At Chernoff Newman, we’re in the business of telling compelling stories in imaginative ways. As strategic communicators, we have the unique ability to connect and motivate audiences. Storytelling can be a challenging activity for brands – we are often approached to evaluate why some of their messages touch audiences and why some fail miserably to connect. Every day, I am lucky enough to work with some very talented storytellers —gifted writers, directors, designers, consumer advocates and content generators — and from our collaborative efforts to align brand testimonies with people, I’ve obtained insights into the alchemy of great stories. Make no mistake, a meaningful, compelling message that drives action can be an elusive target, but experience has provided a clear sense of the essential elements of a story and how to tap into its power of connection.
The power of storytelling is central to my work as a brand strategist. Over the years, I’ve learned that the ability to articulate the story and your brand truths is crucial in almost every phase of enterprise. Think about it, it can work all along the business supply chain: A strong salesperson knows how to tell a story in which the product is the hero. His teammate, the line manager, can unite the team through a story that shows how short-term sacrifice leads to long-term success. A successful CEO can use an emotional story about the company’s mission to attract investors, to set aspirational goals, and to inspire employees.
Sometimes, a well-crafted story can even transform a perception, an image, a value proposition, a reason to buy or whatever the company need IS into an unexpected triumph. How? By communicating the Truth – also known as the gospel, the reality, the genuineness, the legitimacy.
Tell The Truth
Sounds simple, right? Just tell the truth when delivering the brand story. To quote, David Anderson, “Be Authentic!” If you walk the talk then this lends to your credibility as a messenger. Know the True brand value from a consumer POV and reveal it with honesty and sincerity.
Know Who You’re Talking To
You must KNOW them before you can LEAD them. You’re not talking to a demo or a target – you’re talking to a person. So, make sure you talk to and treat them as people. Be human. Understand their motivations, their needs and what they care about. Use that understanding as currency and spend it wisely. Tell them your brand truth that will resonate with their needs and be respectful of their time.
Ah, Relevancy – it’s Lee Bussell’s most frequent reminder to all of us here at Chernoff Newman. It’s important to tailor your key brand truth for each person. After all, a great storyteller never tells the same story twice. Instead, the truth is always uniquely tailored to suit the listener.
Share the Mission
When sharing a brand story, the storyteller must clearly communicate the mission (beyond a product or service) with powerful emotion in order to capture the support and attention of the listener. Does the ad engage? Does the website inspire? Does the audience benefit? As communicators everything we do must serve the brand mission. Because if we don’t serve it then the listener/reader/viewer will not believe in it.
Call us, email us, tweet us – do whatever you need to do to allow us the opportunity to demonstrate how these practices can actively engage listeners for your brand story. Our experience and ability to motivate, sell, inspire and engage with your audiences can secure a formidable leadership position for your brand.