by Zoe Grant
Seeking a more efficient way to convert customers? Essential brands start with their brand’s story. The structure of your strategic narrative mirrors the customer journey: it speaks to exactly what the customer is experiencing at each point in their journey, thus guiding them through the point of purchase and beyond.
The value of good storytelling in sales and marketing is obvious. To keep prospects progressing towards becoming a customer your story must evolve as the guide in their relationship with your brand. But it is just as critical right after the sale itself: the brand’s story must transition from motivating a prospect to inspiring customer loyalty and evangelism.
At the moment your future customer is about to make a purchase, their aspiration of who they want to become or accomplish with the product feels within reach.
To have reached this stage of the journey, your company must have already established its credibility to help solve the problem which brought the prospect into the sales funnel. The sale is the moment where the brand story shifts its focus from your company’s ability to guide and empower the customer, to the customer’s own empowerment with the benefit of your product or service.
This transition begins with the messaging immediately leading into the sale:
Create excitement. The customer should feel like they’re crossing a threshold into a magical world of wonder after buying — motivating them about what’s on the other side.
Show the cost of inaction. If your prospect has made it to their point, they have heard your call to adventure, but it’s important to show them what they will miss if they do not become a customer.
Provide social proof. An engaged customer community makes it easier to buy. Leverage the words and experiences of your customers to validate what the customer can expect.
Reinforce your belief system. The strongest relationships are built on shared beliefs and purpose, not product features. Remind the customer the similar ways in which you both see the world.
Onboard early. A good narrative shows your customers how they solve their own problems with your guidance. Begin educating and empowering before the sale is completed to ease the transition post-sale.
Immediately after purchase, your company’s story changes: the customer has crossed into a magical world, where your product or service is used to reach their ideal state.
The way you tell your brand’s story right after the sale does more than affirm a customer’s purchase. It forms the foundation of how your customers will evangelize for you in the future; when there are discrepancies in pre- and post-sale messaging, it can damage brand credibility by over 50 percent and impact revenue growth by up to 33 percent.
Your product or service has two qualities to it: there is a literal aspect, which is what the customer bought. But it also represents something magical to the customer: a connection to your brand, other customers, and their own potential that what they bought realizes.
Post-sale, your brand must speak to both of these aspects. Use stories that are inspiring as they are educational about what the customer can achieve. Shift the focus from how your brand can help them, as you did pre-sale, and instead reinforce what the customer is now doing themselves.
This approach helps draw the customer’s own identity closer to your own, which increases retention. It also gives them ownership of the brand in a way that will motivate them to spread their story — and by extension yours — to others.
The trend of unboxing videos is a powerful example of how welcoming a customer into your community maintains excitement created right before the purchase and the way good post-sale messaging can create immediate evangelism for your brand.
Although the brand story changes on either side of the sale, essential brands derive these specific messages from their strategic narrative. This ensures messaging is aligned with the customer journey and guides prospects to become customers.
The evolution of a strategic narrative will enable you to reap the benefits of customer satisfaction and ultimately, brand evangelism.