We have had a lot of interest in our recent webinar about telling a captivating brand story to create revenue, so this webinar summary gives anyone interested more details about what was discussed in the webinar. If you would like to learn more, be sure to watch the webinar recording and be sure to stay tuned for future webinars and workshops.
Trish Thomas, the CEO of TEEM, recently co-hosted a webinar with Raw Strategy founder Lindsay Yaw Rogers called “Skyrocket Sales with a Captivating Brand Story.” You can view a recording of the entire webinar here, and this blog post summarizes the highlights of the presentation.
Have you ever played a really compelling video game?
If so, you’ve probably seen powerful narrative design in action.
“Narrative design” is a term used by video game developers to describe how they bring stories to life within their games. In video games, narrative design helps developers transform the player into an active participant in the story, making the game more interesting (and more addictive) to play.
Video game reviews demonstrate that the quality of the story in the game is one of its most important features – even more important than gameplay or graphics – and that having a good story is a critical element of creating a successful game.
Your company can use narrative design concepts to tell an interactive story that invites prospects into a new world and helps them thrive and succeed. Applying narrative design helps you build trust, and connection with your prospects – which can increase your profits.
Here are some ideas for harnessing video game design principles to design a powerful brand narrative for your company:
What Is Brand Storytelling?
When you create your brand narrative, you’re connecting your values and mission to your customers and prospects. Humanity has become the most important connective aspect between a brand and its potential customers – and your brand’s story showcases that humanity. Having a brand story that really resonates with people allows you to deepen your connection with your followers, increase your visibility, and boost your revenue.
Dr. Paul Zak, a scientist and author who has fused together concepts from economics and neuroscience, studies how stories impact people in our society. Zak says, “Narratives that cause us to pay attention and also involve us emotionally are the stories that move us to action.”
As a brand or company, you need to motivate people to take the next step – whether it’s purchasing something, liking a post on social media, or reaching out to you to set up a call – and storytelling can help you with those calls to action.
Storytelling has a powerful impact on human beings because we’re designed to see stories as a fundamental key to our survival. Stories teach us the lessons we need to survive, grow, thrive, and avoid disaster – and we’re hard-wired to pay careful attention to them. When we hear a story, our brains release neurochemicals like oxytocin and dopamine, which makes us feel good, pay attention, and remember more of what we’re seeing and hearing.
How to Structure Your Brand Story
- Create a world where your prospects can change their lives for the better. Develop the rules, characters, and possibilities of this new reality, and find ways for consumers to interact and modify their own character within that world. Show them how to leverage your brand to improve their lifestyle, impact their business, make more money, etc. – anything they want to accomplish.
- Put your prospect in the center of the action. The hero of your brand story isn’t you or your brand – it’s the consumer. Get clear on your prospects’ biggest problems and pain points, and always keep them at the center of your narrative.
- Create tension and conflict in your story. This is a distinguishing element of every brand story. Your prospect is facing a challenge like lack of time, not having enough money, feeling unmotivated, etc.. There is something they want and/or need, and there’s something standing in the way of them getting it. Frame the scene and get your audience thinking about the things they’ve experienced coming into your story, and the issues they’re facing.
- Having a turning point. Position your company as the “experienced guide” who can help the prospect in their struggles. You guide the prospect to the big “a-ha” moment that is the climax of the story – the place in a person’s life where they’re buying from you, engaging with your brand, or taking some kind of transformative action.
- Help the customer experience the new normal. Now that they’ve solved their problem and resolved the conflict, what is the transformation they get to experience? How have their lives changed for the better? Articulate what happens between point A (where the prospect was at the beginning of their journey) and point B (where they are now)?
How to Use Your Brand Story
Once you’ve created your brand story, what are some ways you can use it?
Start with naming your company’s UDMs (unique defining moments). This is where you start to weave in your company’s story in the narrative. If you’re a service provider, talk about why you changed or pivoted your service to where it is today. When did that happen? Was it in response to a problem in your industry. If so, what problem? What compelled you to create something that people want? Write these UDMs down.
Then connect to universal themes, as you create your brand story. Looking for common frustrations or problems that most people can relate to. You want stories that make people say, “Yes, that has happened to me, too.” Then map your story to your customer’s challenges and successes. Write out the specific experiences and challenges your customers are having right now, and get clear on how your brand story connects to them.
After that, create a proactive content calendar that draws everything together – your customer’s story, your unique defining moments, and the problems you solve. Create a content plan for your targeted platforms (blog posts, Instagram stories, LinkedIn posts, etc.) that is based on your company’s goals and rooted in your new brand story. Once you’ve got your calendar, use it as a map to execute your content strategy every day.
Bringing the Brand Story to Life
Need a few examples of what narrative design looks like in a world today? There are a few standout companies, like Warby Parker, Nike, Dove, and Dollar Shave Club, that do an incredible job of connecting with their customers using smart brand narratives.
By tapping into the strategies used by today’s video game developers, you can bring your brand story to life for your customers and invite people into a new world where they can survive and succeed. Your storytelling efforts can pay big dividends in terms of connecting with your customers and boosting your profits.
For more help with shaping your brand narrative, get the full replay of the webinar with Trish Thomas and Lindsay Yaw Rogers.