Small-to-medium sized businesses can be limited by their size and buying power, so it is important to stand out with the reputation they build from Day One and by telling their unique story.
In the midst of setting up a business, entrepreneurs often fall short of harnessing the power of their business story to create a memorable message.
The power of a story to change the way we think, act and feel is underrated. Put simply, a brand cannot attempt to break into the market without establishing who they are, and failing to state what they set out to do. You need to be very deliberate in making sure the right message is conveyed when people experience you or your business. People like to know what to expect, and also want to be able to sum up a business based on first impressions to know if it is relevant or of interest to them.
Before you start looking at where you can communicate the right messages about your business brand, you need to identify what story you actually want told.
Here are some questions that you can answer to help you start formulating the story and image that you want known about your brand. So grab yourself another coffee and let’s get started!
[unordered_list style=”circle” number_type=”circle_number” animate=”no” font_weight=”bold”]
- What is the story behind starting your business?
- What does your business offer? Why does your business exist?
- Who is your audience? Demographics?
- What problems are you solving for your target audience?
- What keeps your clients up at night, what makes them tick? What are their pain points?
- What do they need to hear?
- Describe the products/services that you offer
- How do you deliver your products/services?
- How are your services/products priced?
- Which public personality (e.g. Ellen, Richard Branson, Bill Gates) would you like your business to most be like?
- Three words that you want your business to be known for.
Establishing a story of what your business is essentially making sure that your business has a clear personality. This helps keep your brand in check in relation to your target market, alliances and competitors. If you are able to get off the ground running with a firm sense of self, you are less likely to stray from your business’ mission and objectives.
Marketing your story
One key area where you should be telling your business story and clearly articulating your unique brand, is in your marketing material, media relations and promotional activity. Make sure every aspect of your business communicates the same story, from your customer communication, to your branding and sales process.
The idea is to condense the essence of your business when trying to get your point across, instead of trying to tell your whole story from beginning to end.
Telling your story
Now that you have identified what you want to be known for, focus not only what you can do, but who you are, and your prospects for the near future. This can be as simple as saying, “We understand small business because we are one!”, and it can also involve spelling out your understanding of the customer’s needs and explaining how your business and its attributes help meet this need in a reputable way.
Great businesses are storytellers whose customers and potential customers are drawn by their story and how it can relate to their own story and falls into their ambition to make their lives better in one way or another. These businesses give others a reason to care, and a reason to pick them from the crowd.
How do you tell your business story? How would you describe your business in three words?