Have I got a story for you...

As business owners, far too many of us miss the fact that our customers buy with their hearts, not their heads. All too often, I see businesses promoting a bullet-point list of benefits which they're convinced will woo the pants off of any customer. Except that boring bullet point lists never woo'd anyone.

If you want to truly captivate your customers, tell them a story.

When you can segue your marketing from being all about the features of your service to the story behind your business - and, even better, the story of how wonderful their lives will be once you're part of it - it becomes an altogether more powerful proposition. The buying decision shifts from a practical one to an emotional one, which is so much more compelling.

In the context of branding, the concept of storytelling can feel like a wafty and far-off ideal which only the big boys (and girls) need to concern themselves with. The truth is that for many small businesses and solopreneurs, your brand story is everything, and you're seriously missing a trick if you don't embrace yours.

Whether we realise it or not, we make daily buying decisions based on how a purchase will make us feel. Tell a customer you'll deliver a service, and if they're really keen, they'll probably buy. Paint them a picture of how working with you will enrich thier lives by making them happier, more confident, wealthier and you're really on to something.

Human emotion is a powerful thing, and tapping into emotions on a personal level is a sure fire way to build genuine engagement. Storytelling enables us to rationalise how we feel about something, and enables the savviest brands to create a sense of desire.

It's really all about packaging up the message that you stand for, your brand promise and the experience you set out to create, and using visual design (colour, shape, texture, typography) to seamlessly tell that story.

Got 5 minutes? Grab your note book and think about how you want to make customers feel. And if you need inspiration, have a mosey through this collection of brands who wear their story with pride. I think you'll particularly love our latest work for The Vintage Bus Company whose love of heritage vehicles and passion for sharing the sense of nostalgia that you get when you board them is perfectly captured through the branding and website we created.

Have fun!