Joel: Hello everyone and welcome. In today’s show we’ll be discussing the story that your brand should be telling the world. And with me is Jim, Jamie, and Jill. So everybody, what story should any brand tell?

Jamie: Well, I think when you’re talking about a brand story, it’s got to first kind of start with a beginning, a middle, and then you’ve got to craft a narrative. And it’s got to start with solving a problem and helping your customer. But you’ve really got to, it’s got to resonate with the consumer first and foremost.

Joel: So should that story be focused on the business or the consumer?

Jill: I think your story should be about you. You’re letting your audience know who you are, why you’re unique, what makes you stand out, what you do. It’s kind of all about you.

Jamie: Yeah. You have to be authentic about it. It’s gotta be emotional. You’ve got to, like I said, you have to resonate with the consumer. You’ve got to make them want to buy into that story.

Joel: All right, Jim, what do you think?

Jim: Well, I think all that’s true. Brands usually associate themselves with some level of quality. The more pronounced the brand is, the higher perceived quality people will think it has. So if I’m saying I’m a BMW, which is a brand mark, people associate that with high quality high value. So I guess the brand story has to include a quality at a value or a value proposition to it.

Joel: Right. Okay. So in the case of of BMW, most of their advertising message is we’re an elite brand where like, you know, a Ford may be more like, hey, we’re American made. So now whenever you’re looking at those two different brand stories, I mean you, you know, is that, is that to motivate the customer?

Jamie: Well, you know, you’ve got, it’s all about trust though.

Joel: Right?

Jamie: In the end brands are, the story is producing trust, I mean that’s the end goal.

Jill: It’s your identity, throughout everything you do. So, you know, Chevy’s always going to be the American made option.

Jamie: That’s the every day. Yeah. That’s the everyday work in man story, right? That’s not the elitist story.

Jill: And everyone knows that because they say it a lot. Yeah.

Joel: Right. Okay. Now how about, how about should there be a, I mean, should it totally be human to human, you know, communication that the connection.

Jamie: Yeah. Definitely.

Joel: Or is it okay to or is it okay for a brand to present itself as, you know, we are a company, you’re a consumer. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?

Jim: Well, not all brands are companies.

Joel: Right. That’s true.

Jim: There are a lot of companies out there that carry multiple brands. So you can’t say the brand is that company. The brand, you know, a brand can be associated with a specific product that’s made by the company. Look at the food industry. Lots of brands under one roof.

Joel: Right now should the brand story be conversational or you know, in this kind of goes into how you’re delivering that message, whether it be through radio, TV, social media, or you know, whatnot.

Jamie: There’s lots of different avenues. I mean look at how Disney does it. Disney does it totally different. They tell a story first and then they build products around the story and look how successful that is. I mean, they’re going to make a movie first and then they are to make products and dolls and all sorts of merchandise around that story. Like they go at it-

Jim: In that category. They are one of the few that do it that way. But so does, maybe things in the sports arena, the better the team, the bigger the brand. Teams don’t always start out with a huge brand, even though today they might, but in the past they didn’t. But you know, most companies have to rely on the brand coming prior to the story, if you will.

Joel: Right. Okay. Now how long should your brand story be? I mean, should it be this, five, six, seven paragraph tale or should it be short?

Jill: Are you saying where you should be telling it each time you advertised? Each time you’re communicating? Or based on your website?

Joel: Well, that’s a good question. Well, that’s a good question. I mean where should you be telling?

Jamie: Okay, telling your brand story that is, I think that comes in steps. I mean it’s a multiple step process. I mean because it takes a while to first of all start getting people familiar with who your brand is because you’re telling a story, you’re telling first of all like how you even came to be, how your company and your brand came to be. So you’re introducing yourself. I mean it’s a multiple step process so it’s not just boom, here’s the story. It’s little by little, you’re building that trust, awareness. It’s going to be a lot of different things depending on what you do, how you get it out there, ads on your website, your campaign. I mean, yeah, it’s not going to be all out there at once.

Joel: Okay. So how about B2B? How do B2B companies tell their brand story?

Jim: Mostly the same way? I mean you can tell your brands, in days past you couldn’t tell a brand story the way a Nike would tell a story because they use the power of marketing behind them. But today the marketing playing field is pretty level. I mean everybody’s got the same access to the same channels. I mean some may use more, media techniques and others, but you can be B2B, you can have, take a cus… A business like Bussmann, they want to launch a new fused product, they’re going to use a lot of the same tools that Coca-Cola would use to launch that product. Even though the audience is much smaller, it’s much more niche market. But that brand message will go through the same channels and the same stylings say as a Coke would use.

Jamie: Right. Cause there’s still a consumer.

Jim: Right. Every one’s a consumer, whether you’re a professional technician of an installer buying products or you’re the person that buys it on the end and the last guy in the sale, you’re, everyone’s a consumer. Joel: Okay. So if we can just kind of add it or just kind of list out what a brand story should include. I would say the first off has to be who you are. How did your company come to exist, what’s your vision, your mission, your values, and your culture. Would you agree with that?

Jamie: Yeah.

Jill: Yeah.

Joel: Okay. And then I think next is what is it that you’re putting out there for the world? Is it what product or service?

Jill: Or both.

Joel: Yeah. Or both. Yeah. And then who do you do it for? The people that you want to help is obviously who you do it for. And I think that’s important to have in your brand, in your brand story. You have to clearly explain that to the consumer, who is this going to help?

