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Grip the Minds and Hearts of Customers with Your Company Story

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Why Storytelling

We all know the power of great stories whether told by humorist Mark Twain or directed for the screen by Martin Scorsese. When marketing your company, remember that storytelling can move your audience in such a way that they remember your company and its products and services, not your competitors.

Storytelling adds the human element to the marketing process by making relatable characters into heroes. These heroes use your company’s products or services to solve a problem or open up an opportunity for a positive experience.

An Apple Christmas Story

A favorite TV ad of mine is Apple’s iPhone Christmas ad. An aloof teenager uses his iPhone to capture precious family moments at Christmas and becomes the hero as he shares them with teary-eyed relatives.

Apple’s core value of innovation in products that enhance the way we live and work comes through, but it’s the story that connects to our hearts. And that connection is the one that made the iPhone memorable when customers considered the perfect gift for Christmas.

Apple connected to viewers’ emotions as they envisioned themselves doing just what the teenager did—capturing memories, sharing them, and getting some love for a job well done.

Most of us don’t have a million-dollar budget to run prime time TV ads, but we can weave storytelling into many of our marketing efforts. Here are a few possible story-sharing platforms to consider before we review how to create effective stories:
1. Company website
• Sharing case studies where your customer is the hero as a result of using your product or services to attain desired results.
• Testimonials from satisfied customers telling their own story about how your company changed their life.

2. Social media platforms – text limits here require more visual storytelling, using video, GIFs and memes to move your customers to buy.

3. PR – whether sponsored or earned stories appearing in print (magazines/newspapers/newsletters) or digitally (TV interviews)

Three Steps to Creating a Good Story

You’ve probably known a few impressive storytellers yourself—friends sharing their latest travel adventure or travel horror story; a teacher who made the subject interesting by dropping content-related narratives into the lecture; the jokester who delivers the punch line without a hitch. You may be thinking, I can’t possibly do that. You can if you try this process or share it with one who can.
1. Make sure you understand your audience. Have a picture in your mind of the customer/buyer your story appeals to. Understand the challenges they face along with the satisfaction they seek—how your company can make their life better, simpler, easier, more rewarding. As in the case of this Mr. Clean Super Bowl TV ad.

2. Know what you want your customers to value most about you. Do a bit of research. Ask current customers why they continue to buy from you. Talk to your sales and customer service people about positive comments from customers. If they don’t have any, encourage them to ask for and share for future story and testimonial shares. These core values need to be the bedrock of your story creation.

3. Engage your best storytelling skills or best storytellers/story creators in the process of:
• Picturing a hero figure that appeals to your customers—someone who would legitimately use your product/service to be a hero to others who benefit from the experience.
• Considering situations in which this hero will use your product/services (the helpers) to improve his/her life or lives of those s/he employs your brand to serve.
• Building the story line—complete with introduction of a situation, building to a moment where hero clearly makes life better, concluding with connection/mention of your product or service. Make sure a connection exists between the story hero and your company.

4. Build in an emotional connection by thinking about the feelings/needs your product or service triggers (safety, helping others, etc.) then script a voice over that talks directly to the audience, hooking their interest, their needs/desires, their fears and hopes.

When it’s all said and done, storytelling has the power to bring your customers into an experience more powerful than any super sale or discount. And I can help you tell your story—my LinkedIn bio attests to that. So, call me. I’ll share your story in a way that connects with your customers.

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Maureen Bagg, VP of Client Services, Corporate Images

Maureen Bagg is a dedicated business resource to her clients, providing sales and marketing support along with virtual selling training and consultation. Reach her at 262-633-7772 or email mbagg@corporate-images.com.

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