. Earlier you likely considered this when reading about the different types of differentiation a company can choose to focus on, such as operational efficiency, customer-centric values, or overall market leadership.

You probably began to think about many of the details involved in both the appearance you wish your company to have, how a “true” identity would be lived out in your organization (as opposed to a masked image), and what it might take to reach those goals … which leads us to the brand strategy.

A brand strategy encompasses everything that it will take to bring your desired brand identity to life. Developing your brand strategy is considering and planning out how to achieve the image you want to have. You may have thought your customers perceived you in one way, but then discovered they all saw your business in a completely different light. There might have been more of a mixed reaction when you researched the way your customers actually perceived you, or you might have been very clear on exactly what they perceive and now you want to work on further clarifying your brand identity in a more purposeful way that will lead to greater brand recognition.

Brand Positioning is connected with differentiation. This is the part of the value proposition that demonstrates your brand’s exclusivity and it is what will be communicated throughout your brand’s marketing communications. Remember that your marketing communications plan contains the strategies and specific tactics you will use to communicate your positioning “messaging” with your customers and potential customers. Communication is an integral aspect of how you run your business and produces the overall perception of your business.

Brand Storytelling is Critical to Growing Your Business

  • Brand storytelling is not a new concept; however it is an evolved marketing method whose effectiveness is become less and less disputable. Let’s consider a few facts about brand storytelling.
  • Today, Internet users are overwhelmed with content. It is the content that inspires, captures the imagination, and rises above the “sales pitch” that will win customers.
  • Social media has made every consumer feel that they should have a more “personal” relationship with the companies with which they do business.  The companies that understand the need for transparency will win customers.
  • Storytelling is a human need. From the beginning of time, it has been used to explain our place in the universe, our history, and what we value.  In a world that is increasingly becoming too complex to comprehend, the companies who tap into this need will win customers.
  • There’s too much marketing noise, today. When we know we’re being marketed to, we turn the page, click away from the website, click the remote, close our ears. When we’re hearing a story, we lean forward, excited to hear what comes next.

 

COMPANIES WHO MASTER THE ART OF STORYTELLING WILL WIN THE WAR FOR CUSTOMERS IN 2014 AND BEYOND. 

tell your brand story - storytelling

Everyone loves a good story! This has been true since the beginning of time and continues to be an elemental aspect of humanity and community. If your potential client can relate to you, then you become memorable to them. If they read a story that they can connect with or appreciate in some way, they then remember that story and their impression of you becomes increasingly positive. You want your potential customers to feel as if you feel familiar to them. You want them to think of you and what you do. And of course, you want your customers to think about you in a positive light.

Engage Your Audience with True Brand Storytelling

Storytelling is much more than just fun and interesting. Storytelling can create a strong/durable/lasting foundation that can withstand the extra weight of growth and change. Become familiar to your potential customer base by sharing true stories about your company! There are things you are proud of and interesting experiences you and your employees have been involved in. Share those stories!

There are a number of ways that are effective in accomplishing brand storytelling. Using more than one tool at your disposal though, is the only way to be most successful at brand storytelling. You will need to have content of your brand stories on your website, but you also need to drive people to your website. More than that even, you need your storytelling content to be optimized so you don’t miss out on important opportunities for success.

Social Media is one great way to increase engagement and to drive people to your company website with brand storytelling.

A very true marketing concept that has been successful and withstood the test of time is that you must give in order to receive. Apply effective strategies to this concept and it becomes all the more powerful! There are a variety of ways you must give in order to receive and you need to know which of those are most important and most beneficial to your business. Working through the steps described in all three former parts of this brand strategy series is your path to receive the clarity you need in order to stop flopping in the wind with “knee jerk” marketing tactics. Carefully plan and strategize to ensure you can turn all of your desired business growth outcomes into reality!

Creative Ways to Tell Your Brand Stories

story telling helps lead generation and search engine optimizationDon’t be afraid to be creative with your brand storytelling. One of the ways that has become very popular as a supportive aspect of brand storytelling is the creation and publishing of infographics.  Infographics have proven to do an excellent job of drawing in the reader and generating higher click-thru rates from social media postings.

Another great way to drive home a brand story is through the use of video. Sadly, our culture is increasingly becoming bored with words.  They want visual action, they want to be entertained, and there is no better way to capture their attention then through a well-produced video. A link to a video will receive 70% more clicks than a text link! That’s hard to ignore.

The increased activity of your company’s content on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ means not only receiving added viewers and increased engagement from a continuously broadening audience, but also means increasing your potential search engine optimization effectiveness and reaching more people through online key phrase searches.

Discover more about the ways you can work to develop your brand strategy, craft your value proposition, better understand your brand identity, and thoroughly strengthen your brand positioning by seeking the help of an experienced industrial marketing firm today!

Author: Kerry O'Malley

omalley@marketectsinc.com

Marketects was founded in 1999 by Kerry O’Malley, a proven marketing communications professional in international, manufacturing companies. Working on the “other side of the desk,” she hired ad agencies to manage her employers’ advertising and P/R programs. Frustrated over the lack of attention and level of enthusiasm she was looking for in the marketing agencies she worked with, Kerry realized that there was a definite need for a full-service marketing firm that specialized in working with industrial companies. She resolved that her clients would always receive the highest level of service possible and never feel like the last kid chosen for the team.

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