A Pardot survey found that 80 percent of people say authenticity of content is the main factor dictating whether they follow a brand on social media or not. Today’s consumers want authenticity and transparency when it comes to branding, and businesses that can practice this will cultivate lasting connections with their ideal customer. A key step in developing an authentic brand is knowing and communicating your brand story, or the backstory to your business that sheds light on how you came to be and what your purpose is. So how do you boil down your brand story into something succinct that you could easily explain to someone or feature on your About page? Try asking yourself these key questions to get started.
1. Who is my target customer?
Most questions you ask yourself about the direction of your business should start with this — who is your ideal consumer? Think about their traits including age range, income level, profession and other defining aspects of their persona. What are their values, interests and needs? How do they speak? Not only can asking these questions help you strengthen your brand, but it also informs what you stock in your showroom. If your target customer base is older, you might stock more traditional items than you would if you were targeting college students or young professionals.
The same goes for developing your brand story. If your target consumer is Millennials buying their first home, you would want to do some research on that cohort. That research would show insights like the fact that 70 percent of Millennials are willing to spend more on brands that support causes they care about. To create a brand story that resonates with this audience, you might highlight your commitment to social responsibility or your local charity efforts. Don’t stop at identifying your ideal customer — do some research online, talk to colleagues and chat with customers in your showroom to get an idea of what they value and look for in a business.
2. Why was my business founded?
Asking this question will help you get at the overall mission and purpose of your business. Why did you, or your mother, or your great grandfather start the business — and don’t say “to sell lighting fixtures.” While that may be part of it, your business is much more than your sales and there’s always an interesting origin story to be told. What lead up to the founding of your business, what problems or needs did your business set out to address and what was the moment that the idea of the business became reality? Offering consumers an idea of the passion and history behind your showroom will help them see a full picture of who you are, increasing their trust and interest in your business.
3. What does my business offer that’s unique?
In other words, why should people buy from you in particular? What problems do you solve for your customers? Think about what qualities make your showroom stand out from the crowd, whether it’s your highly experienced staff, your focus on sustainability, your huge showroom or your commitment to selling American-made products. Take some time to think about the unique traits your business has that others might not, and incorporate those points into your brand story. Make sure to think hard about the human, emotional aspects of your business. Who are the unique people that make your business tick? Who are your loyal customers? Anything you can do to set yourself apart and add color to your brand will make your business more attractive to consumers.
What are the defining aspects of your brand story? Let us know in the comments!