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Once upon a time, in a world full of competition and noise, there was a business owner who struggled to stand out from the crowd. She had a great product, a talented team and a passion for what she did. But in a marketplace full of lookalike brands and forgettable messaging, she knew that something was missing. That’s when she discovered the power of business storytelling.
By crafting a narrative that conveyed her brand’s values, mission, and unique selling proposition, she could build a loyal following that went beyond the features and benefits of her offerings.
In this article, we’ll explore the art of business storytelling and how you can use it to create a brand narrative that inspires and engages your audience.
The art of business storytelling
The art of business storytelling involves using narrative techniques to create an interesting brand story that resonates with your audience. You can create a brand narrative that not only captures your audience’s attention but also inspires them to take action. A well-crafted story can help you stand out from the competition, build trust with your customers, and create a loyal following.
Related: 5 Steps to Craft a Story That Hooks Your Audience Every Time
How to find your brand’s story
To create a compelling brand narrative, you need to start by identifying the core values, mission and vision that drive your business.
What makes your brand unique? What impact do you want to make in the world? Answering these questions will help you uncover the story that will resonate with your audience.
One way to do this is to use the hero’s journey framework, which is a time-tested narrative structure that people have used in myths and stories throughout history. By applying this framework to your brand’s story, you can create a narrative that engages and inspires your audience.
But to be truly effective, your brand story needs to be authentic. It is crucial that you include your values, mission and vision in every aspect of your business, from your marketing messages to your customer interactions. Customers can sense when a brand is being disingenuous or inauthentic, and that can lead to a loss of trust and loyalty.
Crafting your brand’s story
Once you’ve identified your core values, mission and vision, it’s time to craft a narrative that resonates with your audience. Let’s look at the hero’s journey framework.
The hero’s journey is a narrative structure that involves a protagonist who faces challenges, overcomes obstacles and emerges transformed. By applying this structure to your brand’s story, you can create a narrative that engages and inspires your audience. Here’s how to do it:
Start with the call to adventure: This is when the hero is called to action and sets out on their journey. For your brand’s story, this might be when you first realized the need for your product or service.
Introduce the challenges and obstacles: No hero’s journey is complete without challenges and obstacles. For your brand’s story, these might be the setbacks and struggles you faced along the way.
Show how you overcame the challenges: The hero’s journey is ultimately about triumphing over adversity. For your brand’s story, this might be the moment when you finally found a solution to the problem you were trying to solve.
Reflect on the lessons learned: Every hero’s journey involves a transformation. For your brand’s story, this might be the lessons you learned along the way and how they shaped your values and mission.
By using the hero’s journey framework, you can create a narrative that resonates with your audience and creates an emotional connection.
Related: How to Build a Brand Story That Buyers Emotionally Connect With
Many examples of brands have successfully used storytelling to build a loyal following. The story of Apple is a great example of how a hero’s journey can create a story that resonates with audiences and inspires them to action. In the early days of the company, Apple was a startup trying to break into the personal computer market. But Steve Jobs saw something bigger — a vision for a company that would change the world. He cast himself as the hero of the story, setting out on a journey to build a company that would challenge the status quo and revolutionize the way we interact with technology.
In Jobs’ telling, the call to adventure came as a meeting with Xerox PARC, where he saw a prototype of a graphical user interface that would change the way we interact with computers. Jobs recognized the potential of this technology and set out to build a company that would make it accessible to everyone.
Along the way, Jobs faced challenges, and obstacles that threatened to derail his vision. Apple fired him, the company he co-founded, and had to start over with NeXT. But he never lost sight of his mission and eventually returned to Apple with a renewed sense of purpose.
Through it all, Jobs remained true to his values and vision, and created a company that changed the world. Today, Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, known for its innovative products and design-driven approach.
Another example, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is a classic example of a brand using an interesting narrative to connect with its audience. The company built the campaign around the hero’s journey framework, with the call to adventure being when the hero decides to take action, the challenges being the obstacles that stand in the hero’s way, the overcoming of challenges being when the hero chooses to “just do it,” and the lessons learned is the idea that anyone can be a hero if they dare to try.
In conclusion, crafting an engaging brand narrative is essential in today’s competitive marketplace. By identifying your core values, mission, and vision, using the hero’s journey framework, and making your story memorable, you can build a loyal following that will stick with you through thick and thin.
This story originally appeared on Entrepreneur