What We Learned From Kindra Hall's "Stories That Stick"
Are you struggling with your marketing processes as a winery owner? Marketing wineries can be tough, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Luckily, bestselling author Kindra Hall’s book “Stories That Stick” is loaded with fantastic insights into the world of business storytelling-- something that wineries can benefit from in a competitive industry.
Potential customers and clients look for a unique experience and background. What makes your winery unique? What’s the history of your winery? You can create a memorable wine brand that will entice readers and boost your marketing success.
In this guide, we’ll include our thoughts on "Stories That Stick" and action steps for winery owners to use to improve storytelling when marketing and branding your winery business.
Let’s start with a brief review of Kindra Hall’s “Stories That Stick.”
"Stories That Stick" By Kindra Hall
Kindra Hall’s book “Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business” is a 2019 bestselling guide to marketing your business through the act of storytelling.
“A perfectly placed, impeccably delivered story can transport a person to a place beyond interested, straight past paying attention, and into a state of complete captivation. When it comes to a great story, we really can't help ourselves. A shift happens in us: a shift in our understanding, a shift in our desires. This is the shift so many of us seek. It turns customers into converts. It transforms employees into evangelists. Executives into leaders. It changes the nature and impact of marketing, and perhaps most importantly, it can change how we see ourselves. You can create that shift by harnessing the power of storytelling.” - Kindra Hall, Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business
Summarizing "Stories that Stick"
The core of Kindra’s book explores how a great story is the key to successfully marketing a new business. Storytelling goes beyond marketing when it comes to success in the business world.
Businesses need to learn how to write and tell fantastic stories. Without this ability, they can’t really take advantage of the power that storytelling offers.
Wineries must be able to tell four main stories: the value story, the founder story, the purpose story, and the customer story. These types of stories work together to show off your winery’s offering in every sense of your business. The stories tell your audience how your business works and why they should support it.
By using these stories in your marketing campaigns, they can breathe life into your product and foster an emotional connection to your brand. Without storytelling, it’s impossible to influence audiences and create such connections.
“People don’t buy the thing. They buy what the thing will do for them.” - Kindra Hall, Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business
Why exactly are these four stories important when it comes to selling your business? There are two big points that businesses are touching on when writing captivating stories:
- Power. There is incredible power in stories. It’s no secret that the goal of every business is to showcase and deliver valuable products and services to consumers. To do this properly, one will need to move their brand’s product from their company to their customer. That gap must be covered. The best way to create such a connection is through captivating stories.
- Engagement. These four stories won’t get far unless they are written in a way that is authentic, captivating, and engaging. The purpose is for these stories to encourage your target audience or existing customer base to engage with your brand and find fresh interest in it.
To better understand the “four stories”, they can be summarized as the following:
- The Value Story asks: What is the value of your product or service and why should it be important to the potential customer?
- The Founder Story asks: What is the inspiration behind your company? What is the problem you were trying to create a solution for?
- The Purpose Story asks: What makes your business worth coming to every day from the standpoint of your workforce? What’s the communal goal?
- The Customer Story asks: What measurable value has your brand delivered to your customers or clients at this point?
Kindra explains that the best technique for creating a great brand story to share on social media and a company’s website is to follow the Find > Craft > Tell technique. This technique is designed to help an amateur or professional storyteller discover their interest points and turn those points into emotional and engaging stories.
The book does a great job of explaining the inner workings of this technique. To add some context, let’s break down the storytelling framework in a simple way.
“A single purpose story has the ability to unite entire teams of people and reconnect them to the deeper meaning of their work.” - Kindra Hall, Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business
If a customer or potential customer has a problem, they are looking for a solution and companies that could provide that solution. However, they’re struggling-- they want to find a better way to take care of their problem. This is considered their “normal.”
The “normal” stage asks a few different questions: What is the customer’s issue? What are their pain points and what are they feeling? How is their problem impacting their life or their company (in the context of B2B)? What is the big problem that’s keeping them up at night?
Now, your business shows up. Perhaps this potential customer engages with your brand or your product. This is considered the “explosion” stage.
