So, you’ve come up with a great product idea, something people need, or will be excited to buy. In this super-saturated market of makers, what separates your products from all the other passionate entrepreneurs is your story!
Nativen was born in part to fulfill a need. Through the development process I realized it represented something larger than that. I wanted to produce goods for hands-on women, and the decisions I make, from what our logo looks like, to what fabrics I choose are all affected by their passions and pursuits. Developing the brand hasn’t been an easy road, and there are plenty of challenges with manufacturing in America, but having a clear story has helped us to shape each step as we grew.
Here are some key points I’ve learned about the benefits of a solid brand story:
The story is the difference
Nowadays customers are savvy and responsible shoppers who can smell a sales trick from a mile away. (Ever been caught crying at cat videos, even with the full knowledge that you’re being sold kitty litter?) When you are passionate about your brand, it’s not just another practical object or tool, but a thoughtful contribution through a journey that your customer can believe in. Research shows that the most successful brands work from the inside out, creating products that are born from a story, not the other way around. Our brains are actually hard-wired to prefer a good story over cold hard facts.
Your story must be sincere
Make sure your story comes from the heart, and watch out for gimmicky language. You may not be a literary savant, but for a helpful list of some key words to avoid when talking about your product, check out this Huffington Post and Time Out guide. Be sure to find your own brand voice and stick with it across all platforms.
At Nativen, we are passionate about American made products and supporting the resurgence of manufacturing in America. Our products showcase this in every step of the process. We believe that carrying your strengths and assets with you no matter where the world takes you, is the key; from this idea our slogan “#whereigohereiam”, was born.
People like People
No matter how much technology and media outlets change, at the end of the day, people buy products from people. We all feel good about purchasing a product that has heart as well as purpose. If you’re looking to make a mark with your brand, people need to know not only your story, but how to connect with it. A great way to do this is to create outlets to tell your story.
Get Creative About Outlets for Storytelling
Shoot a video featuring a brand hero that showcases your product even more powerfully than you do alone. Host an event where clients can experience your product first hand and meet you in person, the exposure every storyteller needs. At Nativen we developed our Stories series, as a great way for our customers to see first hand what inspires our brand, and the kind of women our products are made for.
Find people to believe in you
Buyers and editors see new brands pop up just as quickly as they drop out….and you may never find your customer if the buyers and the bloggers of the world don’t believe in you. If you have a clear vision of why your product is, not just what your product is, your story will be contagious.
Keep it simple
Everyone loves a good story, but that doesn’t mean they want to hear your entire ‘brand’ journey from tip to toe. When you’re pitching your brand story, tailor the message to the unique listener and create a mental list of points that are important to you and to your brand. Your next investor, brand hero, or retail partner may be on your train car, and you’ve only got 2 stops to chat about your story.
Your story will tell itself
Once you have your story, you’ll be surprised at how quickly it helps every other aspect of your business solidify; from writing a business plan or deciding the best ways to develop your products, to where to sell them. Your story will help answer all of your brand questions with clarity. So keep this in mind and…
Make sure your branding matches your story
With all this talk of a good story, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking people don’t judge a book by its cover. If you have a great story make sure your logo, your web layout, and your packaging all help tell this story. From the colors to the content, it is your brand identity as much as your product that will breathe life into your story, and set your business on solid ground.