“Everybody wants to be taken somewhere. If we don’t tell people where we’re taking them, they’ll engage another brand.” – Donald Miller
As seasoned marketing pros, we’re big fans of Donald Miller’s best-selling book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. This isn’t a plug or anything; we believe in the message of this book so much that we send copies to our entire staff as part of our new hire onboarding process.
Throughout the book, Miller drives home the importance of brand storytelling in captivating your audience and making sales. It’s true – with so many voices vying for your customers’ attention, cutting through the noise is practically impossible without a clear, compelling brand story.
But with so much focus on your customers, it can be easy to ignore the key element that truly brings your brand story to life: your employees. Here are a few tricks to help you build a strong brand story starting from the inside out.
Know Your Purpose
The foundation of strong brand storytelling is purpose. If your purpose isn’t clear, that foundation will crumble under the weight of incoherent messaging and missed opportunities.
“Purpose” goes beyond the bottom line. Rather, it’s about values – who you are, what you do for others, what you stand for, etc. Your purpose serves as a way for customers to connect with your business on a deeper level than simply buying your product or service. Companies with a compelling purpose manage to engage their customers through shared values, ultimately winning their attention (and money).
Authentic storytelling is key here since B2B audiences can sniff out cookie-cutter sales pitches without a second thought. Cut out any assumptions you have about what you think your customers want to hear and find a way to connect emotionally. Engage with them, listen to what they want, and learn how your offer cuts to the core of their desires.
Get Your Team Involved
Of course, a compelling purpose doesn’t mean anything if your employees don’t know about it. Your team should understand your company’s purpose, how it connects to their lives, and how to apply it when working with customers.
Sharing your company’s brand story with your team is essential for keeping the people who make up that brand on the same page. Without shared knowledge of this story, how can you expect your employees to keep your messaging consistent throughout your content strategy and sales process? They should be immersed in your brand story so that when the time comes, they’re masters at relaying the right messages to customers and prospects.
Develop Employee Personas
Do you know what drives the many personas that make up your organization? Just like the buyer personas you’re no doubt an expert at creating, employee personas help you gain insight into what makes the different members of your team click. With this info in hand, you can better educate them on your brand story and how it links to their roles.
The educational content you create for your executive team won’t be the same as what you share with employees who have day-to-day contact with customers. Take a look at how each of your employee personas relates to your content so that you’re helping them truly understand the brand story instead of bombarding them with irrelevant information.
Make a Plan
Now it's time to bring your brand story to life for your employees. Put the above steps together, make a plan that outlines how you’ll share storytelling content with your staff, and decide who's going to help tell the story – executive leadership included. When creating your editorial strategy, ask the following:
- Who’s going to send this piece of content?
- Who should receive it? Remember to refer to your employee personas for this one!
- What are the key points to communicate?
- What actions are you trying to motivate?
- How and when will it be distributed?
As a general rule, your brand story shouldn’t just be compelling for customers – it should captivate your employees as well. Make it catchy, authentic, and easy to visualize. It helps if your leadership team walks the walk so the rest of the staff can see the company’s brand story in action.
Some employees link the company’s brand story to their roles more easily than others, so it’s important to find a way to communicate with the whole team effectively. Spread the message through different channels, and feel free to get creative with it. Share examples of employees embodying the brand story with customers. Hold a hands-on brand story presentation over lunch (because everyone loves a free lunch!). By getting your employees excited about your story, you’ll build a unified team of storytellers.
Keep in mind that what works for some employees might not get through to others, so it doesn’t hurt to experiment. Just remember to make sure everything you share is purpose-driven – otherwise, you risk content being ignored.
Create a Brand Script
What is a brand script, you might ask? Another great nugget of wisdom from Donald Miller, brand scripts help you create a clear, easy-to-share story.
In a nutshell, a brand script makes it easier for your team to remember and instill your brand story. Too many companies fail to focus on the aspects of their offer that help people survive and thrive, or they cause customers to burn too many calories trying to understand precisely what they’re offering.
When you nail down your messaging and shift the focus to who your company serves, your employees can more easily connect with customers and stop blasting them with noise. Here’s our take on why brand scripts are important:
Ready to Rock Your Brand Story?
If you’re looking for guidance to build a brand story that resonates with your employees and captures your audience’s attention, Mojenta is here to help. We've powered the growth of nearly 300 B2B tech companies with killer marketing strategies that attract right-fit customers, drive leads, and maximize ROI. Give us a call today to get started.