Strategic storytelling as a way to differentiate

Marketing is about storytelling. 

This is a well-understood concept, but surprisingly few companies use it to their benefit. Especially smaller businesses are rich with stories, yet owners hide these in an attempt to "look big". No photo of the owner(s) and why they started the business; no business philosophy; no pictures of the manufacturing process or people and testimonials from satisfied customers. These are all essential parts of the business story and are often absent. 

Telling the story of your business should be the focus of your early marketing efforts as it allows you to attract those valuable customers that believe in what you do instead of just fighting for the lowest price. 

The story of your business is nothing other than your value proposition - your core point of difference. Most businesses harp on about the products or service they sell but don't give any sneak peek into the behind the scenes stuff - the interesting stuff, even if it is a pure service being delivered. The passion, blood, sweat and tears that go into making it all happen. This is where the real essence of a business lies and should be a key focus of the marketing efforts. 

"This is who we are".

I'm currently working with a manufacturer of some of the largest aluminum window frames and doors in Africa. In my engagement with them, it has become a key focus to encourage them to show the manufacturing and installation process and not merely the beautiful buildings that use their fenestration.

Most businesses claim they do something special, but don't tell the story that really makes them special. The outcome is marketing that looks like everyone else's. 

Don't make the mistake of not infusing your marketing with your story. The "end result" is only a small part of what you should be talking about. Tell people who you are. Your brand.

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