Build recognition, affinity and loyalty with a message that can’t be duplicated.
Ideas are intangible. Emotions engage. Companies are cold. People connect. Information bores. Stories fascinate.
That’s why we have to cram for exams and hope we can remember enough to pass the test, but we pay to go to a movie, sit on the edge of our seats eating stale popcorn and recall every scene in detail when we retell it at work the next day.
Storytelling has power.
Films, best-selling fiction, great newspapers and creative nonfiction – such as Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood – have used storytelling techniques to entertain, inspire and motivate us for years. Businesses and nonprofits can use these same techniques to set themselves apart because everybody – and every business – has a story.
And while you can hire an ad agency to come up with some nice words and pretty pictures to “brand” you, that’s not what branding is about. Branding is an inside-out job. Branding is as unique as your fingerprint.
Branding through story works.
Jim Collins in Good to Great says there has to be a larger calling than just making money. There has to be a reason your business exists that fulfills a greater need. Your story is that reason. Your story is your brand.
When it is told well and consistently, your story forms the core of your marketing and public relations efforts, internally and externally. It becomes central to your company’s graphics – the expression of your values is revealed through your logo, colors and typography – and messaging. Your Web site, sales materials, publications, customer service program, public relations campaigns – everything is tied back to this brand story.
When you are true to your brand story, you will attract and inspire employees – not just for success, but also forgreatness. It’s finding your brand story, and then articulating it internally to your employees to get them on board with your mission.
Externally your brand story may serve initially as a media story on its own, or as a vine from which branches grow, each supporting the main idea. If, for example, your company’s brand story pays tribute to the sacrifice the founders’ made to begin the company, perhaps coming to this country as immigrants or refugees, subordinate stories may include nonprofit work the company has since done to help other immigrants assimilate.
There are many directions a brand story can take, but the underlying message is consistent, and each episodic retelling provides clarity and makes your company memorable, admirable and unique.
Get help here.
We are a boutique PR and marketing firm located in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that helps small- to mid-sized businesses and non-profits realize their potential. We believe that effective storytelling helps businesses stand out from their competition by capitalizing on their unique differences, and we incorporate storytelling techniques throughout our services, which include:
Strategic marketing and PR planning: We will develop and implement an entire custom plan for your business or nonprofit, including consumer research, Web sites, social media, blogging, direct mail, print publications, sales materials, videos, podcasts, publicity, special events, fundraisers, specialty advertising, signage, electronic newsletters, advertising or other tactics.
Branding: We will work through a process to help you discover your brand story and then help you express your brand story through a truly representational company logo and graphics program, as well as messaging that provides a “shorthand” representation of your brand story.
Copywriting: Writing is our core strength. We provide copywriting services to individuals, businesses, Web designers and agencies seeking assistance with Web copy, publications, speechwriting, humor writing, videos, newsletters, etc.
Publicity: If you’re tired of being the “best kept secret,” we can help turn you into the “talk of the town” by developing some of your great stories to pitch to local and possibly national media. As former journalists ourselves, we understand what the media want and know how to pitch stories.
Social media consulting and training: We can work one-on-one with business owners or their designees to help you determine which social media sites you should be spending your time on and provide customized pages to match your company’s brand image. We also will provide training to your entire staff, if necessary to get the most advantage from social media’s functionality. If you’re just too busy to handle your own social media, we can take the entire function off of your hands and do it for you.
We’re adding more resources every day.
- Subscribe to our blogs: TheBuzzFactoree.com/blog – for ideas on storytelling for your business or nonprofit; or ThatAwkwardAge.com – to see storytelling and humor in practice (or just for the fun of it).
- Subscribe to our newsletter: Enter your name in the box at the top right of the page (we don’t share your info — promise). We’ll send more great ideas your way – tips for improving your writing, identifying great stories and using new and traditional media to spread the word.
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- Click on the icons on the right.
Photo: By Jill Clardy