How to use Brand Storytelling to Connect with Your Customers

Aug 2023

Who is the hero of your brand story? This question is critical to how we at KWSM help our clients connect with their customers. Because if the hero of your company’s story is yourself, you’ve got a problem. With the right framework, you can optimize your messaging to better connect with your audience and reposition your storytelling so that your customer emerges as the hero.

I have been with KWSM for over 7 years, and as the Director of Accounts I interact with many of our clients in a wide variety of industries. Something that they have in common is the goal to better reach their customers, and ultimately, drive more business through their marketing efforts. We’re able to help them do that by focusing their messaging on what many great storytellers call “The Hero’s Journey.”

The Science of Brand Storytelling

The approach to telling a brand’s story goes back to what we know about the human brain. Donald Miller, an author and expert on storytelling, reminds us that the job of the brain is to keep you alive. So when consumers interact with you and your website, subconsciously, all that their brains tell them to care about is survival. Brains ignore all other messages. The brain’s second job is to conserve calories. How does this affect your messaging? To see success from your marketing, your messaging must address the key problems that your audience is facing, and ensure it takes minimal effort to understand your content. If you don’t, your customer’s brains don’t understand how this message relates to the need to survive, therefore, deprioritizing it. The more complex your messaging, the more energy they will need to exude to understand it – using more calories.

Where some business owners find this most challenging is when fighting the natural instinct to make your marketing story about you and your company. But your customers’ brains are wired to see that type of messaging and immediately disregard it because it doesn’t address the need to survive. 

Instead, position your messaging to address the single most important issue that your audience is facing, and make it clear and easy to understand. By putting your audience’s needs first, you are addressing what their brain sees as most important..

The Brand Storytelling Framework

Keeping the science in mind, there are a few different elements that all brand messaging should follow to best connect with your audience and their needs.

  • Illustrate the problem
  • Illustrate what you want your audience to experience when they solve the problem
  • Define your plan to help them experience it 
  • Describe how your product or service fits into that plan

All of this must be done with empathy and authority. In Donald Miller’s teachings, he explains that you can still tell your story, but that should come in the form of empathy and authority. You are the guide for your customer (the customer is the hero). As the guide, you have experienced the problem they are facing before and you have the competency to help solve this problem.

“Everyone loves feeling like the hero of a narrative; it’s human nature. While some marketing techniques appeal to that part of the consumer’s brain, they do so in a roundabout way, which can turn customers off and lose them before you even have a chance to pitch your service or product. Taking a brand story approach trims the fat and streamlines messaging to make your copy not only more easily digestible, but more effective.

Josh Rodriguez, Copywriter, KWSM 

KWSM Case Study: Brand Storytelling for Websites

At KWSM, we’ve seen first hand the success of implementing this story-driven approach. Our client, a CPA  based out of Long Beach, California who specializes in financial care for senior citizens, was interested in increasing the number of leads that her website produces.

After doing an audit of her website, we noticed that her messaging was geared toward a more general audience, and not focusing enough on her prime demographic. One of our  copywriters reworked her web copy to speak directly to a senior audience and address their pain points – not just outline her services.

By creating a website that speaks directly to the financial complexities that emerge as we age, our client presents herself as a guide that has empathy and experience, and as a result has seen an improvement in SEO ranking, website traffic, and lead generation – the website now brings in about 15 new high quality leads a month!

Looking for a Marketing Agency to Help With Your Brand Storytelling?

Connecting with your audience is the foundation of your success and KWSM is here to help you tell your story better. By addressing your customers’ internal and external problems, you’ll demonstrate what is at stake for them, and how you can be the solution they’ve been looking for. If you’re ready to meet the guide that will help you elevate your content, fill out a form below and talk to a member of the KWSM team!

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