Hi! I'm the owner of wantdesign.co.uk and I'm going to take the next step by hiring full time help and setting up a limited company. I've got wantwebsite, wantseo, wantapp .co.uk domains and thinking about creating landings with focus on each service (wantdesign will be just for branding services and print design). Is this a good idea or should I find a new, more brandable, name and run everything under one name? Thank you.
Every brand has a story and every brand wants to be a story brand. Whether it is ancient times or modern-day movies, stories have held the power to shape people. Everyone likes a good story, irrespective of the medium through which it is told. Typically, good stories follow this pattern: A character has a problem and meets a guide who gives them a plan, calls them to action, helps them to avoid failure and ends in success.
How then can you use the power of stories to sell a product? The answer to this question is to create your own story brand. Creating your own story brand will have a competitive edge when you craft a compelling story that describes your brand. Add the ability to create a sustainable relationship with your customers and position your product in a way that makes it irresistible. The result will be retention of the attention of your customers and guaranteed growth to your business. In creating a story brand, you cannot leave room for ambiguity. Effective use of language is more important than aesthetics. For example, you may have the most beautiful website on the block but use language ineffectively. Such beauty is a waste.
Your message must tell people three things:
1. Who you are?
2. What you do ?
3. Why you are best fit for the job.
Potential customers must not have difficulty understanding your message or relating to your story. If they do, they will take their business elsewhere without hesitation. At the heart of your message, you must convey exactly what you do. Ask yourself: Will this product or service help people survive and thrive? If yes, that is your message.
According to Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, it is important to arrange your services or products according to their level of importance to human survival. Physical needs come before psychological needs. Think of this as a pyramid. Food, sex, safety, and shelter are the most basic needs we have as humans. Then, we progress to the need for companionship and friendship. At the top of the pyramid, we have the need for self-actualization. Understanding this hierarchy can provide the leverage to hone your message and entice customers.
We all have desire for acceptance. We want to have a sense of belonging somewhere. We all need to eat and drink. Use this knowledge to explain how your product will help your customers satisfy those needs and flourish in life.
For instance, if you are into professional enhancement training, your website must literally state that you train people. Then you must find a way to craft a message that shows how professional training connects with the survival needs of your customers. You could show how being professionally trained can help them earn more money to take care of themselves. Being skilful can also help them to be friends with great people in the society.
What differentiates a good story form ordinary talk is that a story is organized information. Our desire for orderliness and continuity explains why we like listening to stories. We also remember stories long after they have been told because it is organized. Like a melody, a good story sticks in the mind after a single listen unlike the erratic honking of cars and random sounds we hear and forget almost immediately. Music follows rules and recognizable patterns. Good stories also have a pattern they follow.
An easy way to get this done is by following the SB7(Story Brand7) Framework. The SB7 framework taps into the power of storytelling.
The key elements that make up a good story are:
5. Calls to action
The character is the centre of attention. The story revolves around her. She desires something difficult to get. This difficulty constitutes the problem. Just when she is about to give up, a guide shows up and presents a plan that can solve the identified problem. The guide asks the character to act based on the plan. To avoid failure, the character must follow the plan to get her initial desire. This story arc can be crafted for every type of brand. Once you have got your script sorted, it will provide the ammunition you need to win and keep into attention of your customers.
Customers are like kings and queens. Let your story focus on their needs and wants. Tell the story through their eyes. It will stick and they will naturally come to you when they want something in real life. Your brand will be attached to that need. To understand how important, it is to make the customer your main character, consider an example of travel company. The website of this company showcases beautiful landscapes across the globe, their beautiful offices, and a story about them. Basically, it talked about everything else but the customer. This example shows what not to do. The message is unclear, and it does not address the needs of the customers. Rather than focus on what their company could do for the customer, they showcased their company. People might admire the landscapes and beautiful offices but cannot connect their need to what you are saying. Your website should talk more about them than you. They should easily see why they need to contact you.
