What is it about stories that resonate with us?
I asked Chris Melotti, founder of Melotti Media, to weigh in on this and other storytelling questions.
If you've ever wondered how to develop a story for your brand or where to look for inspiration, Chris shares his tips on why it's important, how you can develop a story, and what might get in your way.
Here's the interview...
1. How do you, Chris, define business storytelling?
In a Marketing and Copywriting sense, storytelling is how your business communicates with an audience, allowing people to understand and relate to your brand.
Brands with a good story are memorable, relatable, interesting and unique.
2. Why is storytelling important?
As a Marketing Copywriter, business storytelling plays a very important part of a business' branding. I understand that "storytelling" is a bit of an overused buzzword in Marketing, but it ties into how your brand resonates with your target audience. Think of all the brands you love - they all have a different story which allows them to stand out and be remembered.
Australia is renowned worldwide for its Professional Services, from Consultants and Legal, to Finance, Advertising, Real Estate and more. However, most brands face the same challenge: a lack of differentiation. Most competitors look alike, which leaves customers thinking you're all the same. Unfortunately, this results in a service price war and a lack of long-term growth opportunities. As a business, you must delve into your professional services brand, build differentiation through storytelling and engage audiences through genuine points of difference.
3. What questions do you ask a client to help them think through their brand story?
It's quite elaborate, because a lot of brands have a story but aren't aware of it or do know it, but don't share it.
So, the questions I ask aim to draw them out and help them communicate their story effectively. These questions revolve around vision and mission, goals and objectives, their past, about the people in their team, why are you in business and so on. It's also about what they AREN'T as much as it is what they are.
4. How can a business or brand develop a voice and personality that resonates with their ideal customers?
A great story lies at the intersection between your business and your customer. So, a brand can have a huge story, but only parts may be interesting or relevant to a target audience. So, you need to be authentic from your brand and business (so, you don't fabricate anything), however you need to select what your ideal segment will find interesting.
For example, my business Melotti Media was set up by me and I offer my expertise as both a Marketing Strategist and a copywriter to my clients - that's a relevant part of my brand's story for my clients.
The fact that I was a fantasy fiction writer isn't that relevant to corporate clients looking for professional services.
5. How can a business owner choose the right medium to tell his or her story?
Put another way, is there a right or wrong medium for communicating your brand’s story?
There's no right or wrong, so long as it's authentic and genuine. The only thing I would suggest is omnichannel marketing (multiple media types) where your customers are - but only a brand can decide what they prefer. Did I mention be genuine??? People can spot inauthentic messages from a mile away.
What’s one challenge you’ve seen a business struggle with when trying to craft a story around their brand?
I would say three scenarios: (1) they have no idea about their story (2) they can't see what a story would do to help them, or (3) they know their story but don't know what to do with it.
6. You recently rebranded Melotti Media. Your brand changed… has your brand’s story?
So exciting! But no, my story hasn't changed - more, the brand now better reflects the story. Both my team and I approach projects vibrantly and full of energy and my previous branding, while orange, was too dull. People told me my story didn't match my branding. I took that feedback on, and worked on it for a while. Now, my new branding has more movement, colour and flow. It represents my story much better and more consistently.
7. When you think of storytelling in business, who inspires you?
All the big brands that do it well (as cliche as that is); but there's a reason why we remember them! GREAT stories.
Think of the Australian boot brand, RM Williams - everything they do tells a story. Watch their ad recently with Hugh Jackman - it perfectly shows their legacy and story. Excellent marketing!
Qantas (spirit of Australia), Apple (a few years ago, not anymore), Who Gives A Crap (the toilet roll company - they are brilliant!!!)
8. What didn’t I ask that I should have?
Q. "How do I find and use my story?"
A. Talk to a Marketing professional like myself. I know... shameless plug, but it's true. Don't spend hours thinking, "what do we do?". Just reach out to a Branding agency or a Marketing Copywriter who can provide you with the direction you need to take full advantage of the brand story potential.
Ready to learn more?
For a whole lot more timely and helpful content, go see Chris and his team at MelottiMedia.com.au. I've worked with Chris and he's been a client of mine, so this is a sincere recommendation.