My eight-year-old’s current fascination is with figures of history, famous people – not to be mistaken for the superficial world of celebrity. He is interested in those who have done something, made some kind of difference, enhanced the world; be it Andy Warhol, Charles Darwin, Maya Angelou, Richard Branson or Louis Armstrong. The list is endless. What I find interesting is that he is wanting to find out about each and every one of them.
I asked him why it is he wants to know about them. His reply, “I like finding out their story and seeing where they came from to do what they did”.
This is a very pertinent insight for me. Even an eight-year-old is interested in understanding the story behind someone’s achievements. As an Account Director, working in the brand & marketing sectors for almost twenty years, I have found time and time again that the story behind a brand/business is everything. Brand stories do two things – they establish your unique context and with that context they bring a human element, creating a deeper and stronger connection with your client (or potential client). As Shayna Smilovitz stated in her Instapage article earlier this year “Emotional branding is creating an emotional connection to one company that separates it from the rest, creating brand loyalty over time”.
A fine example is the clothing company Scamp & Dude who produce cool, contemporary high end clothing across a collection of children and adult ranges and all with superhero inspiration. There are thousands of independent clothing companies out there, but when you learn that the founder, Jo Tutcherner-Sharp, started the business with the objective of reassuring children with sick parents, whilst she was recovering from life threatening brain surgery, you realise that the brand is all about helping kids deal with separation anxiety. There is something quite remarkable about this particular set up - the story. Thus, it is set apart from its many competitors.
Storytelling has been around for years. Our brains are wired to connect with compelling narratives from an early age. We are surrounded with stories told through film, books, radio, TV and now Social Media. Despite the well-worn phrase of every reality TV show participant for the past ten years, everyone really is on a ‘journey’, so why don’t you delve a little deeper into the journey of your business, your brand, and start to share your context? Be honest, be genuine. You’d be surprised about how many people really would be interested to read and engage with it.