Your character must be the main character in your brand story. Get them engaged by targeting their desires, to be more powerful, focus on one desire. There is no point in listing all your services. It will only create confusion and make it difficult for your customer to see how your message meets their needs. For the travel company, someone eventually discovered that customers need to travel effortlessly. This discovery led to a redesign of their website to focus on how their services lift off the burden of making travel arrangements for their customers. The message became clear and concise. Everyone knew what the travel company offered. The second component of SB7 framework focuses on identifying the problems your customers face and proffering solutions to these problems. People like to feel understood. Simply stating the problems your customers face will engage them with the solution you provide. Clearly state the problem in a way that shows that you know where the shoe hurts. It is not enough to have a hero in a story. There must be a villain too. Therefore, this challenge or problem that your customers face must be presented s the villain of this story that must be defeated. If your product is a time-management app, it is useful to present distractions as a villain. Make all things that steal time into mini-villain, and it is these villains that will become the problem your product helps to overcome.
Internal problems might be more pressing than external ones sometimes. Feeling frustrated about the fact that you don’t have enough time to rest may be an example of an internal problem that time management app might provide solution to. If a customer’s house needs painting, the fact that you’re a painter will not make him choose you over any other painter. But by making a villain out of the fact that he might be the owner of the ugliest house on the block, you might be able to show him how to overcome this villain by hiring you. Tell the house owner that you are one of the very few painters who can restore beauty to the house with paint.
Your company is a guide in your brand story. It exists to help customers overcome life’s problems. Empathy sets the tone for a trusting relationship. It shows your customers that you understand their plight and you can identify with them. Customers will take your advice seriously only if you build such relationship with them. Authority is not established by being overbearing or condescending. It earned from showing integrity and delivering on your promise. You need to prove that you can do what you said you would. At this juncture, all main characters in your story are clearly stated. You have the hero of the story, the villain, and the guide. It is time to tell a compelling story. The fact that your customer trusts you and your ability to deliver does not mean they will commit to purchase. Buying a product or service is different story entirely. You must come up with a plan that will guarantee their buy decision. Think of it as a group of people who have to go across a stream to the other side but are afraid of getting wet. Your role as a guide is to hurl stones into the stream that they can step on to get to their destination without getting wet. The crossing stones make up your plan.
Show your customers what to do to make a purchase or make the purchase absolutely risk-free. Showing your customers what to do is called the Process Plan. It tells them how to buy a product and how to use it. Explaining the process helps to eliminate confusion and increase the possibility of retaining the customer. Challenge your customers to act. Do not wait for attention. An average of 3000 advertisements call out to customers every day. Therefore, you need to stand out of the crowd if you will be chosen one.
Be bold and clear about it. On your website, provide multiple call to action. Use different terminologies and spread it across the website. Words like “Click Here to Buy” or “Buy now” or “Register” are examples of direct call to action. A transitional call to action is another method of guiding customers to decide. It differs from the direct call to action in that it seeks to maintain a friendly relationship with customers rather than getting them to place an order. The endgame is still to get them make a purchase.
Behavioural economist Daniel Kahneman published a paper in 1979 that reveals that the dissatisfaction people feel after a loss is usually greater than the satisfaction they feel from a gain even if the quantity remains constant. Hence, you must be clear about the disadvantages of buying from you. For example, a professional advancement training outfit that sets out to train people on Public speaking or presentations must spell out the possibility of career stagnation that can come from not learning how to speak to a group. Additionally, you must show them the danger in deferring such training to a later time when they feel they will need it.
One thing that makes stories so powerful is that things can end badly for the hero. When you are the hero of the story, you do not want it to end badly. Your business must lay out the happy ending that your product offers after dangling the dangers of not buying before the customers’ eyes.
For example, Nike has a slogan that says, “Just do it.” With it, they show their customers that they are just into the sales of footwear and athletic gear. They believe in lifestyle of inspiration, drive, and glory. Every customer is invited to share in this belief.
