5 Rules on Storytelling to Attract People to your Fashion Brand
Storytelling is the best you can do to make your fashion brand thrive. Advertising has high cost and little return. Advertising is actively despised and avoided by the vast majority of your customers and clients, the same people you want to love your designs. You wouldn’t want to use something annoying to woo someone, would you? Advertising is like using goat perfume and garlic mouthwash to prepare for a successful date.
Storytelling has been the classic tool to interest people for hundres, for thousands of years. Advertising has been annoying people for just over 70 years and approaches the end of its lifespan.
Everybody likes stories and can’t get enough of them. Here are five rules to become a successful storyteller who attracts a high quality audience to your fashion brand. It will give you not just a much higher return on investment than advertising could dream of. It will give you satisfaction and a great reputation.
1. Storytelling Means Tell A Story – Not To Repackage Advertising
A story is about a character or a group of characters who want to reach a goal and feel strongly trying to do that. These emotions are what attracts to stories because the audience feels what the characters feel.
This is why a story can only be about people. Never about things. There are no car stories or toilet paper stories. If you see a car or a robot or a toy in an animation movie as a character this is simply anthropomorphization. That car or toy is a human being in robot or toy shape.
In a story we feel what the characters feel. Stories give their audiences clear and strong feelings. Feelings are the most valuable things. In our random and often dehumanized world they are priceless.
To get these feelings people will come to your website, to your fashion brand to get them through your stories. You will see the growth of a friends and fans around your fashion brand that will eventually become your customers.
Just don’t do what advertising agencies and their pretentious cousins, the “creative” agencies and branding agencies do: don’t repackage ads and call them stories. It doesn’t work and will pitch people against you. Nobody likes a liar just like nobody likes advertising. Be honest. Be generous. Tell a story.
Once you get unhooked from the drive to create immediate profit your profits will grow naturally and faster. How can you profit from being generous? Why should you entertain people? Your business is selling clothes! What’s the point of telling stories.
Well, to begin with: the characters in your story will rarely be naked. They will wear clothes. Your clothes. People will get it that they are your clothes. Only advertising people rub things in until the skin peels off. People will look more at your clothes in your story than they will in all your ads you placed until now combined.
Imagine if “Game of Thrones” were not an HBO show but a story told by a fashion company and you could buy every single piece of clothing in the episodes. If you are ready to give something without asking for something you will earn such a great reputation that people will stalk you to give you their money.
Everybody wants to be a part of a great project with an idealistic and generous core.
2. Know your audience – Tell a story they are interested in
You won’t tell an audience of Science Fiction fans a love story and an audience of romance lovers a war story. There are countless ways to tell a story and many genres. Pick the one that is right for your audience.
But what if your audience is very diverse? What if they come from very different walks of life, education and interests? You can still find what they all have in common. You don’t have to pick an existing genre and serve it. It’s your company. You can invent any genre you like.
Look how Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Dexter and the X-Files went beyond their core genre. There is always a solution if you want to find one. Capture your audience. Tell them a story.
3. Give your Audience new Stories as Often as you can
You have experienced the addiction to a certain TV show or to a series of novels, haven’t you? How did this addiction start? By watching one episode per month or one per week? What about binge watching?
Try to post a new story or at least a few teasers or story elements every week. So every week your friends and fans will find something new when they come to your website.
4. Make Your Website Your Core Asset
Your goal is to get people to come to your website. That’s where your store is, isn’t it? Stop sending them away from your website with links like “See us on Instagram” or “Follow us on Facebook”. We all know by know that followers on social media are worthless.
Those who come to your website are the ones that are important. Give them a reason to come back.
Your website is where your stories are, where you build your society of friends and fans. Your goal is to bring audiences to bookmark and directly access your website on a regular basis. Make them your audience.
5. Finance the stories by lowering or removing advertising budgets
To be clear: I don’t say you should stop renting space from Magazines, newspapers, social media sites and search engines. At the beginning you need to vacuum traffic off those sites to come to your site. All I am saying is: don’t give advertising agencies, creative agencies or branding agencies any money.
In that rented space you put teasers to your stories and get the traffic flowing. On your website you offer great stories so your audience returns and stars forming a habit. Over time a community of friends, a society of fans will grow around your website. And at some time this society will start growing on its own – without you needing to spend any money on others sites.
Stories create a growth of audience like capital grows on an interest rate. Investing in stories is investing in a growing audience that will love your brand, are loyal and will also buy your designs with pleasure and repeatedly.
Advertising has no repeater effect like stories have. It has a repeller effect.
Like the audience of a TV show or of a series of novels grows your audience will grow and at some time you will be able to stop spending any money on rented space as people will come to you. Your company will be one of those that desperate marketing professionals will look at after they have sunk a fortune in a useless ad campaign.
Grow your social capital with generosity and imagination, create a snowballing great reputation by fascinating people with great stories. Ads will go the way of the dodo: hunted down and blocked into extinction.
In the future every company who wants to get attention from audiences will become a publisher of great stories to naturally interest and attract audiences so they become their customers.