You have no control over you brand.
Because the things customers say about your product or service among friends, family, and acquaintances defines it. And, much like art, once your brand is out in the world, it no longer belongs to you.
Imagine someone has just spent $1,000 on an impulse buy - in this case, a Panama straw fedora. They show it off with pride to a friend. “Look at what I just got.” The friend sees the quality, but is otherwise unimpressed. “Looks nice. How much did you pay for that?” A twinge of uncertainty resonates in the customer’s voice as he relays the price. “Are you insane?!” his friend shrieks. “Why would you spend that much on this? I could have gotten you one just like that for $100, $200 tops. I’d bring it back. You got played.”
Within minutes, that loyal new customer is reduced to an angry puddle of buyer’s remorse. He wants to defend himself to his friend, but he doesn’t know what to say. He shrugs. “Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder I guess.” His friend laughs, “Then you’ve got the eyes of a fool.” And just like that, an otherwise pleasant customer experience has been ruined.
How many times have you been in similar conversations, forced to defend a recent purchase for whatever reason? We expect others to see the same value we do; but more often than not, we need facts and stories to back us up.
To return to our two friends above...imagine if the customer had a story to tell instead of just a physical object to display. What if he had told his friend the following:
“No, no. I didn’t get played. Don’t be ridiculous. Honestly, for the work that went into this thing, I’d say $1,000 was a steal. It took three men to harvest the raw materials from a goddamn swamp, and one guy six months just to weave it all together, using his fingernails to pull the fibers apart and make thread - in the humid heat of Ecuador no less, without so much as a fan. Then, the textile was shipped to an expert hatmaker who has all these old machines rescued from defunct factories across Europe. I swear, this is the exact same type of hat Teddy Roosevelt might have worn when he visited the Panama Canal. It was made the exact same way these hats were made in the 17th century. Now come on, look at it again. You see how tight and exact that weave is? And feel how smooth it is! All done by hand, my friend. $1,000? That’s nothing compared to the work put into this. I basically stole the thing! There’s nothing else like it.”
Chances are, after an explanation like that, our customer’s friend is now converted. “Damn,” he says. “Where’d you get it again?”
Conversations like these happen all of the time between your customers and their network (i.e. new prospects). And you have no control over these interactions. BUT - you can set yourself up for success.
And that’s where we come in.
You can call it storytelling, copywriting, or brand journalism, but at the core of it all is education. And that education informs your brand identity, because your brand doesn’t live in a bubble - it exists in the minds of your customers.
We argue that you should give your customer an entire arsenal for their defense, through product descriptions, blog posts, manifestos, downloads, ebooks, and informative social media posts. These make you a trusted resource and work to cultivate intense brand loyalty, merely by making your customers more confident in their purchasing decisions.
If only ten people listen to you, make sure those ten people have the tools they need to make your idea spread. Because even if only ten people love you, but then go on to confidently educate their network on why they should love you too...well, now we’re really cooking with gas.
Word of mouth marketing is still the very best promotional tool available. That’s why we firmly believe in giving your customer something to say, and a story to believe in. That’s how your business will grow - by nurturing emotional connections with fans through the power of information.
Because the market is awfully saturated out there, and only the most trusted brands will win.
So let’s build that trust together, brick by brick, starting with the language and knowledge you share.
Got an idea? Let’s talk.