In a capitalistic economy, everyone has to deal with competition. There’s simply no way around it. So, if you want to attract consumers, you have to first set yourself apart from your competition (in a good way, of course). People employ a variety of strategies in trying to achieve this uniqueness, but many end up falling short. For those who have grown tired from standing on their tip toes in a crowd of competition, there is a better way to set yourself apart: You must tell your story.
Whether your brand is merely yourself or a conglomerate of people, your story is something that must be told – and told well – if you want to stand out. The relationship between consumer and producer is exactly that – a relationship. As obvious as that sounds, it’s easy for the relationship side of business to fall to the way side. And in order to build a relationship with consumers, there has to first be a point of connection, something to which they can relate. If you have a good story that conveys who you are and allows your target audience to empathize with you, you will have a distinct advantage over competitors. Having a story as a brand is like a like having a stepping stool in a crowd of competition. The more relatable it is, the higher the stool and the greater the chance that consumers see and recognize you.
Stories are practically engrained in our DNA. Since the beginning of human history, they have been used as a means of understanding the world around us – to transform the abstract into the concrete, the unknown into the well-known. At one point, people sought to understand things like rain and earthquakes through story. Now, we use story to try to understand each other. In fact, it is largely because of story that people learned to empathize with others and see them as one in the same, resulting in many of the human rights we have today. So, if consumers see your brand as “other,” as some distant, human-less “thing” in a crowd of other human-less things, it is probably because you have yet to tell your story. Until you tell that story, it will be nearly impossible to stand out from those who have, and even those who haven’t. And every brand does have a story, because behind every brand is a person. Find that story, and tell it well, and you can not only stand out from competition but stand closer to your consumers.