Last week, I showed you my favorite methods for telling a story well. So this time, let’s turn things back and ask ourselves: What story should my brand or I be telling in the first place?
With the abundance of brands and products in today’s marketplace, the competition for customers’ mind is fierce. Only the best brand/product/personal stories catch attention and make an impression.
For crafting the all-important brand stories for brands, I love the framework of questions from Seth Godin’s book “All Marketers Are Liars.”
It starts with a discussion of which group you will tell your story to. The people in a group must share a worldview that makes it likely they will sit up and take notice.
Which worldview are you addressing?
If you don’t get noticed, you’re invisible. You can’t tell a story, and your marketing ends there and then. The story you’ll need to tell in order to get noticed must match the worldview of the people you’re telling it to, and it has to be obvious.
Which frame are you using?
How do you frame your story so that people with that worldview will be aware of it, listen to it and believe it?
What’s the story that’s worth noticing?
Once you’ve framed it properly, you can tell a subtle story. Use frames to make the stories palatable to people who share a worldview. Tell a story that your audience cares about (and one you can learn to care about!). You only get one chance to tell this story—and it’s a story you’re going to have to live with. So pick a story that works, not one that your boss likes.
How will you live your story?
Be authentic. Live the story. Making promises you can’t keep or selling for the short term instead of the long term is a lousy trade-off. You have a powerful tool – will you use it to make people’s lives better?
What hard decisions are you willing to make in order to keep your story real and pure and authentic? Compromise is the enemy of authenticity.
Create mechanisms that allow individuals who believe your story to share it with their friends and colleagues. The way your story will spread is not because you directly market to people with a worldview alien to your story. It will spread when one individual interacts with another and uses the power of the personal interaction to spread your story.
What are the shortcuts your fans can use to tell the story to their friends? How can you help them frame that story?
If you can’t do this with the product or service you currently offer, change it!
How can you radically change your product or service so that the story is natural and obvious and easy to tell?
If you’re not growing, the problem is most likely in your product and not your advertising. Have the guts to change it so that it can evolve into what it deserves to be.
What’s the value of your permission asset?
Finally, understand that the people with a worldview that gives them a bias to listen to you and to believe you are the most valuable consumers on earth. Get permission from them to follow up, then get to work finding new products for the people who want to buy them.
As Seth said, you only get one chance to tell your story, so thinking critically through this framework can set you up for ever-lasting success or damage your brand beyond repair.
That’s all for today.
See you next week.
Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you:
- If you’d like me to coach or consult you in private, I offer a 1-on-1 coaching program and a 1-hour consultation call. Learn more about my services here.