Creating YOUR Brand's Story
What we've been talking about so far is this idea that first of all that brand is an emotional connection repeated over time so we talked about the emotional connection and the emotions that we want people to kind of feel when they're interacting with our products or they're interacting with our brand and then we start to talk about some of the verbal elements because what we're doing here is we're taking those emotions and we're applying them to the verbal and visual elements of our brand and we are going to get to those visual elements we're not quite there yet we're going take this segment and we're going to wrap up those verbal elements on we're going to answer this really key question which is how do you get people to talk about your brand so we've been working on getting people to make an emotional connection but where the magic of brandon can really happen is when people start to talk about you because it takes so much work out of your own marketing efforts right if people are t...
alking about your brand and so we want to get people to talk about our brand and we want to make it is easy for them as possible and how do we do that we do that through stories stories are how we communicate our emotions and experiences think about it when you sit down with your friends what do you do you tell stories you talk about the things that happened so stories are our natural human way of communicating and we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers by helping them generate those stories. So by the end of this segment you're going tohave several key brand stories that's really what we're doing here is we're developing the key stories around your brand so this may look familiar to some of you if you sat in on my last class on telling your products to retailers so where people get stuck when they talk about their business and they talk about their products is they talk about possibly the features and if you've been paying any attention marketing then you might move over to the benefits but where we really want to go r to the emotions which is what we've been talking about in a previous segments but how do we communicate those emotions? We do it through story so in the case of my work the feature is it's made from steel the benefit is that it's a lightweight and durable the emotions are that I want people to feel confident and independent but people aren't gonna walk around and be like hey have this necklace that makes me feel confident and independent right that's kind of awkward so instead they're going to sell stories about it so you know I can say when I travel I just throw it in my bag and when it arrived, won't be damaged, you could pull it out. It's gonna look great it's gonna go with everything. You put it on it's awesome. So that's a story that you start to tell about the brand and that's way more meaningful to people, then it's made from steel, right? So this is what we're doing now in this segment is we're going to move up this spectrum and really focus on those brand stories and as the brand it's your job to collect, generate and circulate the stories so what's probably the case for everyone here is that your customers have stories about your product, right? They have things that have happened in their lives with your product and it's your job to find those stories, it's your job to collect them if you're not finding them it's your job to generate them. Maybe there is a version of a story that you consort of tweak. We're not lying, we're not making things up, but we're kind of giving people stories that they can relate to and then most importantly, it's your job to circulate those stories so it's not enough to collect them. We then have to go ahead and make sure that the rest of our potential audience hears those stories so that they can then share them. And the more often you share key brand stories, the easier it is to get your customers to talk about your product. If they've heard the stories, then they remember them and they can talk about them and here's the secret trick when it comes to brand stories, you don't need a million stories, you just need a few key stories that you tell a million times, and this is where that idea of the emotional connection repeated over time happens, you've heard your brand stories, right? So they start to bore you really, really quickly, but the essence of branding is that you're going to tell the same stories again and again and again and that's what build that great repetition so it's, that same idea of kind of picking one message and sticking with it, you're not going to tell a different story every single time we're going to hone in on those really key stories, and then we are just going to tell them everywhere and lots of different wave again and again, but always the same key stories. So when we're thinking about brand stories, you want to figure out who is the hero when it comes to stories about your brand, if we're telling stories about your brand, who is the hero, what do you guys think is the hero? You know which one is it? The customer yes exactly so the hero is not you it's the customer and that's because stories about your own self interest rarely appeal to the customer now that doesn't mean that you hansel tell stories about you and we talked about this before with you sarah this idea that you know you do have an interesting back story and that you studied in japan and and you live there and that that's really fascinating I think we were all like you that's you know that's really great so that's not to say that you can't tell stories about yourself but those stories are stronger when they deal with the customers so when you're talking about your transformation stories you know you want to make the customer the hero of their own transformation story that's really what we're trying to get here so you know monica might talk about the inspiration about her products but at the end of the day the hero is the mom who was able to change the diaper really fast and still feel really chic while she was doing it so there's a really great book by jonah sachs called winning the story wars and he says start with your audience and their needs and introduce yourself as a catalyst for helping them meet those needs so the stories are about them their life, their problems, their challenges, their experiences and your products come in as the catalyst to help them through it so you know it's great that we've been talking about transformation with sarah because that's really the essence of storytelling write