It’s good to talk (and to listen)

The most memorable stories come from interaction between the storyteller and the people around them.

The most memorable stories come from interaction between the storyteller and the people around them.

The most memorable stories come from interaction between the storyteller and the people around them. These stories shine because they aren’t focused on just a singular voice, but rather meld different voices and viewpoints together to build a more varied and enriching narrative. They emerge, and evolve, based on dialogue between the storyteller and the audience.

Personal stories are enriched this way; there’s no reason a brand’s can’t be also.

Many brands are waking up to this idea. AirBnB’s point of view – that the best travel experiences revolve around human encounters, not necessarily where you stay or what you do – showcases real-life challenges faced by their hosts and guests, and the backstories that give their properties a uniquely human element.

Redbull, who wholeheartedly embrace their audience’s love for the energy and freedom of extreme sports, which reinforces their point of view that performance means nothing without passion.

A little closer to home in Australia, the NSW Police Force’s patently simple point of view – speeding and failing to indicate turns are idiot moves – has gained volume because of its offbeat, meme-heavy interactions with its Facebook community.

Maybe your brand story needs an update to keep up with audiences wanting something new. Perhaps a shift in company leadership or values has created the possibility of a new start. Whatever the reasons, brands looking to emulate the successes of the brands above should consider the following:

Engage your greatest fans

If your product is excellent at solving the right problems, you’ll soon have customers that don’t just trust in your quality, but also believe in what you stand for. You can tell them apart from your other customers because they are constantly talking about your brand on their social media pages, celebrating your values and recommending you to everyone they know.

Here’s where to show your interest. Ask these super-fans what they love about you. How you have improved their lives. Find out where your brand narrative is relevant to their world. These questions don’t just help identify which point of view clicks with your fans; it also helps you figure out, like the NSW Police Force did, how to reach others like them.

See the world through their eyes

Personal stories and experiences with your brand will start to surface as you engage with your fans. Add these stories into your brand’s narrative through case studies, branded content or thought leadership pieces. Put these pieces front and centre on every channel your brand is invested in, continuously amplify them, and make sure they connect to the central points that your brand stands for.

The point here is to personalize your brand’s point of view. Why should anyone trust what you’re saying? Because numerous others, none of whom owe you anything, are saying so. That’s what separates powerful points of view from the fakes.

Ensure diversity in your stories

It’s not enough to build your narrative around just one viewpoint as content ages fast, and reaches peak concentration around any given topic just as quickly. Variety is the spice of life, even for brands, so ensure that you also identify material for your other points of view as well.

This means if a message isn’t resonating as expected, you can quickly examine why and re-work as necessary, allowing you to further tweak your narrative to better reach your audiences. Changing your brand’s “mind” isn’t a sign of weakness; as long as it’s a well-justified move, it’s more likely to be seen by your audiences as a mark of honesty and strength!

As you actively involve your customers through every formative stage of your brand’s story, you don’t just solidify loyalties, you’ll facilitate the birth of something that’s more than just a piece of copy on your brand’s website. Make your brand stand out with a point of view built on dialogue.

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