A handful of brands have earned the trust of their target audience in a natural, organic way. Here are some tips on how to motivate your target using their story.
These days, smart advertisers are tying their brands into their customers’ personal stories. Or, more accurately, they’re helping their customer connect more deeply to his or her own personal story through the brand’s story.
Brands like Patagonia, Southwest Airlines and Apple have earned the trust of their target audience in a natural, organic way. Their customers don’t perceive “the story” they’re being told as marketing, but rather as a welcome outreach – like getting a thoughtful card from a good friend. So, if your advertising message doesn’t seem to be motivating your target, chances are your brand story isn’t jiving with your customer’s personal story.
This idea of the story woven into the fabric of everything and indistinguishable from our belief systems about these "story brands" is powerful and correct. People not things sell I wrote recently:
People Not Things Sell
Apple is one very large exception. Apple uses people everywhere but their website. Apple.com has one hero, the brand Apple, with a large supporting cast (iPhones, iPads, MacBooks). The absence of people is such a clear, clean statement - Apple's products are the heroes. Apple knows we will do the rest.
We will project ourselves into their comic book; we become the superheroes using the magical apples from our cool utility belts. This projection becomes the marker of truly great storytelling. Whey your brand's story is so well told it enables people's dreams they your storytelling is so woven into your fabric the most rare of marketing things happen - you market less as your customers advocate more.
To achieve such a rare Zen state your brand must survive the 3 Ts: Time, Temper and Tamper. Trust comes with consistent greatness of product and response over time. Temper is surviving the bad temper of competitors and even some brand advocates (read the Steve Jobs biography to learn about temper). Tamper is can your brand right itself when others attempt to topple it, to knock it off its stride.
Survive the 3 Ts over and over again across time and your brand may mark a time when your story is woven into the mental fabric of your brand advocates so well you need to sell less even as they volunteer to sell more.
Via Gregg Morris, eRelations