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Posts Tagged ‘Branding’

Does your company have a story to tell?  If yes, are you taking full advantage of that story to build your brand?

Federale with Leather Briefcase

Federale with Saddleback Briefcase

I recently put “Be a Good Story Teller” on my list of ideas for this blog.  It was a topic that I felt I wanted to address because it was something that I hadn’t heard much discussion on.  So what does telling good stories have to do with building a successful brand?

We should have all figured out by now that the purpose of branding is to capture attention, engage interest and leave a memorable message with the recipient.  The more refined and well crafted the brand marketing, the more clear and understood the message will be received by the targeted market.  This in turn, will result in more sales, traffic, etc.

Coincidently a good story must contain these same elements, “to capture attention, engage interest and leave a memorable message.”  If your business has a story to tell then by all means use it.  Incorporate your company story into your business the same way you do with branding.

7 Reasons Why Story Telling is Good for Business.

  1. Everyone likes a good story.
  2. Stories show personality.
  3. Stories have the ability capture and hold our attention.  (We’re all a bunch of ADD’ers)
  4. Stories build brand loyalty, by creating an emotional connection between business and customer.
  5. Stories are easier to remember than facts, and being memorable is the objective in branding.
  6. Stories are unique, and…
  7. People like to share stories.

“They’ll fight over it when you’re dead.”

The Saddleback Leather Company

The Saddleback Leather Company

There is really no better way to show the value of a good story, than to look at a perfect example of a company that has an amazing story and has used it to build its brand.

I was introduced to the Saddleback Leather Company’s story from the SAMBA Blog (article by Jon Dale, They’ll fight over it when you’re dead) and it inspired me to share the value behind good storytelling.  Dave Munson, the president and founder of the Saddleback Leather Company invites his site visitors in and shares the unique story behind the company’s founding.  Even their prominent Call to Action on the homepage draws you into the story of the brand more than the products themselves.

Now following Saddleback’s example, let’s examine how we can tell a good story.

How to Tell a Good Story:

  • Be Yourself: The personality of your brand will in many ways match the personality of the entrepreneurs who build them.  From the tight-laced professional to the fun-loving hipster, our businesses and brands tend to reflect their owners.  So embrace the your uniqueness and what it brings to the table.
  • Be Interesting: Remember, just like branding, telling your story must capture attention, engage interest, and leave a memorable message. Be descriptive, use pictures, and paint the picture of your amazing product or services journey.  Where did it start?  Who was involved? What did you struggle with?  How did you overcome challenges?
  • Be Honest: Fairy tales are great, but if you lie to your customers they will find out and it will ruin any work that you put into it.
  • Be Proactive: Don’t stop creating your story.  How do you want your business and life to be remembered?  Be adventurous and bring your brand with you.
  • Involve Your Customers: Just like the Saddleback Company created a photo contest for its customers and received responses from Africa to Antarctica, involve your happy customers and everyone wins.  You build brand loyalty and advocates for you company and your customers get to be a part of the story.

I’ll admit that not all businesses will have a compelling story to tell, and therefore should not try to make one up. However if your business has a good story then by all means tell it and use it to sell your brand.

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They never forget.

An Elephant Remembers

An Elephant Remembers

I just read a post by Seth Godin called Personal Branding in the Age of Google. He laid out an experience a friend of his had, after posting an ad on craigslist for a housekeeper. The friend received three responses, and Googled each of their names. Turns out her three candidates were a drunk, a thief, and lastly, one that planned to quit the “menial job that is below me, and I’m annoyed by it” as soon as she “sold a few paintings.” Sources for this eye-opening information included a Myspace profile, a police record and a personal blog. Ouch.

MY PERSONAL BRANDING NIGHTMARE

Seth’s post reminded me of my own Personal Branding nightmare. I think at one time or another we have all Googled our own name. You know, to find out what Google’s got on you.

So I searched… Michael Bungartz… and there I was on the first page:

– “Michael Bungartz is accused of using profanity, threatening an officer with loss of his job and insulting the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department…”
– “Michael Bungartz… disorderly conduct…”
– “…arrested for disorderly conduct after a domestic dispute.”

There’s even a YouTube video clip from a regionally televised news station, breaking the story. Yikes!

IT WASN’T ME! I’M INNOCENT

The problem is that… I’M INNOCENT! See my name is Michael J Bungartz, obviously, and I am originally from Wisconsin. Well so is Michael J Bungartz, Chief of Bloomer Police who is also from Wisconsin.

This guy is totally killing my rep! I’ve gone from entrepreneur and all around good guy, to a profanity spouting-abusive-disorderly-jackass (sorry Mr. Bungartz from Bloomer, but it’s true).

PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

Luckily I’ve been blogging for a while now, and have a couple of other plugs out there and this imposter is continually getting pushed down the list of Google’s search results. Although there was nothing with in my power to have stopped this from happening, it does bring up a valid point. Your Personal Brand or Image is a delicate thing. Screw up and the world can, and will find out (literally the world). No more hiding.

Lesson Learned: Protect your personal brand at all costs. The world, or more appropriately “Google”, is watching, listening and won’t be forgetting any time soon. As Google puts it… “Don’t be evil.”

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