Joel: It’s almost like the infomercials whenever they have like a guy who can’t open up a carton of milk or something and it’s such a basic thing. Sorry, that’s a Friends reference. But they clearly describe who this person is in their brand message.

Jamie: It’s a great example. It’s like kind of a mini brand story because you’ve got the problem and this is how you solve that problem. It’s so frustrating. It’s got Apple. That’s how Apple did it. It was their mantra was we’re making technology simple. Because everything else is frustrating. PCs are frustrating. And that was their mantra and that was their story. And that’s how they framed everything up.

Joel: Yup. And then why you want to do it? What’s the larger goal? For Apple it was make tech easier. For BMW, for example, it’s you want to drive luxury.

Jamie: Mm-hmm. Well, think about like Coca Cola. Coca Cola is a great one. You know, that brand is huge, but what did they, how they sell it is genius. Because they don’t sell just the product. They sell a feeling. It’s open happiness.

Joel: They sell the icon. Yeah. Yeah. I mean it’s, I mean, I think a lot of people in the world know now that you’re not supposed to drink a lot of soda, but they still sell tons of soda. And you’re right, I mean you go out to Las Vegas, they have on entire store dedicated to the Coca Cola brand on the strip. So, you’re absolutely right. I mean, Coke is a great example of how they have turned their product into a brand message that goes far beyond the actual product.

Joel: I would also say it’s important to tell your target audience how you do it. Whether if it’s explaining how your product is made. We’ve done that with, with quite a few clients. We go in and actually make the manufacturing videos and Jim, you can probably speak on that. How is that a good piece of marketing to help tell your brand story?

Jim: How is what, to make a video?

Joel: Yeah, yeah. Just making a video of the manufacturing process.

Jill: Or letting people in on the manufacturing.

Joel: Right, exactly. Yeah.

Jim: Well, it’s probably more apt on the manufacturing process for B2B than it is for B2C. A lot of times you open the door to the process and you invite a lot of controversy. Building a B2B message is a little bit more about how you’re going to relate to your dealers and your distributors and people that will handle your product. They want to know it’s a good product first. So yeah, using a video process is a good way to do that.

Jamie: Well think about how it’s made. I mean people love that.

Jim: And those are a usually taken with a lot of consideration.

Jamie: Right. They won’t show like the secrets or the speed something up or slow something down.

Jim: I want to show the secrets of speed or other things and sometimes they don’t want to really show their factory.

Jill: People these days want to know everything about everything, at least it seems that way.

Joel: Oh yeah, that’s right.

Jill: Ingredients.

Jamie: Quote unquote transparency is a big one.

Joel: Right, that’s a challenge.

Jill: The organic factory with farm fed sheep. People really are getting into that stuff and like you were saying it just invites controversy. But I guess if you are trying to be transparent, then you’re just opening the door for that and that’s what you gotta deal with.

Jim: Well, I think that it’s important because now more than ever, as you said, people want information. They want to know more. Google is the information resource. So if you’re going to feed that monster, you’re going to have to give them something concrete to put in there other than just, you know, some surface stuff that everybody knows.

Jill: Right. And if a person’s trying to make a choice between one product or another that are very similar, they’re probably gonna go with the one that has a lot more information out there about themselves than a few website pages.

Jim: And I do believe that people are more apt to watch a video of how it’s made, than most companies will want to let them. But then the bottom line is people were buying brands as we started this was, they’re buying brands, they buy brand names, everything has a brand. I don’t care what it is. Everything has some sort of brand identity. And if you’re going to separate yourself from the other brands, you have to hit all these marks. You’ve got to give people the in-depth information that might sway them to choose your brand over another as in how it’s made.

Jamie: Right.

Joel: You know, the last thing that I had here that I think a brand story should include is where are you headed? You know, where’s the brand? Where’s the company headed? I think people are, especially the younger consumers now they want to know how are you becoming more sustainable? How are you becoming more, how are you helping my life in, in bigger ways than just your product.

Jamie: Well look at like Tom Shoes. That’s a good one. You know, they’re, they’re one for one. You, we, you buy a pair of, we give a pair. Things like that.

Jill: I think once you have grown your audience in your consumer group, then you just, you have to keep them with your customer service, is the next level after you’ve told your story.

Jamie: Right. Because once they’re brand loyal, how do you keep them? Customer service.

Jamie: Well and not just-

Jamie: Customer loyalty and customer experience.

Joel: Well, and I’d also add not just once they’re a customer, once you kind of lose their trust. I mean, and the day of security breaches, there’s all kinds of, I mean target had a huge security breach. So how do you go out there and put that message out and say, hey, we’re going to do better. You know, that’s a part of the brand story. We’re evolving.

Jamie: We saw that in the last couple of years. It seemed like every big brand was putting out apology commercials. We are Toyota, Facebook. You know, we are going to do better. We know Uber, we have totally lost your trust.

Jill: Admitting it’s the first step.

Joel: But I, I mean I really think that has to all be a part of your brand story.

Jamie: Well don’t screw up in the first place.

Jamie: Well I know, but yeah, sometimes you just can’t help it. I mean you can’t stop everything from happening in the world. So Jim, you got anything else to add here?

Jim: No, I think you’ve covered it.

Joel: All right, cool. Anybody else have anything else to add? All right, so we’re going to end this discussion right here and up next, Jamie and Rachel will join me for a commercial recall segment where we’re gonna reminisce about a TV ad that temporarily launched a computer company into the stratosphere. It also coined a catchphrase that every nineties kid will remember, and it helped introduce us to the digital age.

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