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Fireside Chat: 3 Key components of brand storytelling

In today’s world, businesses must have a sustainable, competitive edge to succeed. Every industry is different, but there is one competitive advantage that can be utilized by any company: brand storytelling. Storytelling is the unique narrative your brand uses to share it’s values with like-minded consumers to create a connected identity. Studies show that 87 percent of consumers want to build relationships with brands — not just purchase their products and services. The right brand story should engage your target audience in an emotional way that leads to increased profit for your business.

In our recent fireside chat, Andy Warren, president of Maracay Homes, shared with us how to create an effective community identity through value-based branding. During a tour of his newest community development, Avance, he shared with us how important storytelling is in the home building industry, a space where differentiators aside from price and quality are sometimes hard to see. Warren shared three pieces of advice to help take your brand storytelling to the next level.

Understand what inspires your audience

To have an effective brand story requires a deep understanding of what drives and inspires your buyer. This isn’t as simple of a process as it may seem, it goes beyond the scope of your product or services. Warren shared that the most effective way to understand your consumer is to engage with them authentically and whenever possible. By engaging in-person with his consumers for years, Warren learned that having the opportunity to explore and experience nature in a holistic way (hiking, biking, etc.) while also being in an urban environment is desired by the home buyers within his primary audience. Because of this insight, he knew he had the perfect location for Avance. The new development is located only six miles from Downtown Phoenix, yet built on a trailhead with over 50 miles of trails in South Mountain. He listened to their needs and met them where they wanted to be. However, having the right offering is just part of the story.

Build a shared identity through your story

Avance’s story isn’t just about how great the property location is, it’s a story about how the location, home and amenities, benefit the buyers. The message of this community is centered around a healthy lifestyle and freedom to roam while also staying connected to the community. The brand story highlights to future buyers how Avance can help them achieve their lifestyle goals – not just property values.

A brand’s story should not be focused on the brand itself, but rather how the brand connects with the emotions and needs of the consumer day-to-day. For your story to be effective, your consumer has to be the hero of the story. This is a simple idea that takes real effort to pull off because it is so counter-intuitive. Let your brand take a backseat, eliminate the desire to sell. Instead, let the story reveal how your brand can assist them in their journey. Be the Marlin to your consumer’s King Arthur, the Morpheus to their Neo.

Drive community trust

In order for the story to drive and inspire people, it must also build trust. It requires the engagement of the heart and mind of the person. How do you want people to feel when they use your product? What values do you offer every time they use your product? What does your brand represent beyond the products or services you offer? Leadership’s answers to those questions will drive the brand, the team and the consumer. This forms a trusted community, where part of the consumer’s personal identity comes from being a member. If you can build that deep emotional connection with the consumer, the community that forms will fiercely advocate for the brand, celebrate successes and continually recruit more members.

Storytelling that is incorporated into the culture of a company not only gives a clear picture of the past but also gives employees a prominent purpose. When leadership has taken the time and effort to permeate the story into the work culture the brand takes on a life of its own (in a good way!). An authentic story that attracts the right people into your community is what transforms your brand into something that becomes an important part of someone’s life, not just a commodity. With the right story, every brand is capable of capturing the hearts and minds of their buyers—It takes a desire to provide real value, consistency and time to create the brand’s identity.

At GPEC we are driven to bring the best to Greater Phoenix and create a connected community where stories and experiences propel success. Companies here are committed to changing the game and the ecosystem to enable growth. It’s about our region opening doors and working together to empower the community. If you are an innovator or entrepreneur that wants to explore our community-driven business infrastructure, connect with us to see how GPEC can be part of your story.

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