The Empathy Edge: Mastering the Art of Conscious Story Marketing for Better Engagement

#resonance authentic branding conscious business mindset Dec 31, 2023

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a smart, savvy business owner, and you have great value to offer clients. But it can be difficult to gain traction with your business without knowing the ins and outs of marketing. And the more customers who bounce from your website, the more frustrating it gets.


A common problem that comes up when you’re trying to get the word out to customers and generate leads is something you can easily fix if you just shift your mindset.


You probably know how to use this skill in everyday life already. But most people don’t think to apply it to marketing: Empathy.


The Problem: Lack Of Empathy  

It’s easy to go wrong with marketing. In the overwhelming oversaturated sea of content that swamps us all! 


We start feeling like we need to get loud and spew as much meaningless content we can only to end up losing steam and end up with a marketing mess. Clearly, this is not sustainable nor is it good for business. 


Think of conscious marketing as being the best kind of friend in a conversation. Instead of hogging the spotlight and chatting non-stop about yourself, you're the one who listens attentively. It's all about making the other person feel heard, happy, and totally comfortable being themselves. Just like a true friend, you're there to brighten their day and create a safe space for genuine connection.


The concept is the same in marketing. 


When all you talk about is how you are the best, you lose out on making your prospect feel the best. In actuality, you are competing with your prospect. This turns all of the focus onto you, and makes customers feel ignored. It’s pushy, it's in your face, and it completely discounts the customer’s feelings. 


And if your customer has that negative experience, they want nothing to do with your brand. 


A lack of empathy scares your customer away instantly. And they won’t be coming back. 


This is where you need a shift in your marketing mindset. Your brand needs to focus on what will create the best possible experience for the customer, and that requires a deep understanding of what your customer truly feels and wants. This is what makes customers want to be best friends with your brand.

In other words, what you need in your marketing is empathy. 


What Empathy Is And Why It Works 

Empathy is seeing your customers purely as the human beings that they are. According to Don Peppers, an expert on the customer experience, “empathy is the ultimate form of customer insight.”


Empathy is when you truly understand what makes another human being tick.


It’s knowing what somebody experiences physically, and more so on a deep emotional level. It’s feeling their spirit. Empathy digs deep beneath the surface level and strikes the core of the customer.


You can see what bothers them, their most troublesome problems, what they want and need so badly. 


When a customer, a human, knows that you empathize with them, they feel connected to you and your brand. Yes, when you truly empathize with your customers, you will connect with them in a way that powerfully resonates and betters your business.


The key to brilliant marketing is to make a customer feel that their deepest problems are understood, and then to inspire them with the tools to get them to the result they're seeking.

How Can Empathy Be Achieved?

This is where the #1 tool comes in as a vehicle to use empathy:  your brand story. That’s right.


The Number 1 tool you can use to employ empathy is your brand story. 


There is nothing better than a story to engage people and make concepts much easier to understand. Don Miller, renowned expert marketer, endorses the concept of the brand story: 


"Marketing has changed. Businesses that invite their customers into a heroic story grow. Businesses that don’t are forgotten."  - Don Miller, Storybrand


Your brand story is the bridge between your brand and the customer - it’s the line of communication that helps your customer understand the value you have to offer to them. 


The secret to effective story marketing is to add empathy to the mix. How do you do that?? How do you make a customer feel listened to when it’s YOU who is telling the story?  And when they're looking at your website, not actually talking to you?


It starts with letting go of the notion that your brand is the hero of the story. 


Check yourself: Your customer is the hero of the story. And every hero has a problem that they have to overcome. 


You need empathy to understand what your hero is going through, their basic and soulful desires, to help them solve their problem. You must understand their problem inside and out and let your customer KNOW that you understand it. (it’s not about the logo!)


Position Yourself As The Trusted Guide

The secret is to position yourself as the trusted guide who helps the hero (your customer) overcome their problem. This is the most powerful and economical way to gain visibility and become known as the go-to expert in your industry. 


Your brand is there for the sole reason to help the customer succeed.


Once you build an engaging brand story with customers positioning them as the hero and you as their trusted guide, customers will start looking to your brand to help them solve their problems.


