“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
The art of telling a trustworthy brand story often eludes the brand storyteller. Telling a trustworthy brand story matters because your audience needs to trust your story before they will act on it.
Trust is fundamental to engaging with a brand and if we do not trust their story positive engagement will not occur. There are a number of key signals that your audience should see when hearing or reading your story.
1. Your Audience Expects Total Honesty
We are all familiar with the concept of not burning our hand a second time by putting it a fire twice. Similarly if we find a brand story that is not honest we will not engage with that brand a second time. Your audience wants your story to reflect the facts as they want to trust you and if this trust is broken they will vote with their feet. Know that in the age of instant information the truth will always find its way out.
2. You Need To Be Consistent
The best way to tell a trustworthy brand story is to be consistent. This means your storytelling will always meet your audience’s expectations. Let your storytelling reflect your brand at all times. If your style is casual and humorous then make sure your brand storytelling is always casual and fun.
3. Your Brand Story Needs To Reflect Your Values
The importance of your brand values cannot be underestimated in creating a trustworthy brand story. Your storytelling has to reflect your core brand values. It is not enough to be consistent with your brand storytelling you must also reflect your brand core values. Your storytelling always needs to demonstrate to your audience why your brand values correspond to your audience’s values and belief system. If they believe you have a similar world vision to them they are more likely to trust you.
4. You Need To Demonstrate Subject Expertise
As a trustworthy brand must demonstrate to your audience that you know what you are talking about. You need to show you have the requisite skill, knowledge and experience to solve your audience’s problems. To put it bluntly, you know what you are talking about.
5. You Need To Demonstrate Your Humanity
People want to hear stories from people and as a brand you need to show your humanity in your storytelling. As a brand storyteller you need to remember that your storytelling needs to demonstrate the people behind your brand and why they care about their customers. The most trustworthy brand stories must appeal to your audience on an emotional level. You must show your audience you understand and relate to their problems and challenges in life.
Putting Your Audience First
“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
Trust is earned and it is earned by consistently putting your audience first. At the heart of a trustworthy brand story is a brand storyteller that cares about their audience. They share a brand story with their audience because they know it will help their audience with a problem not because they want to promote the brand. The funny thing about this philosophy is that the audience will recognize the brand cares about them and reward them accordingly.