How to create connection with your customers through a great brand story

Stories are so important, have you ever considered the consequence of not telling your brand story? Brene Brown in Rising Strong writes, “In the absence of data, we will always make up stories, it’s how we are wired. We make meaning by creating a story that makes sense, feels familiar and offers us insights”. Brene goes on to reference Johnathan Gottschall’s book The Storytelling Animal. In which a team of psychologist asked people to choose a pair of socks among an identical seven pairs. When asked each person came up with a different reason for why they choose their pair. No one said I don’t know why. All had made up a story to justify their choice to themselves, even though it was not rational at all. Which illustrates the point, if you don’t tell your story, people will make up their own story about your brand… Do you want to risk that?

If you have previously felt stuck creating a brand story for your food or beverage business or feel like yours needs a little refinement this activity will help. Today I want to take you through a process to help you untangle your key messages then bring them all back together in a story that will resonate with your target market. So much so, that when they hear it, read it or experience your product they can feel the love coming from you and connect with your product on an emotional level. After all, as the sock example shows, as humans we cannot trust ourselves to make rational decisions! We make our choices based on stories and emotion and then go on to purchase because we think a product will make us feel a certain way.

Oh, and yes, this process will take some time, so set aside a day that you can dedicate to this exercise before you make a start. Also, promise me that you will use your story. Don’t spend all day creating something only to do nothing with it!

Create, weave, test, refine…the process you need to go through to create brand story

Step 1- Create To make a start I want you to aim to get clear on the key elements of your brand. For your story these key elements become your key messages.

Secondly, I need you to define your Foodie Friend. Your Foodie Friend is a persona you need to develop based on your target market. To do this imagine one person from your target market, describe their background, demographics, interests, family life, pain points, challenges and goals.

Thirdly, examine your product or experience from your foodie friend’s perspective. Delve into how you can help your foodie friend to achieve their goals, overcome their challenges and pain points by experiencing your product. The great thing about being in food and beverage is these products naturally evoke the senses. Examine appearance, smell, taste, texture of your product or experience. What emotions do these senses evoke, how do you want your foodie friend to feel when they have purchased your product or experience?

Step 2- Weave Now we need to bring all the points we have identified in the create process, together into a story. Stories are patterns. They all contain a beginning, a middle and an end. Brene Brown’s research also identified that the brain recognises the familiar beginning, middle and end and will reward us by releasing cortisol and oxytocin- allowing us to connect, empathise and make meaning. This is the love and connection part!

Step 3- Test Go out to the market and test your story on your customers, do you find it resonates with them, do they understand it, does the story resolve the tension? Does it make them fall in love?

 Step 4- Refine With the feedback from your testing take the time to revisit your story regularly. Remember we are not aiming for perfection, all good stories evolve over time, so take the time to revisit your story regularly to refine these ideas.

Now you have created the connection with your customers promise me that you will use your story. Tell everyone you interact with your story, make it become a part of everything that you do. Your customers will feel so connected and just love you for it J

If you need one on one help creating your story let me know. I am planning a range of workshops later this year to step people through this process. Join my mailing list to stay informed.