a story is a transformation something happens something changes from start to finish right? So in your case then your jewelry becomes the catalyst to move someone through the transformation right? But I would like I don't know how that's what I think it's one of those things where you don't need to overthink it so if your jewelry makes someone feel more beautiful which it does and that beauty gives them that kind of grace and poise and confidence to navigate that transition better that's how it fits it and I think that's the thing is that you remember that the product plays a supporting role it's not supposed to be the star the jewelry is not the star you're not the star the customers the star so what plays a really kind of small role as opposed to like the giant leading role if that makes sense so you know when you're thinking about putting the customer into the story you know that example I gave at the beginning I say when I travel I just throw it in my bag and when I arrive it won't be damaged the better version is to say when you travel you just throw it in your bag and when you arrive you'll be able to toss it on and head out the door and what I really want to then happen, as I want a customer even personalized that story. Ah. So when I went to new york last week, this was actually the only necklace I brought with me. I threw it in my bag. I got off the plane, I put it on, went straight to dinner. I looked great, right? That's it, you know? So again, we want the customer to start to build in those great details, too. But the idea is that it's not thinking about what I do, it's thinking about what the customer does, so the way that I kind of really like to frame this is the customer is the hero or the protagonist or whatever you want to call them there, the star of the story, and you can sort of think of your brand as the mentor, right? You're obi wan or your dumbbell door or whatever classic story you want to pick and b, you're the mentor in that story, and then your product is the tool. It's, whatever tool you give the customers. So your product is the ruby red slippers in the wizard of oz, right? And she doesn't really need them. She always had the ability to go back home, right that's the point of the story. But they ate her and getting there so that's the idea right I think yours are let go from looking right a cat because I think there's something there like you already know you know your customer should already know that she's beautiful and then your product is reminding her that she is beautiful by being herself right so in you know we talked about freshly picked it actually I used the word super mom before I did this way before we started telling me about monica's brand so it's clearly an overused thing so in freshly picked who makes the baby moccasins she's talking about the customer wants to feel like a super mom and so the brand is always showing examples of motherhood and she might not actually she probably hasn't used the language subaru um I think I just threw that in there but so she's constantly showing examples of what it means to be a great mom she's telling the stories of other mothers and then her products become the tools that help the mom feel like they're giving their kid the best thing how does she show examples so that's a great question so she does a lot of actually spotlighting her customers on social media and herb log so she's constantly showing the customer's wearing the product but then on her blog's she actually has a feature please it's called stories from the start which is where mothers tell their birth stories so that's a case where she's actually highlighting our customer story without any involvement from her product, but her customers, you know, are really the early motherhood stages, what her brand is all about. So she's sharing those so in your case, could be something like sharing stories of customers who have or just people in general who have gone through these amazing transformations that they've embraced and led them to a better life. It's not something really powerful thatyou could dio see you see how this works. All right, so now I want you guys, if you're falling along in our workbook, we're actually on page seventeen if you want to follow along in that uh, so now you want to start to think about your customers and what stories exist in your customer's life? What is their day to day look like? What experiences are they having? What challenges do they face? What do you, what challenges your years? There was a pretty obviously in monaco and challenges your customer's face. I'm just the interruption of trying to be out living, act, be active, doing errands, and what have you? And in the interruption of having to stop that, to tend your the child's need rice or diaper and kathy, what challenges maybe to your customers face, maybe? Finding a new art piece that represents their style in their own space and so I think even like drill that back so unrelated to your product what challenges do they face? Um just I think finding that time for themselves or just stopping realized where they are in the moment or even I think like just feeling good appealing, not sleeping out feeling good about themselves all the time you know they wantto they're not feeling as happy as they could be there me they're feeling whether it's stressed out or sad or just connected or we're really not happy in their own skin even like kind of searching for that connection right? Yeah uh and then you can also look at things like what changes what they like to make so you maybe sarah with your customers or people that you're thinking about going through transitions what changes what they like to make probably like trying to find that passion and purpose in life uh, yes uh for I mean, if you're talking about the midlife transformation that we could talk about any any aspect of your customers life okay, so um yeah, they well, they're they're probably ready for a change there they want to redefine what they're doing in their lives, okay on and then the other thing is to think about how do your customers currently feel and how would they like to feel so how did they you know if they if there are they feeling maybe apprehension towards this change but they how did they want to feel instead they want to they want to feel, um courageous and strong and well fearless fearless when they want to face their fears I want them to face their fears I like it. Yeah, that and they need encouragement. Yeah, what I want you to keep in mind is that it's much easier to answer these