An organisation’s history and background are valuable assets and an opportunity to use as a unique selling point when looking to differentiate your brand.
Using your brands history or heritage is a useful way to help position the brand and how your audience perceive you. It also helps to act as an anchor in attracting new audiences to what your brand stands for.
What’s the Story?
The need for a clear point of difference in the way you market your products and services needs a story associated to it – something that can resonate to your audience but more importantly, something that your whole organisation can support. It’s not what you’re selling, it goes a lot deeper, it’s the thread that binds together your organisation
Let’s take an example of this approach using Hubspot:
Hubspot are a marketing and sales software company helping companies attract more visitors to their products and services tailored for social media, analytics and SEO.
Launched in 2006, the company was entering a number of competitors operating within the same market looking to ride the growing market to service ecommerce.
But there was a problem, how could they differentiate their “story” from the competition? Their answer was to create a “story” that encapsulated their products and services, coining the phrase “inbound marketing” – A phrase created to help position their products and services to a wider audience.
You can read more about this here
So building your brand around a story is an essential ingredient to help not only position yourself within a market, but also help build a common vision and buy-in from across your organisation.
One of my favourite examples of this approach comes from Nathan’s Famous – a hot dog restaurant chain based in the USA
If you happen to be in Coney Island, on July 4th you’re probably there to celebrate something very different the Annual Hot Dog World Championships.
Legend has it that this annual celebration commenced in 1916 after four people decided to prove to one another who was the most patriotic by who could eat the most hot dogs.
Fast forward to 2017 and the competition is going form strength to strength attracting thousands of spectators who witness the showdown that takes place at Nathan’s Famous, the hot dog restaurant responsibile for the birth of this very American eat-off.
As well as playing host since 1916, Nathan’s Famous sponsors the event and has the important task of replinishing the participants with as many hot dogs as they can stomach.
The aim of the challenge is to see how many hot dogs you can eat within a 10 minute period, complete with bun.
Nathans Famous has become synonymous with this annual food challenge and has helped define their business and in doing so, creating a key differentiator from the many other fast food competitors across the US, brands such as Mcdonalds, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, and Wendy’s.
The company was founded by a polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker in 1916. Nathan was one of the original 4 immigrants who decided to challenge one another to prove how patriotic they were to the US. This has now turned into an annual event, every July 4th – the World Hot Dog Championships, which is now broadcast through ESPN since 2004.
Is it a success? – you only have to ask ESPN that, they are in the 7th year of broadcasting the event through their digital channel and at the same time, creating a brand from nothing for Nathans
So take a look at your business and get into the spirit of research. Identify and dig into the history of your organisation – what was the history and the reason for it be established? What was the purpose of the founder and what were their motivations?
An organisation’s history and background are valuable assets and an opportunity to use as a unique selling point when looking to differentiate your brand – is there an opportunity here for you to build an opportunity through strory telling that can elevate your brand to build a voice?