Brand Positioning for Small Business: How to Create Your Story
As a small business owner, you’ve spent considerable time and a ton of money trying to communicate with your customers. But, did you know, that one of the most effective ways to engage with your customers is actually through your brand positioning?
In our world today, consumers everywhere are suffering from direct marketing overkill. We are all constantly marketed at, and advertised to.
In such a crowded space, how do small businesses break through all the noise?
Brand Positioning – Tell Your Story
The way you position your brand is absolutely essential if you are going to have a thriving business.
And, the best way to position your brand for success is to tell a story about your business.
Now, we’re not talking about spinning some wild yarn or fabricating a tall tale.
What we’re talking about is the story of your business; the very reasons you exist and the difference you hope to make in peoples’ lives.
A great brand story can give your small business the ultimate boost it’s been craving.
Unsure where to start in creating your story? Don’t worry. We’re here to help.
We’re about to take you on a brand positioning tour. Creating your story has never been so easy.
Are you ready? Let’s do this!
What is a Brand Story?
Storytelling is almost as old as the world itself. Human beings are wired for good stories.
Stories engage us. They entertain us. In some ways, they cast us under a spell.
When considering your brand positioning, you have got to think in terms of the story you can tell about your brand. More specifically, you must think about why your business exists and what values your company stands for.
Today, people care more than ever before about the reasons behind everything you do. They don’t just buy what you’re selling, they pay huge attention to the values your business represents.
Deciding what you stand for immediately allows you to differentiate your brand from competitors. You can then set about crafting a story that articulates that message.
That story must be compelling, it must be spoken with one unified voice across all platforms, and it should speak to something greater than yourself.
Brand Positioning: How to Create Your Story
1. Where to Start?
There’s a great saying that is often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt and it’s particularly instructive when you’re creating your brand story.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Your story is you showing the public how much you care and it’s the golden rule in brand positioning.
2. The Beginning, The Middle, and The End
All great stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Yours will too.
When creating your story, start by thinking about your business in terms of its past, its present and its future.
The Beginning – The Past
Who set the business up and why? Was it a lofty goal? An impossible dream?
What was the reason your company came to be? What was the greater purpose of the company when it was initially founded? What was your mission?
The Middle – The Present
How is that mission looking today? Are you delivering on it? Are you living your message, day-in, day-out?
The End – The Future (Continuous)
Where do you see the future of your business? What sort of impact do you want to make in people’s lives or on the world itself? What culture does your brand fit into?
3. The Active Pursuit
Most stories involve a character who is involved in the active pursuit of something. In terms of your brand positioning, it is a good idea to follow suit.
You are trying to create a community of like-minded people who will align themselves with you and your brand for years to come.
What values is your company actively pursuing? With your story, show the public how much you care.
4. Put it All Together
This is where you really kick your brand positioning into high gear. Now that you’ve got a firm grip on the why behind everything your business does, you can use that information to craft the story into a concise, relatable message.
The easiest way to do this is to develop a clear statement about your brand. This is the ultimate vision statement for your company and it is the story of who you are. It’s important to get this down in a clear way so that you can shout it from the rooftops consistently over time.
It should include the following:
- Why your business exists
- What your business stands for
- What your deeper mission is
- What values drive your vision
- Why you get up every day
This is your brand story so the more entertaining you are with this statement, the better off your brand positioning will be.
Your next job is to immerse yourself and all your employees in the language of that statement. It will be your mantra going forward.
5. What Do you Do With Your Story?
You now have a clear, concise story that you can relay to others. The key now is to get that story out there.
You and your company are now the embodiment of that story. Everything you do, everything you say and everything you associate with has got to be aligned with your story and its values.
In brand positioning, you are always striving to create a connection with your customer. You can now do this consistently by sharing your story and validating the choice your customers make every time they engage with you.
Every time your brand speaks on any platform, you need to be sharing your story. Every piece of information should be saying, either in an implicit or explicit way, ‘This is our story. You’re just like us. Come join us’.
6. Final Checks
Your brand positioning will now be ready to help your business thrive. Before you launch your story, ensure that the following three elements underscore everything you do:
- Be true to yourself. The story of your business cannot be a fabrication or a misrepresentation of who you are and what you stand for. Customers can see incongruence from a mile away. Trust that the people who believe in the same things that you believe in will follow you.
- Be human. The most powerful stories have a strong human element. Facts and figures are persuasive but they aren’t nearly as effective as a human connection.
- Serve the customer. Your story should have the customer at the heart of the story. In a way, you should seek to make your company and the customer the joint heroes of the story.
Brand Positioning and Your Story
So, you can now consider yourself fully versed on crafting the perfect story for your business.
But, should you need any further advice, reach out to us.
We’re always here to help.