questions for specific customer profiles not broad demographics. So especially if you haven't had an opportunity to talk to your customers if you didn't do that homework that I assigned at the end of the last segment this is partly an exercise in imagination, okay? It's mostly exercise and imagination and empathy and it's so much easier to do that when you think about specific people so this is gonna look familiar toe those of you who watched my last workshop is well and it's this idea of creating these really distinct customer profiles so if you try to describe everyone you end up with this really broad segments. So in my case I would say okay, well, if I thought of everyone who bought my jewelry it's women who are like between twenty and seventy who might live in an urban or suburban area on the east or the west coast or maybe in chicago like that big and broad and it's hard to imagine the challenges that they might face or how they want to feel differently. But if you can break that down into really distinct profiles know three or four people that you khun give names to this is where that concrete naming thing actually helps you in the branding exercise if you can give them kind of concrete names you can start to think about, you know, the challenges they face and how they want to feel you know I've got susan is ah forty four year old into your designer she lives in a boston suburb she's very she's got like the skinny jeans, dark boots, dark hair like lots of jewelry, riel kind of stylish, but not doesn't follow super follow the trends uh, bernice is my hip grandma she's sixty three she lives here in the bay area she's got that short, great bob in this great red glasses and actually at the last workshop uh, one of our in studio audience lindsay, who I know is watching online. She was like, I went out to dinner and I saw bernie wth so they aren't real people, but they're certainly based on types of people annie is a thirty two year old professional she lives in d c you know, she's got a pretty active job she's single pete he is that I actually change that name because it was confusing she's a thirty seven year old entrepreneur she lives in chicago she's working from home and are yoga pants you know doesn't have to actually dress up for a job every day, so if I know these people, I can start to imagine what the challenges are in their life, what their day to day looks like how they're feeling and how they want to feel differently. So are we getting any from our online audience? Yes, I want some of this community says my customers are moms of young children and their challenge is finding the times for quality so they make tea time dresses or aprons or tea cozies or imaginative story but clothes are the tools to help them share those joyful moments with their child and ten sparrow events is saying my clients are trying to maintain their lifestyle, nurturing their personal relationships, maintaining responsibilities and trying to experience trying to experience being someone's fiance always trying to add wedding planning into the mix it's a stress to find the balance, I guess and they but they all want to feel be without the stress and they feel encouraged oh yeah that's a big one anytime you have that that stress in your customer's life and you can take that away, that makes your product a really powerful in their story awesome so as we're constructing these stories, you don't have to think about creating things out of nothing we can actually use a really kind of basic story framework and that's going to help us build these customer stories in a really kind of easy way so if we're looking at the elements of our story, the protagonist is going to be your customer, the protagonist, the hero, whatever you want to call them that's your customer and that's going to begin one of those specific customer profiles that you can imagine then you have the setting the when and the where and these air details that just help make the story more vivid right? Then we have our called action this is the challenge, the turning point, the catalyst for change no, this is it and they would call it the inciting incident something has to happen for a story, right? Something has to motivate your customer then the tool is how your product fits into the story you know what it does and again your product isn't the hero the customer is the hero your product helps them do something and then the result is how they feel at the end how they've changed what's different how they feel so you know an example that I can give you would be bt she's, a working home entrepreneur and she's running her online coaching consulting biz and the setting is that she says most of her time in front of her mac in her apartment or maybe she's at a coffee shop and she's probably wearing yoga clothes she may or may not have actually gone to yoga that day but she's wearing the yoga clothes because she works from home and she was once a year old cozy and then her call to action is that she finds out she's speaking at a conference right she has to get up and she has to present for people and she wants her outward appearance to match the persona she's developed online so when people see her online they're like thinking of her as the smart, confident, creative, savvy person and she realizes that she can't show up in yoga clothes right? So my necklace then becomes the tool so she can get one great accessory and it takes the pressure off the rest of her outfit because again accessories not the hero what it's doing is it's taking the pressure off she can wear a simple dress maybe you know great genes in a basic top she puts on the necklace, elevates the whole outfit and when she gets to focus on is developing a great top so it takes the stress out lets her focus on that and then the result is that she kills it and she's showered with compliments both on her talking her style so and again, I like really drug that story out for the purposes of illustrating it to you guys, but the basic idea is they're so the customer you what's her life about, you know, what's the thing that motivates the change and how does your product fit into it? And how do they feel it the end? So now what we're going to do is we're actually going to create some customer stories with you guys to sort of apply this to your business, so we're going to actually throw that up here, so we have this is a frame of reference and we're gonna start with cathy, you look so we're gonna we're gonna go all the way to the beginning. So tell me about your protagonist who is your customer? Um she