Step-By-Step Guide To Using Storytelling To Communicate Your Brand Message - (4) The Plan
In this blog series, I will tell you exactly how to apply a storytelling structure to your brand message, to your business.
When you understand the structure of a story, how it is used to compel a human brain just like how screenwriters use it in movies, your brand message will be very powerful.
In step (3), we discussed in a great story, every hero meets a guide along the way who understands them (empathy) because they had been through a similar journey.
They also demonstrated authority on the solution so the hero trusts the guide who could show the path to succeed.
If you missed that article and would like to read it, you can find it here.
Alternatively if you would like to read the blog series from the start, you can find it here.
In this forth article of the blog series, we will discuss how your brand should offer a plan that could help the hero overcomes her challenge so she has the courage to take on the task.
A Plan For Every Hero
The purpose of a plan is to create a mental path the hero can visualise in their head. In fact, It is only until the hero knows there is a plan that lays before them which they can follow, one-step at a time, that they have the confidence to take on the challenge.
Indeed, the presence of a plan not only helps the hero alleviates the fear of taking on the challenge. It also build trust between the hero and the guide. Would you rely on a guide who claim to have the ability to solve yet he doesn’t have the steps to do it?
Imagine if Bruce Wayne approached Lucius for Batman gadgets but Lucius does not know where to find the right gadgets in the warehouse, he begins to scratch his head thinking ‘So what exactly does Batman need?’ - would that be a reliable guide?
Instead, he knows exactly where the stuff are and says, ‘I know exactly what you need, come here’.
What Plans Do You Need?
Two simple plans: (1) a pre-purchase plan and (2) a post-purchase plan.
A pre-purchase plan lists the steps to guide them through to success.
A post-purchase plan lists the agreements you make with customers to ensure the quality of your delivery.
What does that mean for your business?
Not having a plan is a guaranteed way to confuse your customers
Would you buy an iPhone if it takes 20 steps to set it up?
Unless you are selling a low-value item, for customers to make a purchase it is a form of commitment and trust. The more expensive your item is the more trust you need to build so you must give your customers a simple plan they could visualise before they hit the buy button.
A key mistake many businesses make is that they don’t include a plan in their marketing material. The problem is they think it takes a lot of steps before a customer could buy so they prefer not to list those steps and simply ask the customer to make an enquiry via a Call-To-Action (CTA) so they can explain it better either on the phone or via email. Some thinks that the steps are too obvious so there is no need to include.
The lack of a plan actually defers a purchase decision because the customer is thinking he can’t be bothered to find the steps, make those efforts and then to have you taking money from him, seems to be a lose-lose situation for him!
If you have many steps, there are 2 ways to list them in your marketing:
First 3 steps; and
3 most important steps
These steps need to be easy steps because customers are drawn towards clarify and away from confusion. There is no need to list all the steps because having too many steps also confuse the customer.
Marketing rule of 3 is an established marketing and communication concept, I won’t go into details here, if you want to read about it you can find it here.
Similarly, what are your promises when customers do actually buy? Do you promise any form of guarantee? Customers do not know your service as well as you so they will have many questions before they buy, the post-purchase plan serves this purpose to answer all the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). You can treat this plan as your value propositions.
Tell your customers it is easy to engage with you
Your Action Today
What are the 3-steps to buy from you?
Have you listed them out in your marketing?
The typical questions customer ask before they make a purchase, do you have them as FAQs?
These steps and agreements, are they written in the simplest language possible?
This is a blog series on ‘Step-By-Step Guide To Using Storytelling To Communicate Your Brand Message’, stay tuned for the next one.
Soft Skills Academy is a communication-based consultancy, we can help you clarify your brand message using the power of storytelling so you can attract more customers and grow your company much faster.
To get you started, download our PDF on ‘How To Stop Wasting Money On Marketing’.