Tell a Better Brand StoryJan 27, 2022
Everyone has a story that is worth sharing. But how do we tell it? And what belongs in our business?
There’s no denying - whether in business or in life, our stories are what form who we are and ultimately what we stand for. As we move through life, our values and beliefs evolve and are formed. Lessons are learned and wisdom earned.
Our stories build page after page, chapter after chapter, book after book as we write our Soul Story.
When attempting to tell a better brand story, we want to clearly communicate what makes us unique. This is what forms your power positioning in your brand.
Power positioning takes into account all that you bring to the table. Your knowledge, your experience and your wisdom.
The confusion comes in for most here with questions like….
“How much of my story should be a part of my positioning?”
“What if I scare people away with my stories?
The thing is, a brand story is the story of you, yes, but told in the context of your prospect’s issues that they need solving - their problem.
The trick is discerning what part of your story makes your expertise stand out, and what doesn’t. We want to guide prospect to their solution - your offers. This is the heart of brand strategy.
Power positioning will enable you to resonate with those you are meant to serve. The messaging expressing your positioning should attract your ideal client to your business by clearly illuminating what makes you unique and distinct.
Your brand story should reflect your true self.
When it comes to connecting with an audience, authenticity is key. I know - I see your eyes rolling back in your head. There is a lot of talk out there about being authentic - for good reason.
86% of Consumers State That Authenticity Is Important
In 2021, Stackla surveyed 2,000 adults living in the US, UK, and Australia. And as it turns out, 86% of them factor in authenticity when deciding which brands to support.
In that same survey, only 57% of the respondents felt that brands are not as authentic as they make themselves out to be.
People want the real you - authentic and transparent in your beliefs. The more transparent you are about what you believe, the more your prospects will trust you.
A real brand development journey will emerge your power positioning - your qualities, attributes, strengths, and wisdom that you have earned from living life and that has made you who you are today.
In fact, a lived-life makes for great stories and contributes hugely to building your power positioning, the very mechanism for standing out.
I love this photo: In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.
There is a unique inner essence in each of us that is unlike any other that can’t help but inform our businesses.
And when we embrace this, we can put ourselves out there naturally.
You will stand out in a crowded marketplace. And will attract the people you are meant to serve.
But how do we know what is authentic for us?
For me growing up, everything was confusing to me. I didn’t feel connected to anything.
I was brought up in Durham, NC in a perfectly manicured neighborhood, groomed to be a debutante, go to Duke, marry a doctor, have a family and live a Country Club life.
But my open wild playful spirit was lively and bothersome and subsequently, squashed:
“Come down here!” “Put that down!” “Sit down!” “Calm down!” “Settle down!“
Our home on the outside to everyone else was like a Norman Rockwell painting but on the inside, it was chaos and mixed signals.
I spent my childhood learning how to hide, to stay small and invisible.
And as I grew up, there was a battle raging inside me to be someone I wasn’t. I rebelled. I resorted to escaping and numbing myself out. I felt more and more disconnected from life. And I had no idea who I was, much less what I stood for!
Then something wonderful happened that changed my life.
In a High School elective class, I discovered photography. I discovered I could learn about life through the camera lens! I LOVED the idea of freezing moments in time. I finally had hope of a career I could love.
It also provided a way for me to discover truth —my authentic nature.
I discovered that I had a gift to anticipate and intuit those fleeting moments of connection and love. I could feel poignant moments before they even happened. I’d capture it on film and my clients loved it! I became very successful serving people with this gift.
Who am I now? For me, like Brené Brown’s famous quote that I don’t feel ever gets old…
We never stop growing. We continue to expand and create connections.
Along that journey through my photography, I realized what set me apart from all the other wedding photographers was the time I put into understanding what made each wedding different, and that to capture these special moments, I had to get to the essence of who these people were - their authentic story.
Every wedding is the same—It’s the people and the details that create the experience of THAT wedding. That is the brand story of a wedding.
Claim the lessons learned, and emerge your Soul Story.
Emerge your brand story. By integrating your life wisdom into your brand story, you bring a richness to your brand, to your offers and delivery that no one else offers. The way you do things, the way you know works, this is your power positioning.
Branding is a fine choreography of various elements that creates a perception in the marketplace. It’s about your ability for your message to connect with a person so that they know that you understand them.
