What do all successful local businesses have in common?

Most have remarkable brand stories. 

In every city, there are restaurants, shops, cafes, and other small businesses that stand out. They attract both locals and tourists and bring high profits to their owners.

Do you run a local business? Are you wondering whether you should use storytelling to boost your marketing efforts? 

Keep on reading. Today, we will talk about the importance of storytelling in the world of small and local businesses.

Connect with your target audience on a deeper emotional level

Human beings are uniquely irrational creatures. And it can be a good thing for your business.

People tend to make decisions following their hearts rather than their heads, and you can use it to your advantage. With the help of a well-written story, you can make people fall in love with your brand and make emotional (irrational) decisions to buy from you.

Let’s consider an example with two scenarios to understand how storytelling helps build emotional connections and boost sales. 

Imagine you own a bakery. 

Scenario #1 – You have never used storytelling before.

How would a random customer describe your business? 

“The bakery I pass by every morning” or “the bakery with a catchy showcase”.

Scenario #2 – You have used storytelling. You have shared a story of grandfather Joseph, the pastry chef, who spent five years in France searching for the perfect croissant recipe. 

How would your customers describe your bakery? 

“The best croissant spot in the city where you can try out Grandpa Joseph’s culinary masterpieces”.

What feelings would your customers have about your local business?

Every time they pass by your bakery, they will have a desire to “come say hi to grandpa Joseph and grab the croissant”. 

In other words, people will want to visit your bakery not because they want to eat, but because they like your story. Those visits will bring you extra sales and help you to achieve long-term success.

Make customers feel valued

Customers want to feel valued and special. And by using storytelling, you can make them feel this way.

In your personal life, you never share your stories with people you don’t trust, right? You discuss your ups and downs only with your close friends and family. By doing so, you make your close people feel valued.

The same happens when you share your brand story with your customers. You make them feel a ‘part of your family’. You make them understand that they play a special role in the development of your local business. 

That creates a sense of belonging and enhances brand loyalty.

Humanize your local brand

The vast majority of people don’t get emotionally attached to products. They get emotionally attached to the people  and brands behind the products, and their stories. They get attached to the story of what that product means to them.

So if you run a local business, you should take the opportunity to use storytelling to humanize your brand. You should introduce people who stand behind your brand and work towards customer satisfaction.  

Who is on your team? Who are the people who get to the office every morning to make your customers happy? Present your team members to your target audience, and the results will amaze you.

Once your customers get to know your employees better, they will feel more connected to your brand. Unconsciously, your customers will start seeing your team members as “old good friends” and feel more positive about your brand.

Define your brand’s promise, gift and personality. There are 12 primary archetypes each brand is built upon. Which one are you?

Highlight your uniqueness

If you want to succeed, you should highlight your uniqueness and stand out in the crowded marketplace. The best way to do it is to use storytelling to showcase the authenticity of your brand.

Let’s face it. Modern customers are spoiled with choices. When making a purchasing decision, they take into consideration not only the price and quality of the product, but also the brand message. 

You should leverage storytelling to explain to people who you are and what your brand is all about. You should use the power of the story to grab the audience’s attention and generate buzz around your local business.

5 tips on how to use storytelling to promote a local business 

Do you want to use storytelling but don’t know how to do it the right way? Here are a few tips on how to create a relatable story: 

  • Focus on your target audience. Think about what all locals have in common. For instance, do they have a favorite beach to watch sunsets, or do they support one sports team?
  • Show that you love your city/neighborhood and that you cherish its heritage. For example, mention that your restaurant is located in the building built by a famous local architect. 
  • Explain the role of your business in the development of the city/neighborhood. For instance, explain how your business helps to drive tourism destination.
  • Write about how you support local charities and non-profit organizations. Show that you really care about your city/neighborhood and that you want to make it a better place.
  • Share your goals. Explain what business goals you want to achieve in the future and how your achievements will contribute to the city and the lives of locals.

You should remember one important thing: you can’t trick your customers.  If you want to get fantastic results – write an honest story. 

Kimberly Roland, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneur Programs for Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving the Pacific Southwest, shares how small business owners can weather the storm and emerge a stronger brand.


Storytelling is your key to success

Storytelling is a skill, and you can master it. You can write a great story and take your local business to a brand new level. Seriously. You can do it by yourself, and you can do it well. Don’t try to copy someone else’s story to impress the audience. Be the most authentic self. Write your heart out, and people will fall in love with your brand.

Don’t be afraid to try. Start crafting your brand story today.

Kristin Savage works as a writer and editor at BestEssaysEducation. She provides custom dissertation help to students from all over the world and writes for education and business blogs. She is a passionate traveler and storyteller.