People like to do business with people. Not with companies. That’s why it is important in brand building to have a story. This is how small businesses are successful. There are faces behind the brand who actually care about their customers’ needs. There are stories behind the logo and signage that should interest me as a consumer. As a small business owner, do you have a compelling story? If not, you need to develop one! It may be easier than you think.
I went into a local jewelry store the day after Thanksgiving with my mother. The business was new in my small hometown. The owner told my mother and I that he had chosen to do business here while residing over an hour away because he saw potential and opportunity in the community. I was taken aback as this rural community has an aging population and negative growth. What potential was he talking about?
The jewelry store owner went on to share his experience in working in large, chain jewelry stores and the high mark ups required to cover the store overhead. In his new small town store, his overhead was low. Very low. His only competition in this market was Wal Mart – now I start to see the opportunity he has identified. He can create custom jewelry. Wal Mart can’t. He can sell larger stones. Wal Mart can’t. He went on to explain how the Internet has also helped him grow his business, too.
Then he shared how he is a single father of two young boys who aren’t ready to relocate to the town where the store is located. He talked a little about the challenges of being a small business owner and a single dad. He shared some of his ideas for helping attract other businesses to town. I was inspired and inpressed with his vision.
We purchased a few Christmas gifts from him. Would we have had he not shared his story? I’m not sure. But his story made us like him. And by liking him, we want him to stay in business in our community.
As a small business owner, what is your story? How can your customers connect with you? Think about places you do business with stories that excite you. Now how can you craft your own story and communicate it to your customers? In brand building, this is important.