Business storytelling plays a significant role in shaping a brand’s identity and communicating it to customers. We invited Jessica Mastors, founder of Story Magic to share how fashion brands can use the 3 different kinds of business storytelling to increase sales The panelists for Fashion Mingle’s Mastermind Session “How To Tell Your Business Story And Turn It Into Marketing Magic” share their insights on how to write your business story and use it as a marketing asset.
5 Effective Strategies for Fashion Business Storytelling
1. Understand the purpose of a story
Jessica Mastors personally learned the value of storytelling when discussing her career path with her boss. At first, he seemed to understand what she should do with her life; after hearing a story told by her, though, he became wholly inspired and very supportive of her ideas. Fashion Mingle CEO Melissa Shea says that storytelling essentially communicates what brands are about.
Jessica views the story as a foundational human practice that can bring people together. You can articulate your story as a vast power source by engendering a sense of connection to something bigger than yourself. In today’s fast-paced world, having strong business storytelling skills will lead fashion brands to success with customers and even when pitching their next investor opportunity.
2. Choose the type of story for different business situations
A story turns information into a future directive, where its ending is the essence of what needs to be communicated. She highlights the existence of three different story categories that every business needs. The first one is the Inception Story, which teaches people something new; the Impact Story, which shows the positive impact of your business on people’s lives; and the Value Story, which shows how decisions are made based on certain principles.
Jessica asked Houston fashion stylist Kim Moh to share an Impact Story for her business in the live Mastermind exercise. Kim recalls one of the customers she worked with through her wardrobe styling business MohStylz. Kim explains how she helped the client learn how to best dress her new body after losing weight. She taught her to choose suitable clothing that would emphasize her new figure for personal and professional situations. As a result, the client learned that she could take Kim’s information and style herself confidently. The satisfaction of seeing that growth inspires Kim to continue her work. This experience echoes Jessica’s advice to stop investing in the product and start investing in the person.
Shirin Mohaved, the founder of Rakomova Law and B-Corps expert, decided to leave her firm job to start her own practice. She created an inception story for her brand as she worked to help entrepreneurs expand and grow.
3. Engage your audience through language
For business storytelling to be great, it needs to be a co-creative act that involves a two-way conversation with the audience’s imagination. Every person wants to participate and feel invited, which means that a specific language can make a big difference.
4. What to focus on the when telling a business story
There is an essential difference between business storytelling and an elevator pitch. A story is centered around something that has happened, while an elevator pitch only explains who you are and what you do. In these situations, it becomes crucial to illuminate and allow viewers to create an opinion rather than explain; this signals to the audience that their imagination is always being acknowledged. TRUE Model Management’s owner Dale Noelle mentions how a brand has to remember that, while they are based on personal stories, they also influence the lives of many others that identify with it. Being authentic will attract individuals who can see a little of themselves in that world and who want to elevate their image and spirit through a designer’s pieces.
Branding and product development expert Randi Seiff notes that business storytelling is a necessary communication strategy beyond a company’s messaging, positioning, and overall branding. She has witnessed this in her work for Randi Seiff Design. By showcasing history and values, these stories spark the audience’s imagination. They allow them to envision a brand’s potential and create a legacy.
5. Utilize people’s curiosity for your marketing and storytelling
Catherine Schuller, the founder of Runway the Real Way and an advocate for inclusivity and sustainability in the fashion world, reinforces how the core of good storytelling is bringing a particular curiosity to clients to capture their interest. This curiosity also ensures that the give-and-take of business storytelling is set up from the start.
It’s essential that the stories are authentic, says Dee Rivera, founder and CEO of DCG Media Group and Public Relations Consultant. Dee emphasizes how brands need to think outside the box to significantly impact and tell an authentic story. People are easily capable of differentiating between original efforts and a copycat. As Melissa said, many business owners send messages every second. Therefore, it’s imperative to show potential customers what makes your company unique, and storytelling is the perfect place to start.
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