Why Every Brand Needs a Story

We publish a fragment from the content marketing course by HubSpot Academy that explains why does your brand need a story and how to create one.

Everyone loves a great story. People want to feel connected to a group, to belong. Stories give you a reason to communicate and relate; stories are stimulating and give you something to believe in; stories make you feel better, smarter, safer, or even loved.

Business storytelling is similar. It’s about creating alignment between your business and your prospects and customers.

But telling your brand’s story is more than what you write on your website, your blog, or even social media. It’s your value and your mission, and how you communicate that consistently to your audience – wherever they are.

Content marketers are constantly battling for the attention of their prospects and customers. To help ensure that you’re heard, you need to be genuine and tell a story that appeals to your audience.

Your goal is to make a human connection. It’s about resonating with people who need your help or guidance.

Chances are, you’re not the only business that does what you do. To survive in today’s crowded informational marketplace, you need to stand out. This is where your business’ story comes in.

So, what’s NOT a story?

A story is not just your history. A story is WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, and telling it in a way that appeals to your audience.

Many companies play it safe and use data and ROI to attract customers, which is important. But logic very rarely is appealing and remembered. On the other hand, emotion gets remembered. Emotion gets shared. And it’s not by saying we’re the best. It’s more about appealing to the emotional side of your prospects and customers than the logic of what you do.

Stories are how audiences remember. And to help make your audience remember you need to stand out by telling a story with the right context, and create contrast by being consistent and authentic and being conversational to elicit emotion from a specific audience.

Golden Circle: WHY, HOW and WHAT

The author of the Golden Circle concept, Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

According to Sinek, most people communicate by starting with the “what” they do aspect and eventually work their way back to talk about “how” and “why” they do what they do.

Companies like Apple or Google communicate with an “inside-out” type of thinking. They start with the WHY and only then do they move on to talk about the how and what portions of what they do.

To keep it simple – WHY is Why are you doing what you’re doing? HOW is How will this help your audience? And WHAT is What are you offering?

So, why does the order in which you communicate the story matter? It has to do with the parts of the brain.

When you’re talking about what you do, you’re speaking to an analytical part of the brain. But when you talk about the why and how, you’re communicating with feelings and dealing with human behavior. And remember, storytelling is all about making that connection.

When you’re planning a story, take time to think through the way you’re choosing to tell it. To really connect with your prospects and customers, express the WHY of your story. Tap into the emotional side of things and begin to educate or build awareness from there.

The Golden Circle can help you create your mission statement and set the tone for all of your content.

More online courses in marketing and sales by HubSpot Academy can be found here.

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