Retail businesses and romance have something in common: connecting with someone on an emotional level leads to a stronger, more lasting relationship. If your customers feel an emotional connection to your store, your story, or your mission, they will be there more often and tell others about it.
Telling your brand story is a great way to make an emotional connection to your customers. Your brand story should tell people who you are and what you stand for. Your story should also share your purpose and explain what makes you unique. Often, brand stories connect with customers by sharing the fact they were looking to fill a need for themselves and discovered the perfect solution didn’t exist, so they made it themselves.
Know exactly who your audience is. One way to do this is to determine the core values associated with the audience you are looking for as well as any needs they may have. Understanding their needs allows you to connect your story to solutions they are looking for. If you try to reach everyone, you will end up not connecting with anyone. When it comes to telling your brand story, it is all about making connections. Check out Harvard Business Review’s article about emotional connection mattering more than customer satisfaction.
Be authentic. Trust is a very important element in the relationship between brand and customer. Being honest and transparent can make your brand relatable to your audience. Be willing to reveal details about who you are and what sets you apart from everyone else. Share your brand's core values and why they are important to you. It is also critical to make sure your brand story still connects to your current product. So, for example, if your story states your business started with you making product in your kitchen and is special because it is locally sourced, then your current products should also be consistent with that value.
Don’t be afraid to share your personality. You are a big part of your story and customers need to make a connection to you. The best way to do that is to show them who you are and what makes you special. Customers are not only buying your products, they are also buying into you and why you do things the way you do. Your passion for your business is inspiring and can instill loyalty from your customers.
Keep it simple. When telling your story, you don’t want to leave anything important out, but you also don’t want to make it so long no one wants to read it. A great example of this is a company called Sugarfina. Recently, members of Acuity’s Retail Customer Focus Team attended the Future Stores Conference in Seattle, WA, and had the opportunity to hear Sugarfina's brand story. They tell their story in a way that really humanizes their brand and makes a personal connection with customers who then want to make a connection with them. They also do a great job telling their story in a simple way that utilizes both visual and emotional elements. Often, you only get a few seconds to make an impression with your audience. If you can’t summarize who you are and what you stand for in one sentence, then you could miss your opportunity to make that connection. Simple stories are relatable.
Share your story. Sharing your story means more than just posting it on your website, although that is important. It means having your story live in everything you do. Showing your customers that your brand story represents who you are means that your business is committed to solving their needs and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Telling your brand story in a variety of ways ensures you hit a more diverse audience. Some great communication options include your website, social media page, store experience, and employees. Sugarfina, for example, created an animation wall that is so cool that customers come into their store just to take pictures in front of it and then share their photos on social media. Even incorporating your brand story into your business logo can be effective. No matter what channels you choose to use, be sure to share your story consistently. Any significant deviations can lead to a lack of trust and impact customer loyalty.
Customers have so many choices today, and items are often similar in price and in functionality, so why do they choose one place over another? Factors like convenience and product availability come into play, but making that emotional connection remains a significant driving force behind their decision. Telling your brand story in a meaningful way will make that connection and keep your business top of mind when it comes time for them to make their purchase.