One of the keys to successful branding is to tell a story. The thing is, that story typically revolves around our business and what we do. It’s the story of our beginning, our success, how good we are, and why the customer needs us.
But, thinking about the companies you purchase from, do you buy from them because they talk about how great they are? Or do you buy from brands that offer a way to make you a hero?
No matter how great a business might be, it’s the customer-centric brands who find success. Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can take to make your audience the hero of your story.
1) Clarify Their Problem
Think about the challenge your product can solve and why people need it. This is the start of the customer’s quest. What are they trying to overcome? What do they need to get through or change about their circumstance?
Clarifying the problem at hand is a great social media opportunity. You can use a graphic with a question relating to the struggle. You can post about an experience that led to the creation of your business.
Addressing the problem catches the eye of potential clients who don’t know what you offer. Seeing that someone else out there understands is enough to open the door.
In the realm of storytelling, this initial problem has to be stated. Only now can the hero’s journey begin.
2) Demonstrate Why They Are Needed to Solve the Problem
Once the client sees their problem before their eyes, you have a new job. It’s not the time to tell them how you are the solution. It’s time to let them know that they are the ones who can make a difference. They are the ones with a choice as to how their story will continue.
As you help the customer identify their role in the journey, consider what marketing strategy is most useful to employ.
In any epic tale, the hero has to be led into their role. Once the hero understands what they are required to do, they are empowered to take the next steps and take control.
3) Join Them on the Journey
And now, you come in. Not as the hero, but as the guide or helper. This is where your brand gets to accompany your customer in defeating the struggles they face. This is where you show them how they can turn things around, and see a positive opportunity.
In all the epic tales we love, whether books, movies, or legends, the hero needs a support system. That’s your duty. Show your client the ways you can lift them up as they make this change.
Don’t forget that it’s their story—not yours—that matters most. When it comes down to it, your customer is also the hero of your business. Without them, you can’t succeed. You can’t go on. You need them. With that mindset, it’s easy to be their guide.
4) Offer a Solution
The climax of the story is finding a solution to the challenge. This is where you show your customers that your product is that solution. Your service is what they need to fight the obstacles and experience victory.
Again, this is not a time for your brand or product to show up and be the hero. This is how you, as the guide, can lead the hero to you as the tool to win the fight.
Now, the hero has a choice. They can take hold of that tool and succeed, or they can refuse it and bear the consequences.
The helper must lead the hero to understand the weight of those consequences. It is only through an understanding of their potential victory versus their potential defeat that the hero can make an educated choice.
The hope, of course, is that they choose your solution above all others.
5) Praise Their Victory
As Captain Customer makes the right choice, the brand must encourage them for making such a wise decision. Now, at last, they have done something truly heroic to change their circumstances.
Praise them for this victory. Maybe you add this to their confirmation email, or automate a follow-up email thanking them for their purchase. You can remind them what a great choice they made. The practical applications for showering our clients with praise is pretty limitless, but it’s also just good business. When your customer feels that they are a hero, they are more inclined to turn to you again.
Ensure your client can see the change they have made by shopping with you. Are you a Certified B-Corp? Remind them of the good that is done when they work with you. No matter what, let them see the impact of their purchase. For most companies, your one and only mission is to provide for the client or customer as first priority. Let them see the achievement they have made to their own life by using your product.
A Hero’s Ending
The Hero story arc is just as important in business as it is to any novel or film. With our clients, Planify™ helps to identify the deeper need of your customers. This will help you use your product or service to create a sense of purpose in your audience. Fulfill the longing every individual has to do something great and win a battle.
That’s precisely how you save the day.