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What you need to know: 

  • Having a defined brand story is crucial to having a consistent message across all platforms.
  • Personalisation is the way of the world these days – it’s what consumers expect.
  • There are lots of ways you can personalise, regardless of the size of your business.
  • Story can serve as a solid foundation, while still enabling brands to personalise their offering and messages for their audience. Adore Beauty is a great example of how this can be put into practise.

Humans are hardwired to love stories

We talk a lot about the power of storytelling here at Persuaders. They light up our brains, supercharge our memories and enlighten us. If you tell it right, your brand story can improve your customers’ lives and your business at the same time.

Your brand story is the golden thread that ties all marketing and sales material together. To be effective, it’s crucial to have a solid brand story that makes it easy for your audience to:

  1. Remember it
  2. Repeat it

Now here’s the tricky part: As a whole, your brand story and tone should be consistent. However, within that story, you need to be able to implement a degree of personalisation. As we mentioned in our last blog, it’s the way of the world these days and all brands are expected to step up. 

Many businesses miss this touch and lose business as a result. We get it, as a small business sometimes it can be hard to deliver personalisation through every touch point. 

You can, however, make sure that you’re connecting with your customers and recognising their needs in little ways. Think about your business, your resources and your touch points. List all the ways you can personalise them and prioritise your top 3-5. As your business grows, you can build out more personalisation, incorporating additional automations and other tools to assist. 

When big brands mess up: Nike’s big slip

Nike made a very costly slip up when they let Golden State Warriors basketball star, Stephen Curry, slip through their fingers with a silly mistake. What’s worse, they basically handed a deal – and heaps of profit – to their competitor, Under Armour.

Here’s how it went down: When the sensational Curry entered the NBA, he signed a modest endorsement deal with Nike. This type of contract is fairly standard for basketball players from the first three rounds of NBA drafts. However, the renewal of that deal is determined based on their performance (both on and off the court). Which brings us to the end of the 2013 season, when Curry’s contract with Nike was up for review. As a rising star, there was potential for a much larger contract and a deal that would be mutually beneficial for both parties. 

What happened when Nike tried to convince Curry to re-sign? 

As famous American sport channel, ESPN, tell us:

“The pitch meeting, according to Steph’s father, Dell, who was present, kicked off with one Nike official accidentally addressing Stephen as ‘Steph-on’, ‘I heard some people pronounce his name wrong before,’ says Dell Curry. ‘I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised that I didn’t get a correction.’ It got worse from there. A PowerPoint slide featured rival, then Oklahoma City star, Kevin Durant’s name, presumably left on by accident as a result of repurposed materials. ‘I stopped paying attention after that,’ Dell says.” 

Though Dell resolved to “keep a poker face, throughout the entirety of the pitch, the decision to leave Nike was in the works.” 

And that is exactly what happened. 

Losing Curry had major implications on Nike’s profits for that year. We’re talking around US $14 BILLION kind of major. 

This is no chump change we’re talking about. All for something that could have been fixed in under one minute. 

Do you know where all that money went? Straight to Under Armour’s bottom line. How do you think Nike’s execs felt about that? 

In fact, Steph Curry is still with Under Armour and has even launched his own brand under the business. Those profits just keep on growing. 

So, what can we learn from Nike’s big slip with Steph Curry?

First and foremost: Proofread EVERYTHING. Also, make sure you know how to say the name of the person you’re speaking to/about. 

The reason we’re sharing this story with you here? Because you need to know that no matter how big or small your company may be, every contact with a client or customer needs to be personalised. No one wants a robotic, copy-and-paste relationship. 

We miss opportunities to personalise every day

How often have you received an email with an offer or news that’s not relevant to you? If that happens repeatedly, what do you do? Delete, unsubscribe, mark as spam. 

On the contrary, if a colleague/client/agency partner remembers something small like your coffee order or your dog/child/spouse’s name, don’t you feel a bit more important? These little touches can make a big difference. 

As a business, you probably want to take it to the next level. Keep notes in your CRM relating to preferences, birthdays, etc. Celebrate wins with your clients and audience. Where possible, get those automations going. 

If you’re looking for a personalisation role model, check out how Adore Beauty has used it increase customer engagement. This female-led, Aussie company has got personalisation and automation down pat and my, does it look good on them. 

Yes, you need a solid brand story and message that is repeated through sales and marketing material. And thanks to the internet, there are a dozen ways of distributing this story to the masses.

However, as with any type of human relationship, customers want to know someone is listening and communicating in a way that’s relevant and empathetic. They need to feel understood in order to buy into your message and invest in your product or service.

So whether you’ve got a huge marketing budget and tons of cash to throw at personalisation and marketing data tools, or you’ve just recognised something your client struggles with and thrown in something extra to help them out, it all makes a difference.

While there’s no doubt that your brand story is the foundation of your messaging and how you connect with your audience, that story can still exist with personalisation. These two things can – and should – work in-tandem, not against one another. 

Let’s use Adore Beauty again as an example. Here’s how this might work (and this has happened). If you need a quick refresher on the basics of building your story, have a quick read of this article first. 

  • Hero: Me – a professional millennial woman who cares about her appearance (i.e., Adore’s target audience). 
  • Problem: I’ve got dry hair and need some good leave-in products to keep it soft. So I end up on Adore’s site (automatically logged in) and start looking around. I notice they have lots of products, save a few to my wishlist, maybe read an article and leave without purchasing. 
  • Guide: Adore has tracked this action, so what do they do? Send me an email with a subject line akin to “Struggling with dry, frizzy hair?” …well yes, as a matter of fact, I am. So I open it. 
  • Plan: Inside the email, they’ve shared some articles about dry hair which establish their authority with me as it pertains to this exact issue they know I have. They’ve also recommended some products
    It’s not parting from their overall story of being the authority on beauty products and helping people like me find the best ones, but it’s highly personalised and very well timed. 
  • CTA: Of course they’re not going to just leave it there. The articles include links to products that will help, but there are also clear and obvious calls to action – of the “buy now” sort – throughout the email. 
  • Success: I can buy a product from Adore, have beautiful hair and everyone will compliment me all day and I’ll feel fabulous. 
  • Failure: My hair will be dry and unhealthy. I’ll look like the before picture in a shampoo commercial. Now, Adore in particular doesn’t exactly throw that one at me, but they definitely talk about the issues their products solve and the message is loud and clear. 

Getting started with brand stories and personalisation

You can’t start personalising if you don’t really know who your audience is and how to communicate with them.

Persuaders have the tools and expertise to help you build the foundational tools for your marketing communications. From CX research and assets to working through your brand story and delivering beautiful designs that bring it to life. 

Choose between workshops that give you and your team the basic skills you need to run the show or hand the workload off to us entirely. 

Get in touch with us today to start the conversation.

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