Why Maximizing Your ROI Begins with Your Brand Story? – Any brand struggling to maximize ROI is looking for the root of the issue. Maybe it’s a shortfall in customer service, or a lack of influencers promoting your message on social media. Could it be that you’re in a saturated niche, or something is wrong with the product itself?
These are all possibilities, but more often than you might think, the real problem is the absence of a strong, effective brand story.
Let’s explore the ways that a brand story can positively impact your marketing ROI and offer a few tips from the pros for good measure.
The Power of First Impressions
We all know how important first impressions can be in the world of marketing, and this is a core reason why your brand story should take priority.
Just ask Mike Pasley, Founder of Famous IRL, who created a business based entirely on creating and sharing personal stories.
“Our brand is about storytelling at its core, and allowing people to express themselves in new and unique ways,” said Pasley. “Apparel that makes a statement or shows some kind of regional connection – that gives people a feeling of belonging, which is a strong human need.”
When we look at the science behind storytelling, we see why it’s such a potent ingredient in any marketing recipe.
“Stories are a powerful tool in human communication,” writes Marketing Influencer Neil Patel. “Research shows that the human brain responds to the descriptive power of stories in deeply affecting ways, influencing both the sensory and motor cortex. To read a story is to feel an experience and to synchronize our minds with the subject of the story. Scientists call it neural coupling.”
The internet, of course, has changed things in terms of storytelling and marketing. Now that first impressions happen thousands of times daily, these stories need to be concise and intentional to break through the noise.
“Today’s marketing formats are very rapid-fire, particularly at the top of the funnel where first impressions are made,” said Remon Aziz, Chief Operating Officer at Advantage Rent A Car. “You may have the most wonderful and interesting brand story in the world, but you need to make it compact and portable for quick consumption in the social media sphere.”
Accelerated storytelling is sometimes harder in the tech world, but according to Hightouch Founder and CEO Kashish Gupta, that makes first impressions even more important.
“No, it’s not easy to communicate a brand story with a piece of software, especially when you only have a few seconds to do so,” explained Gupta. “That’s why we focus on story and directly relating our product to the experience of the audience. We tap into real emotions and address common problems that marketers go through daily. This allows us to get a foot in the door.”
Building Community and Connections
The importance of storytelling goes beyond first impressions, and any marketer can attest to the value of creating a community based on a brand story.
“With a great story at the core of your brand, you build a community of like-minded customers and a culture that has a gravitational pull of its own,” said Dylan Trussell, Co-Founder of Culprit Underwear. “Once that momentum is going full-force, you can shift into cruise-control and focus on what’s next for your business.”
For new brands with unique business models, a brand story can be the key that sets them apart and stands out from the crowd.
“We’ve learned that people buy into a community and a lifestyle more than the brand itself, which is why you need to create that sense of welcoming and warmth with your story,” said Corey Ashton Walters, Founder and CEO of Here. “On the other hand, you want to balance that with an atmosphere of quality and exclusivity to keep interest high.”
As communities grow, so do the stories of individuals and customers who share information and enthusiasm about niche subjects. This serves to further establish brands as an authority.
“In an industry like ours, expertise is everything,” said Jeremy Goldstein, CEO of lens-camera solutions company Navitar. “When others vouch for your products and services while broadcasting your brand story, that’s how you build a very strong and trusting community.”
There are also countless opportunities for brands who venture into new niches, aiming to create communities from the ground up – with their company in the center of the conversation.
“A sector like men’s skincare is still unknown to many guys out there, and they’re looking for trusted resources on the subject as they explore their options,” said MadeMan CEO Jeremy Gardner. “We’re positioning our brand with stories that every man can connect with, and be comfortable learning more.”
Keep Customers Coming Back
A strong online community can only do so much to retain customers. Brands need to keep developing new storylines and narratives that keep people returning and buying.
“That’s the thing about brand stories – they’re never over!” said Tydo Co-Founder Scott Sonneborn. “You should always be writing new chapters, working new angles, and promoting fresh content that customers can get excited about for years to come.”
The most effective brand stories are ongoing, but also feature personalized elements that make individual customers feel more closely connected to the company.
“We treat customers like friends and family members, even if we’ve never met face to face,” said James Ville, Chief Product Officer of GunSkins. “We write them into the story of the brand rather than leaving them out. They are eager to know what happens next in every social media post or email. With this approach, retaining customers is just a given.”
Start Writing Your Brand Story Now
Ready to get started on your brand story? It’s more than likely you’ve already got one. However, to ramp up your ROI, this story probably needs some refurbishing.
“Every brand has a story, whether it’s a matter of public perception or the measured action of the marketing team,” said Co-Founder/CEO Ryan Rockefeller of Cleared. “The good news is that you can always steer the story in a new direction or even do some revisions on the stories of the past. You have a huge amount of control in this regard.”
For brands with a clean slate, this is the best time in history to create an astonishing story that customers will latch onto and never forget.
“The ways that we communicate with audiences are much more intimate and personal than methods of the past,” said Courtney Buhler, Founder and CEO of LashPRO Academy. “You’ve got social media, email, and even text messaging at your disposal. These are incredible formats for storytelling and allow for massive creativity.”
As always, avoid limiting yourself to marketing lingo when discussing brand stories, which should be part of your company’s DNA rather than a business tactic.
“Brand stories are not marketing materials,” said Susan Gunelius, President and CEO of KeySplash Creative. “They are not ads, and they are not sales pitches. Brand stories should be told with the brand persona and the writer’s personality at center stage. Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can.”
Every great marketing team can sometimes hit creative roadblocks or struggle to find the right ROI levers. With so many variables at play, where do you turn?
As we’ve seen today, putting story first is a great way to set the wheels in motion once again.