A Brand Story is not a Pitch: Here’s the Difference
We use a brand story to sell. That said, your brand story is not a pitch – it’s a better, more authentic way to earn loyal customers. Here’s how to do it.
You’ve worked hard to develop your business idea and you’re passionate about the work you do. But when others ask you what it is that you do, do you freeze up? Does the idea of talking about your business and selling your products and services feel unnatural?
The thought of pitching yourself often makes a new business owner uncomfortable. You don’t want to come off as pushy or, on the other hand, insecure in your services. But there’s another strategy to marketing that’s even more effective and important than pitching, and that is to have a brand story.
In all the start-up work you’ve done, you’ve likely heard that branding is crucial to a successful business. In fact, a good brand strategy can give you a leg up in competitive markets.
But what does it mean to have a brand story? What is the difference between telling your brand story and pitching your business?
Read on to learn about this effective marketing technique that will change the way people perceive your business:
What is a Brand Story?
You might be thinking your brand story is the words on your website’s About page or in your company’s brochure. But more than what you tell people, your brand story is how your message is carried out by your business. Your brand story, rather than simply advertising and telling about your business, is meant to inspire an emotional reaction in people.
A brand story isn’t something you summarize about your business into a neat paragraph. Rather, it’s a combination of every element of your business and the effects they have. From your packaging colors and logos to the behavior of your staff, every aspect of your business works together to relay your business’s brand story to the public.
Think of the purpose and values that are grounded in your business. Implementing these characteristics in how you communicate, whether by email, in person or from your packaging, is all part of how you are telling your brand story. Anything that the customer comes across is your brand story.
Brand stories are being communicated in every business. When you recognize a popular company’s iconic logo or familiar colors, you immediately associate them with the company. You feel something about their business from seeing their trademarks, which is exactly what happens to your customers in every tangible and intangible interaction you have with them.
Telling an Impactful Brand Story versus a Powerful Pitch
When you’re starting your business, you constantly hear how important it is to perfect your pitch. You spend days polishing it, but maybe it doesn’t feel right or true to you and your business.
There are various ways to deliver a business pitch, including verbally or via email. When you pitch your business, you are potentially trying to sell your products or services and the other person knows it.
You might customize your pitch based on who you are selling to. Your brand story is different in that you are living out the values of your business through everything you do, including (but not limited to) your pitch.
When you think of pitching, you likely think of trying to make a sale. A more effective and authentic way to approach “pitching” is to turn your pitch into a way to tell your brand story.
A Business Pitch Sounds Intimidating
You may think you have to cram the whole essence and value of your business into a short email or a quick conversation that takes no longer than an elevator ride.
You may feel uncomfortable pitching because you are likely asking for something, taking a level of human connection out of the interaction. The person on the other side is also likely uncomfortable as they expect that you are asking them for something.
Most business owners spend too much time on the words they’ll use in the pitch. They’ll also memorize them. They don’t pay attention to their body language or tone of voice, and likely come off as robotic.
Telling your story instead of delivering a pitch often feels more natural. You can loosen up and be more enthusiastic and welcoming with your body language.
But people can connect to your story. When you tell the story of what your business does and what it’s all about, you are able to be more genuine and authentic. And when you tie a favor or request into your story, people may be more receptive than they would be to your sales pitch.
How Your Brand Story is an Effective Marketing Tool
When you hone your business’s brand story, you can use it as an effective marketing tool. While boiling down all the aspects of your business to a defined brand may seem difficult, here are a few reasons why it is worth making the effort to do so:
1. Personal connections
When you share your company’s origin story and why you do what you do, people can better identify with your values and brand personality.
Consumers don’t generally like feeling like they’re being sold to. They want to buy from someone who they know shares their values and interests. You can communicate that through your brand story.
3. You’ll stand out
In the competitive marketplace where there are several businesses offering the same services or products as you, customers will likely recognize you for your brand story. If you have something they can identify with, they’ll go with your business over the others.
Developing your brand story helps you to narrow in on what your company is really about. This helps you identify who your target customers are based on who can relate to the message and values of your business. You can then better focus on how to connect with and serve those customers.
Telling your brand story is a more effective way of pitching your services. Instead of delivering a robotic, memorized request, you are sharing personal, inspiring messages through everything your business does.
But narrowing down your brand story isn’t easy, and sometimes it helps to have an expert talk it through with you. Get started with our free Brand Story Canvas today!