Over the last few years I’ve gotten familiar with ethical shopping and the brands leading the movement. At the same time, I’ve worked as a copywriter and editor, writing sponsored content and working with brands in the lifestyle space. Even though branding is not my specialty, it’s really made me think about the importance of good storytelling when it comes to getting your brand out there.
No matter what kind of business you run, storytelling is instrumental in getting your name out there. (This is one area that I think you can really take a cue from successful nonprofits like charity: water, etc. Successful nonprofits focus on storytelling, specifically the stories of those the customer will be helping with their support, whether people, animals, or the environment.) If you’re not a nonprofit, you might be focusing more on how you’re helping the customer with your product or service. In the case of the social enterprise or ethical brand, there’s often some combination of both.
But it’s not just storytelling, it’s creative storytelling that draws people in. And it’s not just about the ad you put out there. It’s about your company bio, your Instagram captions, your tagline even. We have a few members that I think are excellent at telling their brand’s story: A Great Baby uses founder Mary’s story to introduce her passion for making personalized products. Purple Impression delivers each product signed by the maker, and their website has a page dedicated to maker videos, offering you a more personal connection to the clothes you wear. Loup & Co posts a slideshow entitled “who you’re helping”, so you always know where your dollars go.
Storytelling is something that can be harnessed really effectively, no matter what type of brand you have. I’m not alone in wanting socially and environmentally conscious brands to take the lead in commerce, and one day become the new norm. I wish that sharing your ethical brand’s story—what’s led you to want to join the movement, why your products are ethical, and what customers are supporting by supporting you over the alternative—wasn’t what is going to draw someone in alone. I wish that the quality + design of your products did that, and the ethics part was a given. But given that the overwhelming majority of people, at least here in the USA, turn a blind eye to the whole ethical shopping concept, brands all have to do something that draws people in and gets them thinking about it. Then they have the task of selling the product itself. But storytelling, I think, comes first.
So conscious shops, share your story! In addition to everything above, it’s a great way for those on a limited budget to market their work. It doesn’t cost money to harness your story. You might not have a huge marketing budget, but with a little creativity and some extra time, the sky’s the limit.
Make sure the copy on your website, your social profile bios, and the ads you run make it immediately obvious just how good the work you’re doing is. We started CSC to help conscious shops get their stories out there, and we’d love to help you too. If you’d like us to help tell your story through photos or a listing in our directory, or would like to be featured on our blog: click here to become a member!
Long leaf necklace by Loup & Co.