Have you ever met a contractor that hasn’t tried to talk your leg off? Most are talkers and mean no harm; they just want to connect. So what better audience to connect with if you make something that can help them do their job better?
Stories are ways to make life a little more interesting and who (let’s be honest) doesn’t like a good story? So you, as a manufacturer, are you telling your customers stories or are you just trying to sell them something? You know there’s more than one way to make a sale. Storytelling should be entertaining and engaging, not boring and one-sided.
But you have to know who you are before you can communicate it to someone else. Storytelling can be used to talk about your founders and why they got in business, to the challenges that you face today. You can talk about your people and company culture and what makes you different to do business with.
I read an article by Debbie Williams on the Content Marketing Institute’s site. She focuses her storytelling around 6 questions:
- What’s your reason for being? What’s your purpose? What’s important to you?
- What’s your history? How does what you do come into existence?
- Who are your main characters? Not everyone can have a Steve Jobs, but someone had the foresight and passion to start your company. Who was he/she (them)?
- What’s your corporate mission? Why are you in business? What kinds of problems are you trying to solve?
- How have you failed? This a hard one for some folks, but a reality for all of us. None of us are perfect, so show some of that humanity. Chances are, people will connect because they’ve been there, done that.
- Where are your gaps? You can’t be introducing new products every month of every year. No one really expects that. Use a timeline to highlight major milestones in your history.
One key point that Debbie makes is that brand stories can be told in many different forms. We need to make sure that whoever the content creators are that they are vigilant about continuity and consistency.
So are you taking advantage of telling your story to those contractors out there? If not, you may be missing a huge opportunity to bolster your brand.