Make Your Origin Story Your Best Sales Tool
by Ava Wolf
Where you’re from says a lot about where you’re going—and why customers should take that journey with you. Every company has an origin story: the narrative that describes how and why the company began, and how it came to serve its customers like it does. But a compelling origin story is about more than just how your brand came to be; to truly leverage the power of it throughout the sales funnel, you must create a narrative that is intentionally crafted to align with your brand’s strategic narrative.
A great origin story communicates important truths about the brand’s purpose. Instead of using your origin story to tell people how your brand came to be, start sharing why your brand came to be: a richer and more meaningful context that ensures your customers and prospects see your brand as essential.
The strategic stories used by essential brands follow a consistent structure. Download Woden’s guide on how this approach works, and how to put it to work in any company.
Although it’s tempting to recall a literal history of your company, an effective origin story revolves around the emotional connection between a brand and its customers. By mapping it to your brand story, you can use the origin story to reinforce the other messages used throughout your customer journey. Depending on how your company wants to assert its credibility and mentorship to prospects and customers, an origin story can serve various purposes:
- Establishing Shared Values or Beliefs: When the origin story describes why and how a company was founded, it can reinforce the values or beliefs that drove its inception. A well-designed story can reveal the principles of your identity; these values resonate with prospects who share similar beliefs, facilitating trust and loyalty.
- Building Empathy Through Shared Experience: An origin story can describe how you experienced the same pain points as your customers. By sharing your journey of identifying and overcoming these challenges, you can mirror the challenges that your audience is facing, and retell your brand’s strategic story with yourself in the customer role. This empathetic approach assures prospects that you understand their needs intimately; a shared experience which helps establish a deeper emotional bond with your audience.
- Validating the Product or Solution: Your origin story can also be used to show why your product or solution can be trusted to deliver on your brand’s promises. By sharing the evolution of your product or service—the trials, errors, and successes that led to its current form—you’re providing evidence of its effectiveness. This instills confidence in your prospects; you’re not just telling them what your product can do; you’re showing them how it has been tested and improved over time to provide the best solution to your buyer personas’ pain points.
Your brand may use one or a combination of these approaches in crafting your origin story, depending on how you want to be positioned to your prospects and customers.
The outcomes of a powerful origin story are best used during the consideration stage of the sales funnel. Origin stories don’t necessarily draw in new prospects (with limited exception where they highlight specific shared pain points), but they are incredibly effective at nurturing interest and asserting credibility to a customer who is considering which brand to trust. While the story itself should follow the arc of your strategic narrative. This can be accomplished when considering:
- Being Authentic, Not Literal: Your origin story has to stay true to your brand’s strategic narrative, but that doesn’t mean it needs to include every minute detail of its inception. The origin story is a tool that’s intended to be apocryphal—a powerful, overarching narrative that encapsulates your brand’s essence.
- A Customer-Centric Narrative: Though it’s your origin story, ensure that your customers can see themselves within that narrative. The story should reflect their challenges, their journey, and their aspirations.
- Brevity is Key: Whether your brand is ten days old or ten years old, your origin story should be concise. A captivating two-minute narrative can leave a more profound impact than a winding, detailed saga.
- Maintaining Your Objective: Remember, your origin story isn’t a sales pitch. Its goal is not to convert prospects into customers instantly. The purpose of an emotionally compelling origin story should be to build credibility, establish an emotional bond, and guide prospects further down the sales funnel. The goal is connection, not conversion.
A compelling origin story is crucial for developing brand loyalty and trust, as customers are more likely to engage with and advocate for a brand they feel connected to. Ultimately, the key to leveraging your origin story throughout the sales pipeline is to align it with your brand’s strategic narrative. By crafting a compelling story that speaks directly to your target customers’ experiences and emotions, you can create a powerful emotional connection that drives both loyalty and sales—and transform your origin story into your best sales tool.
Ava Wolf is a Senior Brand Storyteller at Woden. Want to stay connected? Read our extensive guide on how to craft your organization’s narrative, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the journey to uncover what makes you essential.