#106 - Identifying Your Business Story & What Makes it Unique
Storytelling for Business Series Week Two: The 3 Things Needed to Establish A Strong Business Story
Okay. Now we’re onto the second step in the development of great business stories from my storytelling for business approach. I hope you had time to start to think about and dig into your context through the exploration process. It is beautiful and essential work for a business hoping to build an impactful brand.
Step two in the process is all about Articulation—choosing and committing to certain aspects of your business foundations (by writing them down). Which is why this week we’re going to talk about Purpose & Positioning. These two powerhouse ideas help brand storytellers (aka marketers, that’s you now) identify their story and what makes it unique from all the other stories out there. This is about identifying and making your story unique. That means getting clear on what you do and why you do it. Which always starts with Purpose (your why?) and positioning (your what?).
This part of the process is one of the few places where I tell clients to get selfish. To put aside their audience and customer and only think of themselves. To be precious about your business and your ideas and be picky in order to land in a place that feels right and unique to you. Because your brand is a snowflake. You’re crafting something special in bringing to life its unique story. Every single brand story is unique. Whether it’s the people, the places, the products and all the other many things that come together to make your story what it is, there’s something in what you’re doing that’s special and that’s the story we want to tell.
Purpose we’ve talk about before and you can dive into here. Positioning is the differentiated place in the category relative to competitors and in the hearts and minds of consumers that a brand chooses to place itself. The key to positioning is to articulate (there’s that word again) your unique benefit/offering as a business relative to what your audience needs. Take some time with this one.
Which leads us to the final thing I want you to articulate before we can dive into the fun part (crafting your story): your values. What matters most to you. I share an exercise in this post to help you get clear on them. Once you are, it is also absolutely essential to then identify which of your values you have in common with your customer. Those shared values are the things that will help guide the kind of stories you highlight moving forward.
I understand that articulating these things can feel either tedious or pointless, especially in the context of how much you’re doing just to run your business day-to-day. But I can say with a lot of confidence haven gotten feedback (and results) from clients over the course of over a decade in communication strategy that these👏🏾 elements 👏🏾 are 👏🏾 essential 👏🏾 to creating clarity in your business and brand expression (yes, I’m yelling, but only because I care 💕).
Give this a try, share in the comments below if you find yourself stuck (I’ll jump in and try to help) and next week we’ll dive into the meat of storytelling for your business and building a strong brand in the process. Remember, if you know a business owner or marketer who may benefit from this series, please share it with them and encourage them to subscribe because I’m only putting a simplified version of these teachings on the blog.
A Story Well Told
This weekend I spent more time than is healthy bingeing the latest season of Never Have I Ever. It’s the Mindy Kaling created and produced story of Devi Vishwakumar a teenager with A LOT going on in her life as she balances the loss of her father with being a teenage girl and everything that goes along with that. This third season is special, or at least if felt that way because really, the series is largely about grief and the different ways we move through it and for Devi season three seems like a pivotal moment. I don’t do spoilers so I would just say if you’re interested in beautiful character development and also hilarious and sometimes ridiculous teenage hijinks, I highly highly recommend you give this one a try. Here's the original trailer for the show to give you a sense of what to expect.
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