What is Brand Positioning? And, why is it important?
Brand Positioning is the practice of emerging, identifying, and expressing what separates you from the pack with your target audience. It is defining the position you want others to perceive you as.
Why is Brand Positioning so vital to a marketing plan?
Developing your personalized position in the eyes of your ideal audience is easy to dismiss as a ‘do it later’ process - after you choose colors and your logo. But that is backwards and dead wrong. If you don’t craft your power positioning first, your soul story, you will waste a lot of time, money and resources. This I guarantee.
7 reasons to Craft Your Power Positioning First.
1. Power Positioning helps break through the internet noise. You have the chance now to speak to a targeted audience because your language can be more specific - no more generalities trying to be all things to all people.
2. Power Positioning creates market differentiation because you can clearly explain what makes your products or services unique.
3. Power Positioning cultivates trust, and people buy from those they trust. Positioning gives you the language that evokes an emotional response from your target customer, and you earn trust. And they buy. 95 percent of our buying decisions occur in the subconscious, where they're fueled by emotions, not logical processes.
4. Power Positioning enables you to communicate your value. With clear brand positioning, it’s easier to clarify your value - you can talk specifics, and how that benefits the prospect.
5. Power Positioning directs your messaging and all marketing copy. The building blocks of all marketing are the messaging in your Brand Story - your foundational tool conveying your Power Positioning as it relates to who your ideal customer is. A clear, cohesive message that conveys your value, and can be used consistently across all channels.
6. Power Positioning drives your visuals, imagery, colors, fonts, and design. This offers your visitor a more intuitive experience that guides them easily where you want them to go. For example, when choosing colors, select them based on what is appealing to your ideal customer - not to you. Same for images - just because you love to sail doesn't mean you need to have a sailboat scene on the homepage of your financial advisory firm.
7. Power Positioning allows for you to charge more, it elevates you to expert status. When developing your Power Positioning, you take a close look at your competitors, your industry and your field where you further hone your distinction, as well as pricing.
As you can see, Power Positioning is one of the most important aspects of building a brand. And unfortunately, the one most often skipped over.
The biggest mistake I see business owners making is throwing money at the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of starting at the beginning crafting their clear message.
It’s the energy that your audience picks up on when they engage with you and your company. Whether in-person at an event, or your website, they will instantly have an impression of you. They will decide in 1/10th of a second if they like you or not.
Think about it when you land on someone’s website. Do you keep scrolling? Or do you click out? You are attracted to some and others you can’t get off their site fast enough.
3 Steps to your Power Positioning:
1. Answer the questions: Who am I? What do I stand for?
Get very clear on who you are, on a personal and professional level. Whether a personal brand or a company, the personality, the values must come through in order to stand out. What do you stand for? What are your values? What gets you up in the morning? Ask yourself these important questions. This is the soul of your brand - give it the attention it deserves. Why? Because you will have way more success if you do. It’s the law. Natural law that is.
2. Connect with your ideal audience through empathy
Invoke your intuition, get into their head and heart. Think about them - what do they want? What do they think they want and need? Where will you find them? What’s at the bottom of their purse or in their console?
It’s time to start looking at people as people, rather than paychecks or numbers on a screen.
Get to know your ideal audience intimately through market research and personal experience.
3. Don’t apologize for standing up for what you stand for.
That’s exactly how you will stand out. It’s noisy out there on the internet with almost 6 billion pages! We are in the age of Infobesity too. Jargon, sales talk, and the same ‘ol vanilla messaging bombards us every day.
The only way you’re going to stand out is to speak your truth with conviction and confidence, and walk like you talk.
Speak directly to your audience’s hearts and the ones you are meant to serve will hear you and they will recognize you on the spot as the one to help them.
Don’t be afraid to be bold and cultivate the confidence to share your brand story without censoring your words or your personality. Sure you might scare some people off - who cares as long as they are not your ideal customer. Believe me this will pay off in brand loyalty.
There is no shortcut to this. First things first.
Build your foundation for your brand that’s unshakable and it will last you for years to come because it’s a representation of who you are at your core, and what you’re offering the world.
Once you’ve done this, THEN you move on to marketing and bring in strategies and initiatives like paid advertising, video marketing and workshops to generate new leads and make more sales.
Magic happens when you step into and claim your Soul Story Brand.
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