Three strategies can be useful:
Sell status. When you make provision for something like a premium offer that provides additional services that others cannot have, you will find people longing to achieve that status. People want what they do not have, and they are attracted to what separates them from others.
Sell completeness. Your product needs to hold out the hope of fulfilment to customers. They should get the feeling that they are not complete without your product. Hence, they should strive to surmount all others to be united with what you are offering.
The third strategy is self-acceptance and actualizing your potential. Make people comfortable in their own skin. Help them to accept themselves for who they are. When your product identifies with everyday people and shows them that there is nothing wrong with them, they will identify you.
If there is a brand that has managed to develop an excellent brand strategy in both the offline and the online universe, it is Abercrombie. The company, founded in 1892 by David Abercrombie, was for nearly a hundred years dedicated to the sale of hunting, fishing and adventure gear, whose unique relationship to fashion were multi-pocket utility pants to hold hooks and cartridges, waders for river fishermen and vests and caps for hunters. Moving in sporting goods, the company became very popular in the United States and was an early precedent of modern adventure clothing stores such as Banana Republic many years later. After Abercrombie changed ownership in 1988, Mike Jeffries went on to run the company, turning it into a fashion brand adored by millions of teenagers worldwide. Its success exceeded all conventions in the retail clothing world. In its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York there are no windows, although there are four full-height stories of glass panning—a real travesty in an area where the window is your best hook to attract customers. If you want to see what is being sold you must go into the store by two door attendants guard a mysterious enclosure and regulate incoming traffic according to the number of customers coming out. You must remain in the queue until they indicate that you can go in and spend your money. Then, before even entering, you may take a picture with a couple of models, boy and girl, extremely attractive and scantily clad, who stand waiting for you a little farther along the same hallway.
It’s ten o’clock, but inside it looks like twelve midnight. Darkness and loud music transport you to an authentic after-hours club, where customers walk hidden amid the shelves and the employees resemble runway models. A slightly unusual scent permeates everything. If you can hold out in the store for more than five minutes, you can see that the supply of clothing is very limited and very repetitive. Just half a dozen styles of T-shirts, each with a giant brand logo printed on the front and some skirts and jeans with no trace of special design. In fact, you could find almost identical items at any neighbourhood flea market.
The brand’s advertising leaves no room for doubt that, for the producer, the product is not of the slightest importance. In advertisements for their summer collection we can see some scarves, shorts, jeans. There are boxing gloves, many naked torsos and only minimal descriptions. There is no trace of designer clothing. It is no coincidence that Mike Jeffries has always boasted that he sells only brand and esthetic. He has also declared repeatedly not only that he wants attractive employees but also that he loathes overweight clients and would prefer them to never visit his stores. In fact, these unfortunate remarks caused him to lose his job in 2014, after many years of unprecedented commercial success.
The successful brand Abercrombie has built over the past 25 years—using glamor and a cult around sex and the beauty of youth—took root among adolescents worldwide. They would not pay for a shirt or pants, they would do so only to put the Abercrombie brand on their skin, to tell adults they were part of a powerful elite group in which youth and attractiveness are the basis of power.
Good use of conventional media, sophisticated in-store brand experience and huge word-of-mouth on social networks worked the miracle of Abercrombie, transforming a brand of rugged outdoor sportswear into a paragon of modernity and urban design. This same process was repeated by the second group brand, Hollister, which launched in 2000 and is inspired by a Californian concept with beaches, surfboards, and holiday bungalows.
Since the creator of that successful strategy, Mike Jeffries, fell into disfavour in the media for his sexist and discriminatory comments about “unsightly” people, Abercrombie’s business suffered greatly, forcing them to conduct a rebranding which they have been working on since Jeffries’s departure in 2014. Now its public communications are less sexually charged, and its products have become more important. There is also focus on a more traditional catalogue aimed at a more adult audience. We will have to see what the future holds, but certainly the recent past has been a demonstration of the power of brands—far beyond the actual value of the products they sell.
Thus my suggestion to you is that do not find a new brand name but create an amazing brand story.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath