build brand affinity 1: your story

Are you a brand, or just a business?

When people are willing to pay more for your product or service even though they know they can get it cheaper elsewhere, you’ve developed brand affinity. In order to get to this point, people need to have an emotional connection with your brand that extends beyond your product or service; a connection strong enough to overcome the price difference between your product and Joe’s similar but cheaper product down the street. Sorry Joe.

So how do we create this emotional connection?

Satisfy human nature.

Humans love stories. In fact we seem to create them in our minds even when they aren’t there. This is because of our fear of the unknown, and our naturally associative minds. Both of these human conditions mean we’re always trying to make connections between the info we’re given.

So, would you rather let consumers think up their own story of you, or do you want to control the narrative? By telling consumers your story, you’re settling their minds while filling a gap they would otherwise fill on their own.

Now, if your story is able to captivate and resonate with your customers, you create an emotional tie with them which extends beyond your product or service. So, how do we tell a good one?

The elements of a good story:

Character – The most important element is having at least one good character that people can relate to. The character can be purely fictional, or as it real as it gets – for example the founder of the business. To make your character relatable, they need to share some things in common with your market. The obvious commonality is having some relevance to the value propositions that people like about your business. However there’s something much more relatable than your value propositions: vulnerabilities. All humans have them and when we reveal our own to others, it disarms them and helps them relate. Your character’s vulnerabilities shouldn’t be of great emphasis, but just enough to make them more relatable.

Adversity and growth: Humans love to live vicariously through others, provided the journey isn’t bland. This is why adversity is a powerful tool in your story. It creates the possibility for an exciting journey with emotional highs and lows. By giving your character adversity they must overcome, you are creating an entertaining and emotionally stimulating journey to follow. Most importantly, you’re setting the stage for character growth. Just as with vulnerabilities, everyone faces adversity. We can all relate to that. Furthermore, when your character overcomes their adversity, they become a hero. People don’t just relate to heros. They admire and love them. Powerful emotions.

Delivery: Finally, your story needs to be told in an engaging way. Well written copy and visually pleasing imagery both help captivate our audience. Infuse these elements into your brand’s story, and you’re on your way to developing that emotional connection that customers need in order to pay more for your product.

Giving consumers a journey follow along their journey is the first step to creating that emotional connection that transcends your product and its price.