In a time when distrust is the default, and consumers’ BS meters are astute, how can your company build trust? People. With limited personal interactions the past two years, tapping into that craving for human connection is a way to authentically tell your stories while building trust with your consumers. And, who better to speak to your story than someone who knows it – and lives it – day in and day out.
What does that look like? It can vary, but creativity is key to inspiring action, thinking outside the box to determine who might be the right fit for you – perhaps an employee, community member or local subject matter expert. To help spark your next innovative idea, here are a few examples of how we’ve been using people-focused storytelling to help our clients.
“Faces of Duluth”
When it comes to telling the stories of Duluth, there’s no shortage of places, businesses and activities to highlight. The question was, how do we share all these stories in a way that will resonate with prospective visitors to start not only start building a relationship with them, but to get them to fall in love with the city and want to travel there. The key: focus on the people. Working with the city of Duluth and our partners Lawrence & Schiller, we launched the “Faces of Duluth” series to tell the stories of the people behind Duluth’s iconic attractions, hidden gems and everything in between. From the Aerial Lift Bridge supervisor, to the UMD women’s hockey coaches, to a renowned nature photographer and writer, we’ve uplifted Duluth and its offerings in an unexpected way, shining a spotlight on the people behind the stories to authentically showcase who they are and why they are so passionate about their community. While we love seeing the positive comments come in about these features, the metrics also point to the success of this approach, with these blog and social media posts continually coming in among our top monthly performers.
The People Behind Malco
Many of our clients also fall in the business-to-business (B2B) category, which many times draws the assumption that you can’t apply the same focus on people when trying to connect with a distributor or partner. When in fact, telling the story of the people behind the brand to both external and internal audiences can be a great way to build trust, credibility and preference, even in a B2B industry.
A great example of this is in the work our team does with Malco Products, SBC, a manufacturer of high-quality hand tools for the trades. For the past 72 years, Malco has built a solid reputation of producing some of the best tools on the market, and has a strong and loyal following with its end-users. As the company continues to grow and innovate, focusing on the product is still essential, but we’ve also been helping Malco share more about who they are as a company, highlighting their story as an American manufacturing company that is successful thanks to its people. This means sharing stories of ingenuity, hard work and the true grit it takes to keep producing in-demand products and giving customers a behind-the-scenes look at how products are made – and the people who make them – which is what really sets the company apart from its competitors.
Princess Kay of the Milky Way
Midwest Dairy has been leaning into the idea of a people-first storytelling approach for years. One example of how this takes shape is the annual Princess Kay of the Milky Way program, which uplifts young dairy farm advocates to help share how dairy is delicious, nutritious and sustainably produced. Each summer, we work with the team to secure opportunities for the newly crowned Princess Kay to share her story – and connect with consumers. By hearing first-hand from someone who is directly connected to a dairy farm, consumers can relate with farmers – and the whole dairy community – ultimately helping build trust and drive demand.
As you consider how to approach your storytelling, consider both how you tell your story in unique, authentic way, and who can help share it. Have you found success using a people-focused strategy, or do you want to discuss how this strategy could help meet your communications goals? Drop us a line – we’d love to connect!