This is my follow-up post to this article about how small business owners can check if their brand narrative works.
Brand narratives are appropriately named because you’re telling a story. Stories make people sit up and pay attention. They can inspire consumer loyalty and make your brand stay in their minds. That kind of headspace is invaluable. The problem is making a compelling narrative. Fortunately, storytelling is a technique as old as time, and there are plenty of tricks you can use to improve your marketing efforts.
1. Use a Metaphor
Metaphors are figures of speech that directly compare one object to another in an attempt to more clearly present an idea to the listener. It’s a great way to make an idea more accessible and easier to understand. If there are complicated parts to your brand narrative, use a metaphor. Should you have trouble making one, boil the complicated part down to its essence and think of something that represents that essence. Then compare the original idea to the representative concept.
2. Position the Company as an Underdog
Eventually, your business may grow into a titan of industry, an unstoppable force of nature. However, it didn’t start out that way. There was a struggle. Most businesses fail within the first year. Nothing is easy when it comes to business.
People love underdogs, so tell people about the company’s underdog story. There’s always something that got in the way, from personal responsibilities to a lack of capital. Show people that the small business earned its way to success. This struggle will make the people behind the company more relatable and memorable.
3. Use Great Imagery
There’s a rule in writing – show, don’t tell. It means most of the time, you should inspire imagery in the minds of your audience. Don’t just tell them that you saw that people wanted a new way to take care of their pets. Tell them that they can be more than owners, that you saw a way for pet owners to serve as guardians to their cat or dog. It may sound silly but using the right language can result in a more compelling story.
The goal with using imagery is to inspire emotion in people. Video game streamers, for example, are encouraged to show raw emotion when they go live. Emotion evokes reactions, and reactions often lead to emotional investment.
4. Leave Them Hanging
Cliffhangers are a classic writing trick designed to leave people wanting more. Generally, it’s when you leave people at the point of greatest suspense or expectation. Give them a big situation, and then leave the resolution for another day. The good news is this fits right in with your brand narrative. The small business’s story hasn’t ended – it’s an ongoing saga. Tell them where you are now, where the business is about to go, and then end it there.
Brand narratives are difficult to craft, but fortunately a few tricks here and there can spice things up. While these techniques won’t take the place of properly storytelling and writing, they can help increase the story’s effectiveness. Use them wisely.