Getting Your Business ‘Over’ With its Customers Through Storytelling

In the wrestling business, this is what it means to be “over.” Being over is a very, very good thing. When an entire arena spends 20 minutes chanting someone’s name, and that they deserve their title, it’s a very rare treat.

Something similar happens in the business world from time to time. Apple is an example of a company that was “over” in the market. It created something so popular that it instantly became the standard by which other products in its genre would be compared, multiple times.

Think about your company. What would it take to get it “over” among its customers? What can you do to help make that happen?

Professional wrestling is about storytelling. The wrestlers are actors in an ongoing saga that spans decades. Their characters take part in storylines consisting of conflict, intrigue, mystery, romance, and the occasional body slam. If a story is told well enough, such as the one surrounding Daniel Bryan and his ongoing struggle to get a well-deserved chance to reign as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, then the character will be “over” with the audience.

In a way, companies are just players in an ongoing industry story. Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and even small mom-and-pop shops play a part in how the story unfolds.

The Importance of a Good Story

Using Apple as an example, we see an ongoing story about a company that spans decades. Many fans of technology know the story about Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founding apple in Jobs’ parent’s garage. How Wozniak came up with the idea for the first personal computer, and the unlikely series of events that lead to its success.

You’ve probably heard the story of Steve Jobs himself, a fruit-loving artistic free spirit that was fired from Apple only to come back and save the company a handful of years later.

This is an incredible story, and one that has been told through countless books, movies, and even on television. It is this intriguing story that is partially responsible for Apple’s unique culture, and its devout following of fans that wait in lines outside of stores for product releases, tattoo the company logo on their person, and refer to Steve Jobs as one of the greatest innovators the world has ever had.

Not every company is going to have that story, but that doesn’t mean that yours can’t tell a pretty good one, and do so in a way that captivates the audience and increases brand awareness.

Telling Your Company’s Story

We have a tremendous set of storytelling tools at our disposal these days. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. are all mediums we can use to tell our company’s story. Each one has its own set of pros and cons, but they can all play an important role in how your customer discovers, interacts with, and builds a rapport with your business.

Using a local vehicle repair shop as an example, a well-framed photo on Instagram coupled with a fun car joke or useful maintenance tip might catch the attention of someone browsing the service, or remind someone that already follows your brand that you are there to make their life better.

A friendly tweet offering encouragement to runners in a local charity race, or letting people know that your shop is hosting a free class on changing tires can help to tell a story of your business to the world. You build a reputation with every interaction you have, no matter how small.

This reputation is bolstered by Facebook posts, your website, and how you interact with people face-to-face. There aren’t a lot of people that spend time each day thinking about local mechanics, but by posting good, useful content that offers people a quick glimpse at your company’s story, you are engaging with them and building a rapport.

Every Industry Has a Story

You could get by with being just another company in the listings, or you could build a relationship with the community that makes them think of you every time they find themselves in need of your services.

Positive interactions create loyal customers. Even if someone has never spent a dollar with you before, they may remember that your business took part in the local parade, or that you spend time each holiday season doing toy drives for children in need. They will be reminded of you each time they open Facebook and see your maintenance and care tips, or when they visit Instagram to see your photos of classic cars.

Storytelling doesn’t just take place in the macro. Today, it can be effectively done through a series of micro-interactions that take place in a wide variety of places. It’s up to you to figure out if your company will be the hero, or a bit player in the greater story of its industry.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson