In part one we discussed not only the power of your personal story, but I also offered a quick guide that will help you construct your story. However, though your personal story is extremely important, we should not overlook your brand story. But wait, what’s the difference, you might ask. Well the truth is that your personal story, can be your brand story, however, the two can also stand alone, but work together to create a powerful, compelling message.
The P90X Example
Your personal story is all about you. Your journey, your struggles, your victories. Your brand’s story on the other hand encompasses what you’ve done for others. The most common and one of the most effective ways to build a brand story is through the testimonials of others who have encountered your brand. We see it all the time via infomercials, and for some reason we feel compelled to buy a lamp that switches on and off when we clap twice LOL. OK, a better example, let’s take the super popular fitness platform P90X, and the expert behind it, Tony Horton. If you watch the infomercials Tony talk about his pwersonal story, leaving the viewers feeling at ease, and most even identifying him as a credible source, because he’s been there and done it (see part 1). The narrator follows and talks about the fitness platform that he [Tony Horton], the expert, created called P90X. And of course, the infomercials are filled with customer testimonials…”. This creates the “why not me too” compulsion. For example, you might hear a testimonial from the infomercial that sounds like this “My husband and I were in such bad shape before then a friend of mine introduced me to P90X, and after my first 30 days I dropped 4 dress sizes…” and so forth. This is a classic example of how one can tie the two stories into one. Tony Horton, alone is his own brand, where as P90X is also its own brand.
A further look
Here are two sentences that deliver the personal story in one, and the brand story in the other, once again using P90X as the example:
Tony Horton: After training hundreds of high profile celebrities, I developed P90X, a fitness platform that millions of people just like yourself are using to get in shape, stay fit, and keep healthy.
P90X: Millions have benefited from the hottest fitness platform of the decade, a proven system developed by celebrity fitness trainer, Tony Horton.
Distinguishing between the two stories becomes important especially when you have a product or business service to offer. However, if you are a business professional working for an organization, your personal story will also double as your brand story, in which testimonials (or references) are very important.
To those who have a business: Revisit the P90X example and figure what unique qualities of your business can you pull out in order to help make your brand story compelling? If you haven’t done so already, grab testimonials from your current customer base. This will help validate your product or service to others. As you get the testimonials in, publicize it, to let people know how your brand has helped others.
The principle of story telling will never grow old, and remember, Facts Tell, Stories Sell.