You’ve polished your ecommerce website, upped your advertising game and you’re on the ball with social media. But, you’re not seeing much change. So, what’s missing?
Many brands aren’t utilising the effective tool of storytelling. If you want to make a point to someone, the best way to make an impact is having a story to illustrate it. Keep reading as we take a look at some of the best brand stories and find out how to add your own stamp on your business.
TOMS have an inspirational brand story and never fail to get their message across. After travelling around South America, founder Blake Mycoskie encountered many children with no protection for their feet. Since creating TOMS, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes bought.
Similarly, for every pair of glasses purchased, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need. That includes a full eye exam, with the prescription glasses, sight-saving surgery or medical treatment needed.
TOMS’ ‘one for one’ scheme is promoted across all of their platforms, spreading their brand story effectively. And their ecommerce site is full of references to their origin. Not only is their charitable nature a unique selling point for the brand, but the story behind the cause makes the brand relatable and appeals to the values of their customers.
Airbnb has a classic ‘rags to riches’ tale that is seen with many brands around the world. So, what makes this one different? Their unique approach to storytelling makes their ecommerce site increasingly popular. Not only do they tell the stories of the guests on their site, they are very clear about their origins and the journey they have taken…
Three friends from San Francisco, were struggling to pay rent on their flat so decided to rent out air mattresses and breakfast for guests. In 2007, they set up a website with blogs and maps to different locations. Fast forward 7 years and the company was worth $10 billion. Pretty impressive, right?
Goop is a lifestyle brand, with an ecommerce site doubling as a blog and travel guide. Founded by Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008, Goop has grown from her kitchen as a homespun weekly newsletter to a worldwide ecommerce and recommendation site. Driven by the desire to share information across the world, Goop is a free, informative site as well as an ecommerce store.
Despite Gwyneth Paltrow’s obvious head start in the business with her pre-established fame, the brand’s storytelling is done in such a way that this is insignificant. Focusing on the hard work that has gone into the company and the quality of the brand today, the Goop site effectively relates to its customers.
What’s your story?
So, that’s how some of the big companies have done it. But, what about you? How do you effectively tell your brand’s story and relate to your customers?
First things first, don’t try to make up an inspirational, rags to riches story if it’s not true. People hate being manipulated and are much more likely to buy into an authentic story than a fake one. All companies have a start-up story, a reason behind why they exist, it’s all about telling that story and making it relatable.
Brand storytelling should be:
- What motivates your team to come to work every day – what do you offer or provide that is unique or special?
- The reason why your company and products came to be – what pushed you to create your products or open your business?
- A transparent insight into who you are as a company – what makes you different to your competitors?
- Direct and modest – don’t beat around the bush, but don’t overdo the storytelling or people may doubt its authenticity.
Don’t be selfish
Although your brand story has you in the centre, the main focus should always be the customer. The most powerful brand stories are the ones that prioritise the customers. Looking back at our examples, TOMS’ main focus is supplying those in need with shoes and sight – relying on their customers’ desire to help others. Find out what your primary customers value most from your products and services and incorporate these values into your story.
Don’t overthink it
It’s important not to overthink the process. Storytelling is something we all do naturally every day, often without even realising it. The more your story sounds thought-out, the less your customers are going to buy it. Particularly with ecommerce sites, online content can be difficult to write, with stories getting lost in translation. Tell your story honestly, as it happened. Once you’ve conveyed the message you need to, then you can add in the extra bits like customer values.
Keeping it simple
One thing the above brand examples have in common is that they are all simple, memorable stories. Each founder has encountered a problem in the world and produced a brand and product with the aim of solving that problem – simple, right?
The more elaborate the tale, the less likely it is that people will relate. Remember, your story needs to be shared to be heard too. Making it easy to retell will increase the chances of people sharing your story.
Time to tell your story
In the ever-growing world of ecommerce, it is important to stand out. A well told, authentic brand story will help you do just that. People are much more likely to buy your products if they are buying into you as a brand. Its simply not enough to have an inspirational, awe-inspiring story, you have to tell it in the right way.
Here, at Bing Digital, we design and create top-quality, bespoke ecommerce sites. Our extensive research into your company before the creation process allows us to successfully convey your brand’s story through your site. Have a look at our case studies to see what we can do for your company or get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more information.