Storytelling and Voice for Startup Companies

September 22, 2014In Branding4 Minutes

Nowadays, getting people to pay attention to your message is similar to trying to get noticed in a room full of celebrities. For startups, the story can be the so-called “X factor” that gets people to take notice of you. And it all makes sense if you think about it. Stories have always connected to people on a deep level and it is what makes you seem personal as opposed to another entity. The question is how to approach storytelling and how to create the right voice to tell it.

The way to approach storytelling for startups is to come up with an authentic and unique story that ties into the interest of your audience. Your story should not be solely about your company or the products and services you sell. It should dig deep into something that people can relate and connect to. That means that in order to craft a great story, you need to really understand your marketplace and audience. The research is critical to making sure you position your story and voice correctly.

For one, you can identify a problem in the marketplace that has gone unresolved and build a story around that. There are many markets that are filled with many competitors but many unmet expectations felt by the target audience. This is an opportunity for you to build a story that differentiates your company from the others and explain how your presence will benefit the target audience.

You can also focus on the product or service rather than aiming for the sole purpose of company branding. This focus works well because people genuinely are always looking for products and services that are innovative and aim to resolve their problems. Many companies have done well with infographics that explain conventional products in their industry and how their particular products differ. Focusing on products and services is also great because sometimes a great story about the brand or company may not always be the best angle.

The voice you use will be a significant factor in how successful your story is. You want to come across as transparent, authentic, interesting, and unique. Make your story packed with emotions rather than telling a tried and boring abstract about how you came to be. Use engaging language, eye-catching visuals, and a structure that makes the reader want to learn more and possibly be a part of what you’re about. Make your story personal so that you come off as a unique personality as opposed to a corporate lifeless voice.

What you don’t want to do is try to fool your audience. Do not try to disguise a viral marketing campaign or PR stunt as a genuine story. Don’t try to embed what you think is a clever marketing gimmick to manipulate the readers. People are far smarter than most companies think and trying to pull something like that will only rouse a backlash. Aim to resonate and connect with your prospects and customers in an authentic way and they’ll reward you for it.

Stories can be one of the best branding strategies startups can use. While it may often look simple from the outside looking in, it requires a lot of research, creativity, and strategy to come up with one that can potentially build momentum for a new company. Working with branding experts and studying case studies of successful startup stories will help immensely in helping you figuring out how to craft a unique one for your brand.

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