THE STRENGTH OF STORYTELLING: A unique and compelling franchise story becomes a script to guide your brand.

Author:Bates, Laura

Competing in a crowded marketplace requires more than a company name, logo, and product and service standards for your team to follow. To be successful, your brand should fulfill a customer need and own a distinct position in the market. Once you've defined your position, a unique and powerful story that resonates with customers and creates an emotional connection provides the foundation to win in the marketplace. That story becomes the script, so to speak, for how you bring your brand to life at the most critical touch points in the customer experience.

Successful brands understand that their entire organization needs to embody their own unique story. Their products and services are all part of that, and everyone in the organization has a role to tell it.

Embodying a Clear Brand Story

Southwest Airlines is a brand that believes in giving the "everyman traveler" the freedom to fly. They offer low fares, free bag check, no change fees, a fair and easy to understand loyalty program and employees empowered to provide positively outrageous service. By removing the typical travel stressors and having employees fanatically focused on creating a positive flying experience, Southwest makes it fun and easy to fly. They set themselves apart by telling their story of dedication, as well as showing it to their customers through their actions.

Every single customer interaction with the brand should be viewed through the lens of the brand story to ensure it is consistent. If Southwest Airlines were to charge change fees or bag fees, it would no longer be giving their customers the freedom to fly. It would lose its distinct position and become just another large U.S. carrier.

Product and Service Are All Part of the Story

Sonic Drive-In is another brand with a unique story. It is about taking customers back to an idyllic time, weaving a story of fun and 50s nostalgia throughout the experience, design, service and product. They re-create days gone by with a brightly lit classic drive-in design. Customers place their order through an intercom, and their food is delivered quickly by a friendly carhop. In addition to American classics like cheeseburgers, hotdogs and hand-mixed milkshakes, the menu includes festival-like food such as corndogs, footlong chili cheese Coneys, and slushies. To keep their menus relevant and interesting, they add fun twists here and there with drinks and other products. Sonic creates a fun, safe and welcoming experience while...

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