The holidays are upon us, and it’s a time for coming together to share the traditions of our families and communities. One of the best ways to do this is by retelling stories. Through stories, we create a common emotional connection. If you tell a story well, you are more likely to create a strong connection, regardless of whether it is a story about a jolly old elf or the story of your brand.
At a recent Direct Marketing Association (DMA) conference in Boston, one of the most insightful moments came not from a marketing or analytics guru, but from a special guest musician and singer: John Legend.
“Our most important aim is to connect with an audience. Stories are the best way to move people to action,” Legend said.
So how do you go about telling a captivating story that engages your audience to build trust and brand loyalty through catalog marketing? Here are a handful of helpful tips that can help you develop your brand story.
- Know your audience. Use your collected marketing data and tribal knowledge to create a persona of your ideal customer. With a data-driven approach, you can support your assessments about what your customers need and want. Then you can develop a story in a way that garners their trust. You can do this by showing that your company understands your customers’ problems and needs and then offering them a solution they cannot resist.
- Create a personality for your brand. Your brand is the way that customers connect with your company; they want to feel that the brand is like a person they can trust. So your brand has to be a reflection not of some untouchable power or faceless entity, but of your ideal customer persona. When your audience sees that your brand “looks” like them, they are more apt to trust your company to give them good products.
- Keep the story simple. The more complexity you add to your story, the more likely your audience will feel alienated from your brand. Your brand story should have a clear problem-solution-success pattern, and the success at the end should be an inspirational vision of a new beginning.
- Be authentic and credible. Your brand story isn’t an ad or a pitch; it is a way to explain why your business exists and why customers should buy from you. Do you have data to back your product claims? Are your employees experts in the products and services your customers need? Do your employees actually use the products you sell? Authenticity is difficult to fake.
- Get others to share your story. Incorporate social media and interactive features into your catalogs. Post snippets on social media for your customers to share and help spread your message. It can be useful, too, to give your customers a platform to voice their testimonials. All of these things will help you build greater trust in your brand’s story.
The goal of storytelling isn’t just to make a quick sale. It’s to foster and maintain strong relationships with the people who have embraced and identified with your brand, resulting in many years worth of sales.
To read more about incorporating a story into your brand, check out our two-part blog series, Tell Me Something Good.