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How To Capture Attention With Your Brand Story

What is it about that friend or acquaintance who can capture your undivided attention to the point you don’t even notice what else is happening in the room?

Usually when you talk to people, you’re easily distracted, aware of people walking in the room, your phone buzzing, and other conversations taking place. But not right now. You’re caught up in conversation, and everything else is gone.

Capture AttentionAs a marketer, wouldn’t you like to bottle that up and sprinkle it on your content? What lies behind the ability to captivate your audience?

The answer is good storytelling.

Good stories date back to ancient times as a form of entertainment and communication. While it’s de rigueur to be a brand storyteller in marketing, it’s nothing new since the dawn of commerce. Yet, good storytelling continues so elude many.

Let’s explore what makes up a good story:

• It adds value – we learn something from it.

• It makes us laugh or cry.

• It is about us in one form or another – usually we use stories as a way to relate or a way to escape.

How The Brain Reacts To Stories

Human nature, from day one, seeks survival. What “survival” means to each of us is very different depending on our circumstances, but it’s safe to say, in general, that it involves means overcoming challenges to live a better, happier life.

Fast-forward to the Internet, where consumers have the opportunity to click on any number of articles, videos and podcasts at every turn. What makes them decide which one to pay attention to? Usually it’s because they want to feel something – laugh or cry, learn something, or solve a problem.

For brands to get the audience attention they covet, their story needs to check the boxes above. The best way to accomplish this is to understand how exactly their service or product fits into the world of their customer: how it makes lives better.

Example: The Blue Jeans Bar

This clothing retailer in Chicago illustrates that stories don’t end at online content. They are also communicated through customer experience.

For many, shopping for jeans is overwhelming and not fun. So consider this slogan: The Blue Jeans Bar + You = The Perfect Fit.

And they mean it. All the jeans are behind the bar. A consultant will talk to you about what you are looking for, set you up in a changing room, and bring you many jeans to try on. She’ll tell you if the jeans are right OR wrong. (Yes, she says when they don’t fit right!) They make it easy for you, find you the right, fabulous pair of jeans, and customers happily pay a premium for the excellent outcome – The Perfect Fit.

Don’t make it about you

I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but your customers don’t care about your brand. They care about how your brand will help them or make them feel.

Dove sells soap. But the story they tell is “You are more beautiful than you think.” Studies show only four percent of women think they are beautiful. Dove conducted a social experiment asking people to describe themselves to a sketch artist who can’t see them. Then, someone else comes in and describes that same person to the sketch artist.

Both sketches are compared side to side, and it’s striking how critical women can be of themselves. The sketches created by the other person’s description are far more beautiful.

It’s a moving series that more than likely touches the hearts of many women. Dove isn’t selling soap; they are selling an idea of natural beauty and being kinder to yourself.

Your story is everywhere. It’s far bigger than your “About” page and it’s more interesting than how long you’ve been in business, how “leading” an authority you are, and how world-class your facilities are. Those are stories that lose you attention.

Tell a bigger story to captivate and transform your audience.

What is your bigger story?

For more from Lisa Gerber, click here. 

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