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Human stories

Paul Cash, CEO at Rooster Punk, says brands can start telling human stories sooner than they think

By now you should have the memo: storytelling is critical for brand growth, especially in B2B.

But I’m still not convinced brands have woken up to the fact they  need compelling stories to break through the noise bombarding audiences today.

Gone are the days when brands could just broadcast their message, as customers increasingly take control to filter out the weak and irrelevant ones.

How is it that something we all grew up surrounded by and listening to – storytelling – turns into a sloppy mess when it’s applied to branding? It seems to me a lot of B2B brands are wrongly focusing on complex product features – making them unapproachable, bland and detached. And when it comes to digital marketing, things are worse, as brands seem to have become distracted writing for algorithms instead of humans.

You can start telling human stories sooner than you think. Unearth stories about your brand launch, internal culture and your
role in the environment that already exist to make a real impact on your business.

Talk about your origin
Your company’s origin story has more power than you imagine if you can craft and tell it in an inspiring way.

An authentic origin story creates instant differentiation and gives customers and prospects confidence in your offer: your brand has roots; it won’t blow away.

Whether you’re a global B2B brand or a start-up, your origin story will provide the foundation for all brand activity. It will help guide the development of internal culture, attract staff and improve customer service. It will infuse every interaction at every touchpoint with a recognisable, reassuring flavour.

Regardless of the age, size or sector of your business, it was started by someone, somewhere, for a reason. Make your own origin narrative work hard by ensuring its authenticity shines to make it engaging.

Good stories are lived
Building on your origin story, you can start putting together your culture story. Organisational culture is a brand’s single most valuable intangible asset. Culture consists of the unwritten codes, norms and rules that infuse the atmosphere of every business and guide the decisions and behaviour of its employees.

A credible, inspiring culture story will empower employees as committed partners and passionate ambassadors. It will bring clarity to what is expected of every member of staff internally and will serve as a catalyst for employees to share and promote your vision externally.

A culture story that is both meaningful and motivating will encourage employees and stakeholders to influence and contribute to your brand.

Be sustainable
Today’s customers care about the impact the companies they buy from are making on the environment, and a state-of-the art planet story will highlight the role your brand plays in the sustainability space.

The future of your sector is inextricably linked with the future of the planet, not as a challenge to reduce emissions, but as an opportunity to inspire, enable and empower behaviour change and cultural shift; to innovate products, grow markets and increase sales.

Collaborative consumption, de-materialisation, the internet of things and wearable technology are just a handful of the emerging sustainability trends driven by tech developments.

The brands that thrive in the future will be the ones that have a credible and strategic link with positive environmental impact and relevance in emerging economic models.