is between no, no range was sick person she so she's not arraigned she's an age thirty five and she lives in the city. What city? New york. Okay, what's your name? Um I want to say we're back up. Does she go by professor just to her friends call or something? Shorter back, becky, I like back back and she is a full time. She just started getting her career settled in a like a fashion industry job, okay, and she just started to get it settled she started getting it means settled into a company like she's stopped she's gone from company to company. And then she found, like a spot for her gotcha. Where she feels confident and she's kind of been there for a little bit and she's growing there. She hasn't got an apartment, and she just it hasn't done anything with her house yet because she's just been so busy, okay, focusing on fast paced life. And, um and she really wants to find herself in all the business of everything going on and she so she wants to really create a space in her home for her to sort of like an altar. Okay, teo, to meditate and just be cause she's right in the heart of the city, right? And, um, hurt a challenge may cling yes. Oh, yes, oh, what's her. So actually, I want it back you up for one second because I think you hit on something interesting in this story that you may not have even realized that you hit on, which is if rebecca is thirty five and she has been bouncing around the fashion industry for a couple of years in manhattan, thirty five is old for the fashion industry, which means she's starting to feel old compared to all those twenty one twenty two, twenty three the even younger interns that are coming in so she won't be starting to feel like her self esteem might be starting to flag a little bit, which really aligns with what you're doing with your brand so that's something to keep in mind. So you're talking about her home and her wanting to make this space, but that may not actually be her biggest challenge. Her challenge might be that she's in this world and you may have picked this career sort of arbitrarily, but it gives us a great hook for this story and that she's in this world we're at thirty five, even though she might finally have settled into her job. She's feeling old for the industry and very far removed not just from being twenty something, but from that child like happiness that you want to help her get back to exactly so. Okay, so what's her what's her called action, then what's that what's the challenger, the turning point in the story or the catalyst for change the catalyst for change would be that she discovers that that she needs to she's starting to get in the habit of just life is passing her by, okay, so she wants to take the next step and just really started developing. Start being happy again they'd get back to that enthusiast is only so what exactly made her feel like that? Oh, what happened? What happened in her life to make her feel like high like I missed it did maybe somebody pay passed away like but suddenly okay so something a little bit like right so it could be that or it could be you know someone else someone got married baby there some yes something maybe a life event someone else in her life had a life change that may be caused her toe to reflect and I think the other thing that might just be too is that you know, quite frankly maybe she has moved into a new apartment I mean, that might actually just possibly you're talking about when you set up an altar or you know, maybe it sounds kind of like to if it's a making space kind of creating also maybe there was a break up for a divorce or something that happened that she was like, hey, I got I gotta take some time for me so there's a there's a couple different scenarios that could happen there I just felt like I was seeing this apartment that she was living in and it was just a blanket was nothing was really personal nothing was bringing her back to herself okay, so she kind of we needed a tow get back on track yeah, you want to feel connected feel connected yeah yeah and I need it may be that you know, the kind of that age too maybe it's like all her friends have flown to the suburbs she's the last one in the city and she stinks used to go out more and maybe she's suddenly finding herself spending more time at home that was one of actually it was like her best friend I had done this exercise a little before I was like and I remember her best friend had just had her baby and another one was pregnant so she was just kind of off I don't necessarily think she really wants isn't she doesn't care to have a baby it's where I like she just needs to find that self fulfillment right? Well, anyone your friend has the baby that changes the amount of time that you get your friend changes your life too so yeah, absolutely so then what's the result the result is that you know she finds a piece of artwork she fills her space, it brightens up the room it brightens up her emotions, her feeling she feels young again like you know there there's other things that maybe redecorating her house has inspired her to live a different kind of more outgoing life. It causes her to kind of meet more people, you know, so so actually, because she feels happier in her home she's more likely to go out? Yeah feels more alive. Yeah. Okay, perfect. Sarah, do you wanna do you wanna go? Yeah. All right, so tell me about your protagonist. Who is she? Go with the obvious mid midlife crisis person. Um, did you any way I could go with some other a younger person? Well, I mean, I think you want to think about who is is really again. So it's the protagonist but it's also the person who is the ideal customer for your product. So I think in your case, based on your product in your price points, it is going to be someone who's older he's probably hitting that that midlife point. So? So it's day already five. Okay, what's, your name what's her name day? Uh, her name is, um her name is, um julie julie where she lived, she and she lives in like, walnut creek. Okay, I don't know where that is, but I'm gonna take your word for it. It's a suburb ok. She's gonna burn all right, she's in the suburbs she's got the two kids big house she's been in a home mom volunteering at the schools, the uber mom, so she was the uber mom but our kids are starting to get a little older now probably what's that what her kid's air probably maybe early teen okay so probably at least one of them is dr maybe one of them is driving now we're not quite yet but oh yeah okay all right. So she's she's still chauffeuring them around? Yeah that's part