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72 Questions to Help You Dig Deep in Telling Your Brand’s Story

by David Masters · 0 comments

Every brand has a story.

Everyone wants to be part of a story. Being human means living a story.

That means all your customers, prospects, employees and suppliers want to be part of a story.

Tell a compelling story, and they’ll want to be part of yours.

But – here’s where most brands fall short – to tell a good story, you must know your story.

To know your story, you must dig deep into the vaults of your brand’s history, and into the minds and lives of your customers, employees and stakeholders.

Bestselling novelist Stephen King likens writing a story to digging for fossils. Finding fossils and digging them up safely is a specialist skill., You must know where to dig, how to dig, and what you’re looking for.

That’s what these 72 questions are tailored to do.

With these questions, you’ll put human faces to your business. You’ll learn how to tell the stories of the heroes in your company (there are more of them than you realize).

Not every question will be relevant. Choose the ones that are, and where possible, adapt the others. For example, if you’re a client-based business, or a service provider, switch out “product” and replace it with “service”.

No more excuses. You’ll no longer have the option of hiding behind the old excuse: “We don’t have a story, we’re just a business who sells stuff.”

Every business has a story.

Go on – delve deep. You’ll dig up a lot of dirt, to be sure. Keep digging, and you’ll find genuine jewels, stories to sustain your business for years, decades and centuries to come.

You’ll learn more about your business, and inspire yourself too.

(A note to marketers: Notice how the marketers are behind the scenes, facilitating the process of storytelling. They’re not up on stage, and they’re not cheerleading for themselves.)

Your Heritage

  • Who founded your company?
  • When did they found it? What was happening in the world around them at the time?
  • Why did they found it?
  • What struggles did they face along the way?
  • What problem were they trying to solve?
  • What were their values?
  • Where did your first store open? When? What was it called?
  • Who was your first customer? What did they think about your product?

Your Customers

  • What’s the best thing your customers say about your brand? And the worst thing?
  • How does your brand make your customers feel?
  • Why do your customers care about your brand? Why do they buy from you? Why do they come back?
  • Who is your ideal customer?

What do people say about you on:
Twitter?
Facebook?
Google+?
Their blogs?

What about when they’re alone with their best friends?

Your Brand Identity

If your brand was a…

  • Color
  • Animal
  • Movie
  • Car
  • Celebrity
  • Musical Instrument
  • Font
  • Country
  • Fairy Tale
  • Item of Clothing
  • Book
  • Tree
  • Musical Genre
  • Sense (e.g. smell, taste, touch)
  • Dance

…what would it be, and why?

Your Leaders

  • Who runs your company today?
  • How did they get there?
  • Why did they choose this job?
  • Who or what inspires them?
  • Who manages your stores or leads your local branches?
  • Why do your managers love working for you?

Your People

  • Who makes your product?
  • Where do they work?
  • What does their day look like?
  • What do they do outside of work?
  • Who’s the funniest guy/gal who works for you? How would they tell your story (ask them!)?
  • Who keeps your company safe? How do they do that?
  • Who ships your product? Couriers, pilots, truck drivers, train drivers, sailors?
  • What do your veterans say about you, before they retire?

Your Vision

  • What have been the biggest changes at your company?
  • What are your core values?
  • What’s your company’s philosophy? How did that come about?
  • Who wrote your mission and vision statement? How did they write it?

Your Creativity

  • Who designs your website?
  • Who designs your stores?
  • Who designs your product?
  • How do they design your product?
  • What equipment do they use?
  • Who or what inspires them?
  • When your employees have a lightbulb moment, how do they share it?

Your Success

  • What was your first blockbuster product?
  • What was your company’s proudest moment?
  • What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a company, and how did you overcome it?
  • What’s a little known thing about your company everyone should know?

Your Uniqueness

  • Where is your company based? What’s special about that town/city?
  • What special machines or equipment does your company use? How were they designed?
  • Who are your competitors? How are you different?

David Masters

David Masters is Social Caffeine’s lead writer, idea spinner and super-blogger. You’ll find his inky fingerprints all over the web at blogs from ProBlogger to Men with Pens to The Change Blog. He’s British, and he lives in Wales, but we don’t hold that against him.

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