Your business is fueled by your tireless dedication and desire to help people understand how you can help them. Your solutions are efficient and effective; you think them buzzworthy — that people should spread the word about them. However, with all the potential your business has, does it leave an imprint in people’s minds? Do you wonder if your brand is missing something?
Chances are it’s missing one simple tweak you can make today.
Visit your About Me/About Us page and ask yourself this question:
What’s my personal story?
Like the importance of your company’s sense of social justice, it’s important that people know the story behind your name and face. Humans, by nature, learn by mimicry and gravitate to the relatable or familiar.
“Great stories agree with our worldview. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes [them] feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.” — Seth Godin
Your story can help people connect with you in a powerful way because they’ll learn your worldview, values, victories, and current obstacles, which can validate what they already know and value in their own lives.
And your personal story’s only half of the picture — your brand’s next.
What’s the story behind my brand?
Your brand’s story is the bridge between your business and potential customers. People make purchasing decisions with their heads and hearts, so it’s important to appeal to them in both ways. In fact, it’s the brand story that will stay with them long after they’ve left your website or purchased your product or service.
For example, Tijuana Flats, the restaurant chain started by a UCF graduate in Winter Park, FL, has become a favorite spot for young adults who love Tex-Mex cuisine but prefer to have fresh ingredients.
Tijuana Flats’ brand story invokes a commitment to quality freshness in their foods (fresh jalapenos, beans, etc.), being a healthy alternative to the more “fast-food” style Tex-Mex cuisine (including the option of flour or wheat tortillas for burritos, and a low-calorie menu section), and unyielding college humor, as seen in its mixed fonts and comic book motif on its website, its restaurants’ interior decor (which always includes a vibrant mural), and cheeky sauce names for its famous line of hot sauces.
The cheeky humor is also seen on its menus, including phrases like, “It only burns for a little while”, and “Is it hot in here or is it just you?”
In addition to all that, the company founded the Just in Queso Foundation in 2007, which has donated over $670,000 to date to help those in need.
Between the youthful brand experience and the founder’s personal story, it’s easy to understand Tijuana Flats’ ability to garner devoted customers.
And it’s possible for your business, too.
Not a storyteller? There’s plenty of help for you to make your mark.
Here are 4 great resources for harnessing psychology, business, and storytelling to bolster your brand and business:
- Get Storied: storytelling expert Michael Margolis’ website and highly informative blog
- Social Triggers: Derek Halpern’s blog marrying psychology and marketing for better results
- Sparring Minds: Gregory Ciotti’s insightful blog forces behavioral psychology and entrepreneurship to, as he puts it, “play nice together”
- Help Scout’s blog: the knockout customer service app company’s blog offers great tips on how to gain customers and, more importantly, how to keep them happy. This blog isn’t bent on storytelling, but it helps you understand how to more effectively appeal to your customers and offers several practical ebooks to help you make that happen.
Your homework: start with Margolis’ Get Storied blog and apply what you learn to your personal and brand stories today.
Flickr photo by Johanne Brunet.