Going Back to The Future ! “Your BackStory” Part 2
Thanks for stopping by. As I recall at the conclusion of my last letter I promised to share more thinking on telling your back story. Part 1 Here But first I have a few questions for you to consider.
Have you ever made a decision to watch one program over another because one was billed as a true story ?
Have you ever bought something because you felt more connected to the business?
Have you ever not bought something from someone because you just didn’t trust them?
Ok…. A quick review- Your backstory is how you became what you are today? It’s the revealing of the where, when, who, and why of your business or organization.
I believe we all need a point of departure on the important concept of a business backstory.
Let’s start with why you should invest your precious time in both understanding your story and telling it.
In part one of this series I explored how understanding their backstory (Their beginnings) not only energized a brand, but was a catalyst for transforming a dog food company.
There’s another reason for crafting a great back story of your company according to marketing expert and thought leader, Rohit Bhargava, author of *Personality not included”*.
It will help establish a foundation of trust and credibility for your business or organization.
Stories ultimately help build an emotional connection. Emotions are critical in buying decisions. (Over 50% of all buying is done based on Emotions)
Telling your backstory provides context and meaning for the greater story of you and opens up the emotional gates for those deeper customer connections.
Back to those questions at the beginning of post
When trying to understand a concept , I always attempt to ‘get it’ from my own world’s point of view or experiences. That statement provokes the question- When is the last time that you heard a story about a business that had a significant impact on you, to influence a buying decision?
Do you like buying something from someone you don’t really trust or like? I know I don’t. Why are you loyal to one business over another ? I will spend more if one business treats me like a person versus transaction.
One of the most daunting challenges faced by every business today is gaining trust from your customers. Numerous research studies conducted on customers, clearly identify the lack of trust in businesses as a major issue. Only 8% of all consumers believe advertising and marketing messages. (Wiki Brands)
A Small Example
I recently bought a couple of expensive concert tickets because I watched a video backstory of a musician. (Toby Keith) Before I saw his story, the one of a decent guy, who overcame many trials and challenges before making it big, I would not have paid money to see one of his concerts. Was he perfect? No. But his story help make him more human, more real. More importantly, a part of his story became my own, a key ingredient of any great story. His story, not his music was the key, in establishing a deeper connection. There were plenty of live music concerts to choose from but I spent the bucks on his. (side notes- I am more a traditional rock fan- Toby Keith puts on a great show !)
Where do I begin telling my BackStory?
Here’s some elements to think about when telling your backstory. Exchange them with your team or a trusted colleague after you’ve tried to answer for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo entrepreneur or the CEO of a fortune 500 corporation.
Every great story has characters, people who’s actions and decisions ultimately determine the script of the story. Who are the key people who have shaped who your company is today. Who are/were the founders? Who were some of the very early employees? Who are the current day leaders? Who are the people that customers must interact with ? What kind of stories are told about your people or you today? The characters in your story don’t necessarily have to be exclusive to individuals directly associated with your company. Are there any heroes or villains in your story?
What were the challenges or problems the business was trying to answer for customers? What was the sense of purpose for starting the business beyond just the bottom line?
What was the dominant theme or idea of the founders that they set out to create and have others follow, both customers or employees ?
What were the obstacles that the business faced or has faced that stood in the way of success?
How did the team overcome the conflicts or will overcome them?
To conclude, examining, understanding and sharing(telling) your backstory fits perfectly in the new business world where connecting with customers is the new business imperative. As Rohit writes in his book *Personality not included , “the biggest challenge most organizations face today is discovering how to go from a brand that people consume to one that they are passionate about. Personality Matters.” So what’s your story?
Until Next time- take care and Rock Your Customers. (Employees too!)