Its story time…Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin.
For as long as I can remember I have always loved sweets. I still do whether they are for the promotional merchandise and wedding favours we sell, or for birthdays, treats and Christmas. I was asked this week what is my story, my why. This got me thinking about how important Brand Stories are and why they shouldn’t be kept secret.
Pennies Clasped Tightly in Hand
Going back, quite a few years, when I was a child, my mom owned a hair salon and I would go there after school and wait for her to finish work. Some days if I was lucky, I was given 20p to go to the shop around the corner to get some sweets. Now it was quite a strange shop, as it was in the front room of a terrace house, so you could see through to the owners sitting room, where a grumpy looking man would sit watching television. Whatever time of day you went to the shop, he always seemed to be there. His wife ran the shop. Mrs Grove was a dragon of a woman, customer service wasn’t something she ever considered, customers just seemed to be an inconvenience. But despite this, I can still remember the excitement, tinged with fear as I walked into the shop. Pennies clasped tightly in hand. Having the huge decision of which sweets to choose and seeing how far my pennies would stretch. It was probably the biggest decision I would make all week. Worrying about how annoyed Mrs. Grove would get, as I knew did not make my mind up instantly.
Delightful Candy Aromas Gently Wafting Up Your Nose
Mrs. Grove was lucky, she had the only shop for about 2 miles, so I either went there or had no sweets. Lots of people did not drive in the area, they were also in the same situation as me, they also ran the gauntlet of Mrs. Grove. However, given the choice, we would all go elsewhere. My choice would have been a magical sweet shop about 4 miles away, called Teddy Grays. Mrs. Grove closed the shop a long time ago, but Teddy Grays is still going strong. They make sweets and have done for as long as my Gran can remember and she has taken three generations there. I moved to #Newbury along time ago, but I can never visit my Gran and not visit Teddy Grays with my own children and after all of this time it is still busy. When the candy aroma gently wafts up my nose, it takes me back to the days when I couldn’t reach the counter.
It Is the Whole Experience.
Now, why has Teddy Grays continued? As well as a lot of hard work and determination as they started making sweets since 1826. They have a story, they tell the story of where they started from and why they love sweets and what they do. They show us how the sweets are made and make us feel good. People share their story and their experience with others. Going to the shop is an event, the sweet aroma as you walk in, the jars of jewel-like sweets swathing the back wall of the shop. It is a part of the wonderful experience. They may sell sweets which you could buy from the supermarket, but that just blends it into grocery shopping which is a real chore, especially if you are a child. Now a visit to a sweet shop is something so much more than just the buying of sweets, it is the whole experience.
The Story of Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike
When you tell your story, your customers will understand what is important to you, how you have got to the point you are at now, the kind of business you are. How you treat customers. Your story will be unique to you and your business. There are many great stories which have been told, such as the story of Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike. However, there are also a myriad of great stories, which have been kept a secret. Stories have been around for a long time, we remember them, some for a lifetime. Now the age of social media has made stories even more important. Many businesses don't get the opportunity to meet their customers face to face now. So, if businesses do not tell a story to differentiate themselves, customers will make up their own stories. They will make decisions on the information they have, price, what the website looks like and how easy it is to place an order. Both are important, but most businesses deserve to be judged on much more.
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