05 Jun How To Establish a Powerful Brand Story Families Resonate With
Consumers are seeking authenticity in a digital world
In a world of messenger bots and automated phone systems, it’s no surprise that consumers feel less of a human connection when interacting with today’s brands. Families have integrated new technologies into their daily life, reshaping traditional roles and responsibilities. Parents can schedule dentist appointments without talking to a real person and restock the pantry with the click of a button. Children are accustomed to learning on devices and being entertained by videos, games, apps and other forms of on-demand content.
These digital innovations are exciting and efficient but are leaving consumers wanting more. In order to truly resonate, brands will need to demonstrate authenticity and create memorable experiences for their customers. Brand authenticity (as defined by The Journal of Consumer Psychology) is “the extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves.” Authenticity is part telling, but mostly showing who you are as a brand. A great place to start is establishing your brand story.
86% of consumers (and specifically 90% of Millennials) say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support (source).
Establish a powerful brand story families can relate to
Every brand has a story, but not everyone tells it correctly. Family histories and black and white photos belong in the “About Us” section. Your brand story deserves it’s own spotlight whether it is in your main navigation, a devoted page or in your footer. Your brand story should live on each and every page of your website in one shape or form because powerful brand stories align with your company mission, vision, and values. The goal is to create an emotional connection to deepen your relationship with consumers.
Family decision makers usually favor brands that share their same values and ethics. In fact, 64% of people stated they had a strong relationship with a single brand because they shared values with the brand (source). Build your core values into your brand story and implement them into employee communications and customer service to reflect them in each area of your business.
Craft your brand story
An easy outline is to follow the Golden Circle method:
1. Why do you do what you do?
2. How will this help others?
3. What are you offering?
To break it down, the “why” usually stems from some type of conflict or realization of an unmet need. The “how” extends beyond yourself and defines a purpose of existence to others. The “what” is your solution to the conflict or unmet need.
Examples of powerful brand stories: Why/How/What
While traveling in Argentina in 2006, TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need. One for One®.
The IKEA Concept starts with the idea of providing a range of home furnishing products that are affordable to the many people, not just a few. It is achieved by combining function, quality, design, and value – always with sustainability in mind. Our aim is to help more people live a better life at home.
To create an alternative to the fitness routines that felt like work. Together, they developed an inspiring workout that’s as efficient as it is joyful — an experience that’s the best part of our riders’ day, every day, and that has transformed their relationship to exercise.
Create emotional appeal
To develop an even deeper connection with your customer, get personal – even if that means getting uncomfortable. Revealing a personal story makes for much easier connections than statistics or charts. The decision-making process is usually guided by emotion, rationale, or a combination of the two. Appealing to one’s emotions can speed up justification and lead to quicker decision making.
P&G’s Olympic ads tapped into the hearts of moms by showcasing relatable moments and snapshots of everyday victories. This emotional appeal racked up online views and buzz for the brands featured.
Example: P&G’s Thank you, Mom Olympic Commercial:
Bring content to the table (and get brought up at the dinner table!)
Meet your customers where they are and make sure to bring something valuable to talk about. Blog posts, infographics, video content and other sharable mediums establish trust between your brand and your consumer. Remember to keep it in the family – the brand family that is. Your content should be consistent with your brand voice and relevant to your audience. Utilize tools such as Facebook Audience Insights to learn more about demographics, behaviors and common interests among your audience.
It’s no secret moms are very active on social media, private groups, blogger networks, neighborhood pages and more. They consume content daily and heavily rely on online reviews and forums before making purchases. If active social media moms fit into one of your buyer personas, craft and publish content specific to their interests and needs.
The key to publishing authentic content is offering relevant solutions, tips, and guides on topics your consumer is interested in. Focus on establishing a relationship with your customer first, and keep your product or service secondary.
A majority of consumers (57%) think that few brands actually create content that resonates as authentic (source).
Utilize user-generated content
76% of consumers say reviews and photos from past buyers influence their purchasing decisions (source).
Below are examples of how brands with family audiences collect and utilize content from real people:
1. Monitor hashtags, mentions, and location tags on social platforms and feature submissions on your own social media accounts (The Honest Company)
Pro Tip: Regramming photos sacrifices image quality. Set up a special social email address and have users send in their content for you to post to your own account (and edit if needed). Always be sure to give credit!
2. Showcase your Instagram feed (full of user-generated content) on your website (Siete Foods)
3. Turn your user’s personal stories into content (Southwest Airlines – Behind Every Seat is a Story)
Southwest Airlines collected personal stories from 175 customers to showcase their reasons for flying in a series of videos.
4. Utilize customer reviews on your website (Press Cleaners)
5. Publish blog posts from actual users (Ohio State University)
Be heard in a digital world
Be authentic. Get personal. Share real stories. These are all critical elements to establishing a powerful brand. These tools will help you attract consumers that want to know more about your brand and the expertise you provide. Once you establish your relationship, be sure to provide consistent and relevant content on an ongoing basis to help retain consumers and create long-term brand advocates.