Seed World

Branding: Why is Audience-Centric Story Telling Critical?

Seed World Group

Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is always the right thing! Shawn remains committed to this concept and knows very clearly that he has surrounded himself with a superbly talented group of colleagues at Seed World Group. With a keen focus on solutions, Shawn utilizes his more than 20-plus years of management experience across multiple private and public sector industries to help share and shape the ag communications landscape. Travelling extensively around the world provides a huge network and global experiences to help clients find solutions to enhance their businesses and increase their return on investment. Content is king and execution is critical – for all of us.

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In agriculture, and more specifically in the seed sector, we are collectively very good at sharing information – we do it all day, every day. But is that sticky enough? Does that convey the why of what we do? Last time I checked, customers or potential customers often make emotional decisions when we ASSUME they make decisions based on logic and information. 

We are good at sharing information BUT it does not make the emotional connection necessary for people to truly connect with you and your brand … and whether you like it or not, you have a brand. Your brand is who you are, what you stand for, why you do what you do, and sets the stage for what your clients should expect from you going forward. It is critical that your brand is true to you!

I use a very simple “overlay” when helping clients communicate effectively and it is based on AUDIENCE / MESSAGE / CHANNEL. Clearly understand who you are trying to speak with and be as specific as you possibly can, be clear on what you want to say specifically to them and then, and only then, decide what platform is the best way to get that message to them.

We have all heard great stories that convey an idea more clearly and make them more sticky or memorable — we remember them because they are powerful trusted ways to make a connection. Some people say they are great at telling stories and some say they are terrible — I would pick the person who says they are terrible to tell my story every time because they tend to focus on making a connection more than trying to be “slick”. Slick does not work for making a connection. So, starting with a dose of self-awareness is great when starting down the storytelling path. 

In my mind, the big difference between sharing information and telling stories is around how it gets built. Stories are about and for the person listening or reading or watching. Sharing information is about putting a check mark beside information that we think a potential client would need to know before making a buying decision. It’s evident that both are crucial, but if executed in the wrong sequence, they fail to deliver the desired results. Making a connection is critical to generating your audience’s listening… if you share critical buying information but have not created that person’s listening to hear you as a trusted source of information, it will not be heard the right way or not heard at all.