The Importance of Storytelling in Branding

You’ve heard quite a few of those stories and I’m sure my sharing one more might get a little “old” but I can’t help it, don’t worry though, this won’t be another one of those “create an experience like Starbucks” stories!

A little while ago Douglas Albertson wrote a great article about Nordstrom and the Importance of Storytelling in Branding, and I’d like you to read it.

Here’s a snippet of what you’ll gain from it…

“Do you have a similar story to tell about your brand? Do you have stories that are as impressive as the one above? Would your employees even go to such lengths to serve your customers?

Nordstrom has never told this story publicly and they do not encourage their employees to do so. They figure if the stories are good enough, word-of-mouth will take them to the marketplace and the stories will carry even more credibility than if Nordstrom is caught tooting their own horn.

Such is the case with the famous Nordstrom “tire chains” story. A man walked into the main Nordstrom store with a set of used tire chains and insisted that he had purchased them there. Nordstrom sells clothing and the like. Without hesitation, the clerk refunded his money, even though the receipt clearly indicated another store. She paid him out of her own pocket. Then, on her lunch hour, she went to the store where the chains had been purchased and got her money back. Brilliant.

If you don’t have stories like this to tell, your brand may be in trouble. If your customers aren’t telling positive stories about you, they may be telling negative stories about you. In short, if there’s no word-of-mouth buzz about your brand, your customer service probably stinks. “Adequate” ain’t good enough anymore. A brand isn’t something that’s “nice to have if you can afford it” as some people have said. It’s an essential ingredient to your business plan.

If you don’t think storytelling is an important part of branding, count how many times you tell (or are tempted to tell) the Nordstrom story to co-workers, friends, peers, business acquaintances or people at conferences. “

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