If you ever ordered pizza delivery in the 1980s, and you didn't want to wait, you called Domino's. Why? Because you knew you’d get your pizza in 30 minutes or less or it would be free.
That's the power of brand story at work.
On the surface, there wasn't anything particularly unique about Domino’s. They certainly weren't the only pizza place that delivered. They weren't the best tasting pizza, either.
But what was unique was the way they built a brand story around a great promise: "30 minutes or less or it's free." This gave them a stronger connection with their customers. Which is why you picked up the phone and called Domino’s – and not the other guys – when you needed pizza fast.
So how do you put this power to work for you? How do you create your own brand story?
It all comes down to asking yourself the right questions.
1. HOW did you get started?
Sometimes the tale of your origin is just … romantic. In the case of technology giant Apple, we've all heard how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak assembled the company’s first computers in their garage. Mega coffee retailer Starbucks began as just one little coffee shop on a street corner in Seattle. These humble beginnings put these companies’ immense successes into concrete terms people can relate to.
Can you use your company’s beginnings to tell a story about where you are now?
2. WHAT do you do deliberately?
Don’t worry about being different. Worry about being deliberate. And then own it. Remember the Domino’s story at the start of this post? Plenty of pizza companies offered fast delivery. But Domino's owned “30 minutes or less.”
What can you own? What is your “30 minutes or less” story?
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3. WHY do you do what you do?
Have you ever watched the TV show “Shark Tank”? On the show, entrepreneurs pitch their company ideas to a panel of self-made millionaires, hoping to secure a capital investment. These entrepreneurs loves to explain the “light bulb moment” that provided the inspiration for creating their company. Their passion is palpable.
Why does your company exist? What is your palpable passion?
4. WHERE are you going?
Facebook isn’t just about social media; it's about transforming the way people connect and interact. McDonald’s isn’t just a restaurant; it's transforming the way we eat. Whole Foods isn’t just a grocery store; it's transforming the way we think about food. Goals like these can tell powerful stories.
Where is your company going? What is your end goal?
Keep in mind, you don’t have to answer all four questions to develop your own brand story. Most likely, one of these questions will stand out and resonate with you; simply run with it.
This is your story, so be creative with how it develops. Let your imagination soar.
Truth be told, developing brand stories is one of my favorite aspects of marketing. If you’ve neglected your brand story so far, why not get started now? Pick an inspiring playlist on your Apple iPhone, grab a cup of Starbucks coffee, and take a look at the questions we've challenged you to answer.
I can’t wait to hear your story.