Meeting with the production team of a client this morning, we explored the implications of being a luxury brand, which this company is.
One of the points I made was that for luxury brands, the stories & the myths matter as much as the products themselves. The creative, labour-intensive process combined with the challenge of producing or sourcing extremely high-quality materials makes for a compelling story.
One of the team members commented that she was comfortable writing about the process on their blog, but felt that she needed to work hard to keep herself out of the story. “I don’t think it should be about me.” she said.
“Absolutely it should be about you!” I responded.
Stories drive great brands. Prima donna designers, components requiring hours of hand-finishing, parts and raw materials sourced from mysterious and exotic places… all fodder for stories that feed luxury brands. And stories about people connect most deeply of all.
All businesses can learn something from that.
In his article The 5 Types Of Small Business Backstories Rohit Bhargava provides an excellent introduction to the role of backstories in the promotion of a small business. As Rohit writes:
“Every small business has a story waiting to be told—and that story can be your most powerful ally in demonstrating how your business is different from all others.”
This is so true. Sometimes in seeking to differentiate a small business, we reach for the usual list of adjectives, abilities, and values. The trouble with that list is that it is the same one your competitors use. One of the things none of your competitors can duplicate is the story of how you got here.
Your backstory is only one source for stories that connect with your customers and truly help to differentiate you. Here are three more:
- Your team members. The unique stories that are the lives and experiences of your team members are a great connecting point for your customers. Larger organizations have known this for years, and have used images of their “everyman/woman” employees in their advertising to ‘humanize’ their corporate images.
- Your operations. Like my client, you may some intriguing stories about where you get your supplies and inputs from. This is an especially powerful tactic today with more and more people interested in the sources of the things they buy. Check out this link (ThisFish) as an example!
- Your community. Is your business located in a heritage building? Does your business contribute to community and not-for-profit events? More sources for stories… and pictures to feed the endless appetite of your social marketing!
Unlike claims about customer service, no two stories are truly alike. And humans are wired for stories; we tell them to connect. Telling your stories is one of the best ways to build those unique relationships with your customers.
Want to improve your communication with employees, partners,and customers? I help organizations improve communication through social media strategies and management-level workshops. Check out these opportunities to work with me online, from anywhere in the world: Effective Online Coaching Programs.
There’s more! Looking for success in your small business? Read my Small Business blog at Small Business Fundamentals (www.smbfundamentals.com).