Storytelling for crafting an authentic brand message

Anca at Taj Mahal

Do you remember the exact moment you started to love stories?

For me, it was a series of evenings, wrapped in the soft velvet of distant memories. ( I was in middle school). My paternal grandmother, Maria, used to share the room with me as she was visiting us for Easter or Christmas break. In the dark, I would ask her to tell me a fairytale. After a long day of preparing numerous traditional delicacies for the holidays, grandma was tired. So she would reply, with her typical wit: “I don’t remember any stories now. You read a lot, so you tell me a story!”

And that was how I started telling stories. In those days, I was reading all the fairytale books I could get my hands on, in the pre-digital world. Not content to just repeat stories I had read, new characters would spring to life in the still darkness. My favorite storyline was a mix of Greuceanu and Praslea the brave and the golden apples. If you have never read Romanian fairytales, you-re in for a treat. The hero, often the youngest of siblings and given least importance, embarks on a quest that his older brothers failed on. Armed with humility, courage and help from magical friends, he accomplishes tasks that appear quite impossible for mere humans.

A special photo of my family, back in Romania. Can you spot me in the yellow and green dress? My grandma is in grey, with a black scarf.

Halfway through the story each night,

the gentle sound of my grandmother sleeping would let me know that no one except me would hear the ending of my fairytale. And that brings me back to the present moment.

Do you read blogs online on a regular basis? If you do, how many of them actually capture your interest, make you interested in the voice of the author and always ready to come back to read the next article?

In today’s oversaturated digital landscape, brands have to work harder to stand out among all the noise. The best way to do that is to speak/write about the solutions to your clients’ pain points, and do that from your personal, authentic self.

It can seem difficult or vulnerable to present yourself as you are,

imperfections and all. Especially when almost everyone posts highly edited and polished images, with carefully worded captions and humble brags. The truth is simple: your clients are intelligent.

If you just try to sell your product to them, they will see through your copy. Even worse, if you brag about your fabulous lifestyle that they could also achieve, but only if they buy your offering. It’s the fastest way to the unsubscribe button, in my opinion!

The reason that will not work is because the focus would be on your needs ( get them to buy), rather than what the client ardently desires.

By shifting the intention of your messaging to serving your client to the best of your ability, in order to solve their problem, you switch to a place of authenticity and even joy.

What if your day was actually more difficult than you imagined, or chaos reared its ogre-like head right in the middle of your busiest time? Imperfections are rather unavoidable. They bring color and humanity to your story. Sometimes the crazy moments that happen to us are actually filled with humor and irony. Such details stick with your audience. It makes them return to read your content, engage with your brand and develop a working relationship with you.

At the end of the day, it is all about the personal relationships we create

around us, as people work with people(not with companies) by deciding to trust them.

So many years later, long after saying goodbye to my grandma for the last time, and halfway across the world, I remember that silence and darkness. The moments just before falling asleep. Still filled with awe of the magic of the story just told. Such instances stay with us through time. They give us joy and an air filled with possibility, when impossible things suddenly become real.

Are you wondering why I used this photo of me at Taj Mahal? One story gently takes us towards another. It is like a river meandering through the different rooms of our memory. One such adventure took me to India. I was on a five year journey, learning about Indian Classical Dance. And that is a story that will be shared another time…

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