The age-old tradition of storytelling is a powerful thing. Since the dawn of humankind, we’ve been sharing stories to teach each other, entertain each other and explain things we don’t understand. In short, we’re hardwired for it, and it helps us connect with one another in deep and meaningful ways.
Likewise, storytelling can help you foster a significant relationship with your customers and prospects. You don’t have to be high-profile like the Kardashian clan or wildly successful like Walmart’s Walton family to make it work. Here are some tips to help you get started with marketing your family story—and boosting your bottom line.
If your business is family owned and/or operated, it’s more than likely that you have a good backstory to go with it. Perhaps your grandfather started the business with nothing more than a few dollars in the bank, or you opened a bakery to showcase recipes that have been handed down through your family for generations.
Whatever the case, if your story helps you bring the values of your company to life, then it’s worth telling. It’s also a very natural way to introduce customers and prospects to your brand, which can make you stand out among the competition.
Although the story of each family business is unique, those who tell them share a few things in common. First, they know who they are, and this authenticity shines through and draws people in. The best stories don’t come across as a marketing gimmick, and customers know and appreciate the real deal when they see it.
They also elicit an emotional response from the audience. If you’re sharing a heartwarming story about your Uncle Bob starting a business to create a better life for his family, people can relate to it. It taps into primal emotions we all share, and this can translate to action—people buying your products or services.
In the end, your family story should inspire people to want to be a part of your brand—and tell others about it. This can be measured in your bottom line.
Putting a face to your business makes it familiar and relatable, which is the upside. However, it also means you lose some of your privacy. Before you delve into the process of making your personal history public, make sure your family approves of the storytelling strategy. After all, if you’re sharing their identities, photos of them and details about their lives in your marketing efforts, they’re affected by them as well.
Being transparent also comes with risks. When you put yourself out there, you’re opening yourself to scrutiny. In the worst-case scenario of a scandal, your high visibility puts you at risk of criticism or harassment. Before you commit to the storytelling marketing strategy for your family business, you need to make sure you’re OK with it, warts and all. Do it well, though, and you could reap rewards for generations to come.
Tapping into your family story can be a boon for your business. These tips will help you do it well—and reap rewards for generations to come.