Great marketing is about story. It’s about content. And when it is really successful at what it does, the marketplace creates words to describe the content and to capture the brand, wrapping it in what can only be described as affectionate borrowing.
Soaps, the noun, was affectionately co-opted by the general public to describe the serialized dramas on radio and TV heavily advertised by Proctor & Gamble with detergent and household cleaning products in the mid-part of the last century.
Google, the verb, was cribbed by the public at a speed that sprung up spontaneously all over the place to reflect the practice of browser searching. But why Google and not another brand browser? Apart from its algorhythmic proficiency, It had something to do with that artistically creative and playful Google banner and the “on this date” stories that absorbed people and were memorable and worthy of their own archive.
Most prevalent is probably the one you’re using to receive and read this blog. Who uses a capital letter on Internet anymore? The Internet brand illustrates perfectly what Marshall McLuhan meant when he described the medium becoming the message. Connectedness.
Your brand should be about your story as well. Among your cohort of client advocates, it already is. When they think of you, they think of what you are about – what you represent, how you deliver on your promise. But your most important audience comprises the folks who have yet to know you. And this is where the story of your brand is especially important.
Being human, we relate to things emotionally, and we like to talk about people, places and things that matter to us, that provide value in some way. We store this information in story form because that’s what humans do. And we share it in story form as well. We share stories that inspire us, teach us something, and conjure up emotional responses or challenges. And one of the most compelling story themes that goes back millennia is the one that recounts success. Odysseus, anyone, the guy who made it home? The hero legend is as old as stories.
What’s your success story? Where did you start out from? What unique offering inspired you to be in the business you’re in? What challenges did you meet along the way? How did you overcome them? What did they teach you? How did they contribute to who you are today? You have a story to tell. It’s the one that should be on your About page.
Next week, we’ll dig a little deeper into the process of crafting your story. Until then, spend some thought on what it would be like to hear for the first time what you’re all about.