It is important to remember that the customer will only trust the guide when they know that the guide truly understands them - and that the guide truly wants to help them. 


So if you can show your hero of the story that you really care, and can help them find the solution, a powerful, lasting bond between your brand and your customers will be created.


So how do you start to build an empathy-based brand story? Let’s take a look. 


4 Steps To Building A Brand Story With Empathy


1) Clarify

A confused person never buys. Further, if you and your team are confused, your customers will be too, and they won’t stick around. The first step is to get clear about your brand identity and your customers.

What are your core values, why does your brand exist? Think about what your customers are going through and how you help them. 

You can get clear by answering these questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you stand for?
  3. Who do you serve, what are their wants and needs?
  4. What value do you offer that that's different than anyone else?


This process will emerge your Power Positioning. This is what sets you apart and causes you to stand out in the noise of the marketplace. 


There is only one of you, you are unique. It is you, your approach, and your style, that your ideal client will recognize -- on the spot as the only person they believe can solve their problem. You’ve earned their trust by being authentic, transparent, and clear. 


Your brand messaging hones in on why you, and your product or service, is the best choice for them. They resonate with you. 


Go ahead and answer the questions above right now. Write down the answers to the questions above.  


Make sure your whole team is on board.

Everyone in your business should be able to talk about the answers to these questions confidently and passionately. Once you get clear on those answers, you can begin building your brand story. 


First, let’s break down the elements of a story to gain an understanding of why following a clear structure creates a narrative that instantly makes sense to customers.




2) Story Elements     

Keep the following story elements in mind as you build any marketing content and you will go a long way in the long journey of gaining trust.           

(for a deeper dive with examples, check out my Story Copywriting masterclass on YouTube!)


The Characters

Your brand as the trusted guide - how will the guide help the hero achieve their goal?

Your customer as the hero - how does the hero feel, how do they act? - Empathy!


The Problem

Again, use empathy. What does your customer need and want so badly to change?

What challenges do they face?


The Plan

This is the solution. How will your brand help the customer solve the problem and get a happy ending?


The Call to Action

What are the stakes if the hero doesn’t act to solve the problem? How will you ask them to carry out the plan you have to help them achieve their goal? What’s the next step you want them to take?



The hero enacts the plan, reaches the goal, and all is well. 


3) Putting it all together

Pull all the elements together to make a seamless story: There is a hero, the hero has a problem, doesn’t know what to do, meets a guide who has a plan, the hero executes the plan, and all is resolved for the hero. 

This brand story is the driving force that makes your customer feel understood and inspired. The story needs to be simple enough that it can be explained quickly without confusing customers. The basic framework of the story should make sense in bite-sized sentences but can be adapted to a whole blog post's worth of content. 


4) Building a Content Library from your Brand Story

By taking your brand story and building a content library based on it, you and anyone on your team will be able to build cohesive, consistent content. 

A content library is a document of key messaging, and marketing content, that expresses your brand story in different lengths and different ways. It’s flexible and expands on the brand story and further illuminates your distinction - your Power Positioning. 

This way, anyone who is a part of your business will have the resources to effectively communicate your brand story to customers on any platform in any context. This will keep your story and message consistent so that customers are never confused. 

Your brand will be recognizable, and impactful, and keep customers continuously engaged. 

An empathetic brand story captivates customers and rapidly grows your business.


Need help with navigating your brand story, content library, and all things marketing?

By building a brand story with empathy, customers will feel listened to and deeply connect with your brand. 

They will finally pay attention to your brand and you will notice increased conversions.


Empathy is a simple change in mindset, but developing a whole brand story and content library is a process that requires a lot of time and work. If you’re a busy entrepreneur and need an extra boost to help your marketing campaign to drive leads to your business, consider hiring a brand strategist. 


At Soul Story Creative we are here to listen to your business needs and help you stand out in the crowded marketplace. 


Our mission is to give you the resources you need to make impactful connections with customers that better your brand and boost your profits. 

Schedule a complimentary brand audit with me and start resonating with your customers now to bring in new business!  





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