In the business world, the notion of telling customers your origins has been a great way to build a sense of romanticism around the company. Instantly, the consumers connect with family-run businesses, those who started selling from the trunk of their car, and the businesses run by three friends who have known each other since the age of five. However, did you know that the stories occurring in and around your business can be just as effective?
According to the founders of Noble Carriage, Kevin and Jen Long, sharing stories about your vendors, customers, products, and staff members could just be the best way to generate interest in the brand and products. Today, we’re going to dig deeper into the idea and present some tips to take forward with your own business.
In the past, it’s fair to say there was one thing on the mind of consumers; price. Although quality was a consideration, most customers wanted to save money and chose their purchases carefully as a result. Today, we’re living in very different times because customers want to know what materials are used, whether you gathered them from sustainable sources, how you’re helping the environment, etc. For the Longs and their baby clothing, gifts, and toys company, they noticed the questions of the consumer changing as time went on.
Thanks to technology and the advancements we’ve seen in our understanding of the human body, parents are now more careful of what they feed their babies as well as how they clothe them. For Noble Carriage, they decided to sell clothing that was organic and sustainably-made and this instantly allowed for a story to tell their consumers. After speaking with a friend who said they dressed their baby in organic clothing, the Longs checked the label to find it was actually only 3% organic. Instantly, they recognized the importance of educating and telling stories rather than just selling on a basic level.
Over time, they created videos, blog posts, infographics, and more to explain the importance of organic clothing, how to spot organic clothing, what the appropriate certified labels looked like, and much more. What’s more, every time they introduce a new brand to their store, they create an online profile for the brand which tells the story of how they first started, how the products are made, and more information on the designers.
Why Tell Stories? - For Kevin and Jen Long, they believe storytelling has enabled their brand to become more trustworthy and credible. By knowing stories of the products, brands, and themselves, customers have no reason to doubt any of the information they’re receiving. Suddenly, they have confidence in spending their money and they know exactly why they’re purchasing a product (which is something that’s often missing in society).
As soon as the trust has been built, the company then becomes almost an advisor to customers who aren't so sure of why their products are necessary. If we take Noble Carriage as an example, confused new parents can read the stories and learn why their baby needs certain materials as opposed to being told ‘these are the best product, go out and buy them’.
Where to Share Stories? - These days, there are plenty of outlets for storytelling but the Longs believe email marketing, blog posting, and social media to be the real winners. Of course, social media limits the storytelling a little so the meatier pieces of information can go into a blog or a newsletter. Once the stories have been told, the Longs noted how the customers are important for furthering the story somewhat. By sharing the information, taking pictures with the products, and testing the brand, they’re on-board and help others to join the fun.
Summary - In a world full of mistrust and scams, consumers are looking for brands they can trust and this is something you can achieve with stories. Rather than making constant promises, SHOW the audience why they should be buying your products. Why do they need your products? Why is your brand unique? Through stories, you can beat off the competition and become a trustworthy brand in any market!