Your brand (whether personal, professional, product, or corporate) embodies a story. A good story sells. A great brand story helps people connect with a brand.
I recently finished reading "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder. The book is for screenwriters. Let’s clear up one quick point: I do not aspire to screenwriting. The book was recommended by Kathy Sierra at an O’Reilly workshop for its insights into good storytelling.
The title of the book refers to the hero of a story doing something that endears him/her to the viewer such as saving a cat. When telling the story of your brand, the hero is your product, your service, your company, or you.
What is something the hero of YOUR BRAND STORY can do to endear it to customers or partners? I am not suggesting something fabricated or disingenuous—what can you do that is genuine and awesome and noteworthy and endears your brand to people in your target market (or even just your coworkers)?
A mechanic friend of mine does work for free for people in need when they are referred to him. He certainly doesn’t advertise it, but the word spreads enough that it makes people feel good about giving him business. It’s part of his story.
A caterer in town takes leftover food to shelters. Everyone’s tired after a big event. The customer has already paid for the food. It would be easier to just throw it out. Word spreads.
A pizzeria proprietor offers cheap and even free soup to students at the nearby high school who are sent to school with neither lunch nor lunch money. That made it into the newspaper.
What about you? Is there a cat you can go save?