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Inspire Your Customers to Share Your Brand Story and Build Your Business – Now!

March 11, 2016 Comments Off on Inspire Your Customers to Share Your Brand Story and Build Your Business – Now!Comments Off on Inspire Your Customers to Share Your Brand Story and Build Your Business – Now!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

While many brands bemoan the fact that they now have to reach consumers across multiple social media channels, the wisest brands recognize this as an opportunity to inspire the people that buy their products to share their brand story and build their business.

What these brands realize is that consumers want to work with brands to make a positive impact on society. Globescan’s Re: Thinking Consumption Report found that 67% of global consumers are interested in sharing ideas, opinions and experiences with companies to help them develop better products, new solutions and positive impact. Further HBR’s, ‘The Business Case for Purpose Report,’ found that 58% of organizations that prioritize and integrate purpose grew 10% or more when compared to brands that don’t prioritize it.

With this opportunity in mind there are three key ways to inspire consumers to share your story.

1. CO-AUTHORSHIP: Consumers are ready willing and able to help brands define what story they tell and how they tell it. This process starts with listening to what your audiences care about and aligning your storytelling with the values that you share. A great example of co-authorship is the film by REI that tells the story of one of its members in a way that reflects on the core values of the brand while also making a powerful human connection.

2. CO-CREATION: Whether this takes the form of a real world experience or online, co-created content is an opportunity to enlist the time energy and passion of your audiences to create authentic stories that speak to the values of your brand. By doing so a brand let’s its consumers know that it is listening to them and that they have a role to play in creating positive impact by buying their products and ensuring that the company succeeds. Patagonia enlisted the storytelling skills of its customers to great effect and its ‘Stories we wear’ campaign that dramatize the value of perpetuating the life of products you already own, rather than simply replacing them with new products that add to our excessive consumption.

3. COLLABORATION: The final and perhaps most powerful way that a brand can work with its consumers to build its business and social impact is to collaborate around a social cause effort. More than cause marketing or corporate foundation work, collaborative campaigns should be positioned as an expression of the core values of the brand. A brand can contribute to that cause either through donations, employee volunteering, or even in-kind donations such as training for those in need. GAP leveraged this approach to create compelling story telling by providing training to young entrepreneurs around the world who then went on to have a positive impact on local communities. By telling the story of all that impact and celebrating those entrepreneurs the brand created content that people want to share and, in turn, build the business.

What these three brands have done so effectively is the following:
1. Defined a simple, consistent and emotional story that they uniquely own.
2. Allowed the mission to define their marketing so they stand out in that category.
3. Ensured the consumers would collaborate with them to see the impact that the brand is having on a cause they care about.

By following these three steps almost any brand can ensure that it is so meaningful and relevant to its audiences that they are inspired to amplify the brand story and accelerate its business growth.

Feature Image via Flickr courtesy of Herry Lawford at https://flic.kr/p/7eYq95

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