The ‘So that’ method for telling your brand’s true story

So, why should people buy from you?

It’s an important question to ask for anyone in business, and a critical one for anyone responsible for marketing a business to truly understand. But how should this question really be answered in order to tell the most compelling brand story, and more effectively engage your ideal customer and lead them to buy from you? Well, let me introduce you to the ‘So that’ method for finding a brand’s true story.

It’s all about leading yourself to discover the true benefit that your brand’s product or service provides to your customers. And I’m talking about going deep here, not the most immediate benefit that you may consider when promoting what you do. The ‘So that’ method will help you dig deeper, and as a result, uncover a potentially more powerful story to tell around your brand.

At its heart, this technique is really a simplified approach to Socratic Questioning, the practice of exploring further than the most surface level of understanding behind a thought or idea. It was apparently a favourite pastime of the ancient greek philosopher Socrates on his search for a deeper meaning in life. I can imagine the old bearded one sitting around in his robes surrounded by his followers listening eagerly as he cerebrally smacked down thought after thought, unpacking ideas until all that was left was a bare and naked base thought. Then there would be some polite and reverential murmuring before it all began again.

Now if you can’t quite put yourself in Socrates sandals then here’s my favorite way of looking at it. You need to be like that annoying, but inquisitive 5 year old. Asking ‘Why?’ … ‘But why?’… ‘But why?’ over and over again. (but in this case you’ll need to avoid responding like most overworked parents with a dismissive, “Because I said so!”)

Let’s use the example of an Accountant and apply the ‘So that’ method to discover a potential brand story.

Typically an Accountant might say that they help businesses do their books and handle their tax requirements. Cue the annoying 5 year old… “But why?”

So that the business is compliant and they understand their liabilities and financial situation.

But why?

So that they are equipped with understanding to help them grow the business and be more successful and in control of their business finance.

But why?

So that when they are more successful the owner can stress less, make more money and help more people

But why?

So that the owner is happy and is able to provide for her family.

(we won’t stop there) But why?

So that her relationships stay strong and she is able to share more quality time with her kids.

Now we’re getting to the true benefits and a much more compelling story for that accountant to tell.

“As an Accountant, I help you share more quality time with your husband and kids!”

The ‘So that’ method took us down the path that led us to understand the underlying story that drives a need for a good accountant. We’ve uncovered a story with the potential to drive greater engagement and empathy for the brand. To reach a target audience on a deeper more human level aligned with their underlying needs and desires.

A word of warning though… Please understand that this approach simply can’t be applied to a brand in a ham-fisted way. The aim is to incorporate the underlying story subtly, creatively and authentically into a marketing strategy.

To tell stories with purpose, and create authentic brand marketing.

So, where does the ‘So that’ method take you in your business? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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