Trying to compete with the mega big-box retailers is an uphill battle, especially online. But, with new initiatives like the Pinterest Shop, small businesses get the unique opportunity to be front and center to tell their unique brand story. Launched in December 2019, the Pinterest Shop features mission-driven small businesses, in a similar way as other platforms like Etsy. Resembling the look and feel of the traditional Pinterest board, the products featured in the Pinterest Shop are curated and regularly updated from a growing inventory of selected small businesses. How do you get added to the Pinterest Shop? The answer is simple: tell your brand story.
The businesses that have been hand-selected by what the social media platform refers to as “Pinterest and friends” all have a truly inspiring and creative brand story to share. This is exactly why, in such a fragmented retail market, the more you can showcase your brand’s story, the more authentic interactions you’ll create to connect and engage with your target audience.
So, how do you tell a good brand story?
There are three key elements to craft a brand story that not just resonates with your ideal customer, but is also truly memorable.
Brand Biography. Though this may sound like the most self-explanatory piece, it is the part of the brand story that is often overlooked (or underdeveloped). What is it that compelled you to start the business? What was the original need or problem you set out to solve? Who were the “characters” involved leading up to the inception of your business? For example, FOUNT, a leather goods store that was started by a couple who used a World War II era sewing machine they bought off of Craigslist. The key is you want to tell the story of how it all began, including all of the “strange” twists and turns. It is these details that give your brand a life of its own.
Brand Experience. Your brand story has to include not just elements of who you are and why you do what you do (or why you stand for a particular mission), but, equally important is what customers should expect when they interact with your brand. You’ll want to spend time considering what it is your brand can promise consumers. Is it a seamless online computer shopping experience? Is it the opportunity to buy trendy clothes while also giving back to the community? Is it the chance to be part of a larger movement? And, the beauty is, there is no “right” or “wrong” brand promise. Figure out what it is and make sure it is consistently communicated across all of your marketing campaigns and channels.
Brand Mission. With 79% of consumers more likely to buy from a company that has a clearly communicated mission, you cannot ignore creating a brand mission statement. This should speak to what you want your brand to represent in the larger context of the world or in the future. Is your brand on a mission to decrease the carbon footprint? Make education more accessible to low-income families? Reduce the cost burden for startups? Whatever your brand mission is, identify it and ensure that it then influences all other aspects of your business.
When you have a compelling (and often inspiring) brand story, the easier it will be to attract and engage with your target audience. And, it will open doors for you to be included in other online curated shopping options as more social media platforms look to roll out ways to better support and feature unique brands.
What does your brand story say about your company? If you haven’t reviewed it (or drafted one), I highly recommend that you do so. Now more than ever, telling your brand story will be what helps you increase your customer base. I’m more than happy to review what you may have and help you hone in on your brand story to take your marketing to the next level.