Sadie was a lady who never met a flower she couldn’t stop to smell. She browsed bouquets online the way most of us scroll outfit options - and proffering a well-picked bunch of blooms to a friend, neighbour or, hell, her local barista on a down day was just one of the many things for which she was known in her rosy little corner of the world.
So, it was only natural that Sadie stashed away all of the spare coin she could muster from her gig as a vet (where, unlike what the ads in the uni handbook had made out, she spent far more time cleaning surgical instruments than cuddling puppies, and sloppy licks from resident orphan pup Humphrey were the best part of her day) for four long years.
Happily, in 2019 she finally had enough in her piggy bank to say adios to her boss at the vet. Six weeks later, she flung open the doors of ‘Sadie The Flower Lady’ and has never looked back.
These days, you’ll find Sadie humming away among her blooms, Humphrey curled up at her feet and a portion of her profits steadily flowing to the local orphaned dogs home. She still surprises her friends and neighbouring shopkeepers with the odd just-because bouquet (albiet with much fancier blooms these days) in between growing her little floral empire – and always, always stops to smell the roses.
Now this tale, my friends, is indeed a work of fiction - but the moral is this: People like - make that LOVE - a story.
Now, I could have written:
‘Sadie The Flower Lady was launched in 2019 by Sadie Jones and provides good quality bouquets at great prices’
– but would you have stopped your scroll to read this??
The fact is this: A crucial pillar to your branding is the STORY behind your business (and you yourself, if you’re positioned as the face of your brand).
Don’t think you have a story to tell? In the nicest possible way, that is #$%#! We ALL have a story. Sometimes, because it’s our own, it's a little harder to see. Often, we don’t think our own story has anything of value or interest for anyone else.
But the longer you keep thinking this, the longer you’re keeping yourself at arm’s length from your people.
Because words and story are what connects us humans. Compelling storytelling is the very juice that will have your people flocking to you and – the icing – MOVED by what you do.
Crafting your brand story and putting it out there is what will help people connect with you and your business on a more human, emotional level. It's a way to distil your unique YOU-ness in a way that sticks. And your brand story is what will help people remember you among the masses, and then keep them coming back for more.
Not sure where to start when it comes to crafting your brand story? There are different ways to approach this, but here are a few pointers to kick-start your thinking:
1) What is your earliest memory that relates to your current business?
Anchoring your mission in your childhood passions builds authenticity - and is the perfect place to start any story. (Oh, and mentions of kids tug at heartstrings in all the right ways.)
2) What hurdles have you overcome to get where you are?
People want to do business with people. Not overnight successes but people who are human, who've had challenges and pushed through, people they can relate to, empathise with and maybe even learn something from
3) What makes you different, quirky or unforgettable?
Note this doesn't need to be anything crazy or ultra impressive, like 'Sadie holds the Guinness World Record for flower arranging' - it simply needs to be relevant, relatable and loveable - like 'Sadie never met a flower she couldn't stop to smell.
4) What values do you bring to the table?
Warm your potential customers/clients hearts by sharing the foundations of your business. What do you stand for? What does buying from you represent? This shows your people that they're aligned with you on a deeper level, making purchasing your product or service about much more than just the product/service itself.
5) What is the bigger impact you're seeking to make in the world?
Are you about more than just, well, you? Now, you don't have to be all curing cancer or saving the world - let's keep it real here - but just like Sadie donates a portion of her profits to the local orphaned dogs home, whatever the larger mission behind your brand, this is key to fostering a loyal community and giving your people something to get behind. Think of Thankyou, TOMs shoes and Link and Luna to name a few.
It doesn't have to be a monetary thing either - some brands use their platform to raise awareness about a cause close to their founders' hearts - like @link_and_luna who raise awareness on stillbirth - and as well as spreading good in the world, this gives your community a reason to keep connecting with you and consuming your content (even when they're not an active customer at that moment in time).
Not to mention, if you're doing something that does good, you'll love it even more. Plus... good karma. Need we say more?
Want to get back to scrolling Insta and let someone else do all this brand story business for you? Ahem, let me craft a killer brand story for you. Let's chat! Not ready to outsource your comms strategy and copywriting, but need some more help, like yesterday? Check out our copywriting templates and copywriting courses here.