of the problem I guess uh why have her the problem? Well, so she's hit a point where she realizes that um well she's not fulfilled ok has been out of the workplace for a long time she's not fulfilled um she's done did you know built her life build her the family the house and it's gotten to the point where she's and she's been in her life is pretty well for has been really focused on those kids on other people and other people house husband and and she's kind of like is this what it is this what I built it for? Yes. Is this it for the rest of my life? Yeah. So what then is the specific turning point like what makes her realize she's having those feelings is that that first hint of the transition or but what makes her feel like that when she finally realizes like is this is this really all there is for me? Well, let's see, I think maybe she um she thinks she's not happy in her marriage okay so and it is it's one of those where did something happen or she just kind of realized one day like hey, I'm not uh yeah she and her husband have been having problems okay and she's she's not happy with the fit the the whole life that she's got so she she's such a she's she's got a big um it's a big transition and she's then she's afraid and she's afraid all through it okay, so how does your product fit into that story? Um the bowl to see that's what? Uh you know, like it could be any piece of jewellery that's that's where I come across it how do I make that something that helps these people who are going through this transformation? So I think in your case there's an element of like discovering the product in the story so it's about putting the the product into a context where she's going to find it and resonate so maybe she comes across your website somehow or maybe she sees your work in a shop and, um you know there's like a biography or a little bit of information about you so I think it's one of those where for it to be the tool there she has to hear kind of the story of why so she has to come across your work in some kind of context yeah and when you were talking about um how uh the what is the woman with the booties are freshly picked has her stories of people yeah, that um that I need to to do that I need you to collect stories maybe I don't know if it's on the block I guess on a block and and um I like yes so yeah there's gotta be more to it, right? Because I think then so what happens is you know, she is not happy in her life and her marriage and you know, it's like sleepless night she's googling she's trying to find maybe other women who have experienced what she has and she comes across those stories on your blogged and then she discovers your brand and she gets to your products and she and she sees you talking about your experience you know, and why your products are important you can help with the transition this idea that if you feel more beautiful that you have the courage to kind of go through whatever transition in life you're facing so that's how I think your product then becomes part of her story just by identifying that I'm making it and this is what I built my life around yes and so it's just yeah by association association yet and I think that right so that by association of here's a person who went through you know who transition and so now I want to feel that same feeling there's yeah there's a powerful thing in an association that's why stuff that was owned by celebrities cells for ridiculous amounts of money while the same thing is basically worthless there's power and value in that association so if she feels that story that's going to connect her to your brand what sheriff when she sold pieces she included like a little piece of card stock that's branded and it has like a two sentence story about what her jewelry is intended to dio oh absolutely provoke that emotion yes yeah absolutely that's a way to do that and um actually we talked about dogeared in the last segment and that's something that they do very well now they're operating in a different price point than you are but I've never seen their product sold like it's always sold on a card and the card is always about like a word or something and on the designs aren't necessarily giving you that specific meaning but the packaging around it is giving you that meaning so yeah absolutely and that's like that's where we're kind of going with all of this is that we're getting you've got this story, you've got this kind of meeting and then in your case because it's not naturally built into the design of the product we're going to build it in through all the supporting elements of your brand like the packaging and like the collateral that comes with it yeah yeah, I actually came up with this, um, idea after doing some soul searching. And then I realized that these new pieces I'm doing with the red showing through is like, you know, symbolic free, actually it's like the red is the passion yeah, inside showing through. Yeah, well in here and here's the thing too, if I didn't feel like this story that you were telling didn't feel somehow related to your product, I would call you out on it. It's not like I would let this carry on if I thought that they there wasn't a way that they come together, but I think that you are thinking about these ideas and then they are coming through, even if it subconsciously in the way you're making the product so it's not as big of a leap as maybe it feels that way started talking there, I think you're realizing it's, not a connection that's gonna feel ten us it's a connection, that's going to make sense to people, anything online? Yes, this's really sparked quite a debate. It's quite interesting. Ah sierra is saying she's listening to what sarah's saying and said, I don't think the customer stories have to be in any way negative all the customer has to be in a negative head space to be able to feel empowered ah, the jewellery could be the catalyst to feel mohr herself to embrace individuality and be more empowered. You can elevate the customers inherent self love, remind them that they do love themselves and to embrace their unique voice. I love that, so that was brought because that's, so true you don't need the story doesn't have to be a negative story toe work. I can absolutely be a story of right. I just I wanted to do something different in my life on bridget is saying maybe the jewelry, because of its piercing and because of its label layers, khun symbolize how she's, looking more deeply into her life, so little of, like self examination happening there. So interesting, lt's. Excellent.