The “explosion” stage asks the following questions: How does your brand’s product or service solve the potential customer’s issue? How can you make their lives easier? What exactly is the experience of using your unique product or service like for this customer? What makes using your products or services different than similar solution providers?
After the explosion occurs, the customer’s life is better. Their pain points and issues are solved. This is considered their “new normal.”
The “new normal” asks these questions: How is their life different after using your solution? What has changed, improved, or been enhanced? How does the customer feel compared to when they were at the “normal” stage?
“A story allows people to fall in love with the product, appreciate the value of the service, and feel compelled to act. Stories focus your attention and forge bonds, based on trust, between people.” - Kindra Hall, Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business
The Normal, Explosion, and New Normal stages with their potential questions serve as a guide for each of your four stories. The goal of each story is to showcase your reader’s potential problem, how your brand is the solution, and what their lives will be like afterward. This is the basic framework for how your brand story will be written.
From there, there are a few different things to consider for each one of your stories:
- Include characters that are easy to identify. It might be tempting to make your offering the focus of your value story, but you should be putting more weight into your people and characters to create an emotional connection.
- Ensure that the emotion in your writing is authentic. Writing authentic emotion into a story involves relating to the target reader-- What are they worried about? Try to channel their emotions into your value story.
- Work to simulate a real use case and real-world problem in your value story that simulates what your brand’s product can do.
- Get lost in the details. Specifics are valuable, and readers will relate to them.
- Ensure that the founder of your winery is the focus of the story.
- Use both positive and negative emotions to describe your founder’s journey towards success. Consumers love a success story, and potential investors or stakeholders want to see how your founder overcame adversity.
- Use different individuals, specific moments and places to describe your founder’s journey.
- Use multiple relevant characters throughout your purpose story, including customers, stakeholders, founders, etc.
- It’s vital to be vulnerable and honest about your feelings throughout this story to lend a level of trustworthiness, emotional connection, and relatability to your story.
- Focus on a specific moment in time.
- Use universal truths when possible.
- Focus on “How?” rather than “Who?” Don’t worry about hyper-focusing on your characters and character development.
- Emotional connection is key here. Use testimonials and real reviews from your happy winery patrons that have an emotional edge to them. Implement these stories into your customer story.
- Use specific moments in time with complete settings.
- Use the truth to your advantage and dig deep into the details. This is how your customers will relate to your customer story.
“Most companies and leaders have accepted the lie that repeating the mission statement is a sufficient bridge for connecting and motivating teams.” - Kindra Hall, Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business
Stories That Stick: A Review
Kindra Halls’ “Stories That Stick” is a thoughtful and intriguing look into emotional, engaging storytelling. Kindra’s book breaks down the basics of why storytelling is important. She does a fantastic job at providing actionable steps for creating a great story and creating authentic experiences via business storytelling.
Kindra gives an in-depth formula for creating each value story and encouragement for developing underutilized talent. This book also highlights top-notch examples of how businesses have successfully created an emotional environment with their stories that prospects and internal customers respond to.
From stories about burnt-out executives to personal family stories from members of the workforce, you can easily get inspired by the examples of great storytelling that Kindra includes in her book.
When it comes down to it, any business can write top-quality stories that consumers can relate to with a bit of patience and brainstorming. We recommend giving this book a read!
“While more information may seem like the way to make an obvious decision more obvious, the reality is this approach often muddies up an otherwise easy ‘yes.’” - Kindra Hall, Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business
About Kindra Hall
Kindra Hall is the president of Stellar Collective, a nationally known speaker and an author. She contributes her editing skills to Success magazine and writes numerous entrepreneurial articles across the web. She has a wide range of consulting clients in a variety of industries, from Facebook to Harvard. Kindra is also part of the board of the National Storytelling Network.
Action Steps for Wineries
Based on Kindra Hall’s excellent book “Stories That Stick”, there are several actionable steps you can take to implement her advice and create some impactful stories for your winery business:
- Focus on writing a value story, a founder story, a purpose story, and a customer story at a minimum. What are each of these stories are trying to tell?
- Your Value Story should be used to demonstrate your winery’s value. However, try to avoid making your unique offering the sole focus of this story. Rather, you should use people and characters, such as your customers and those impacted by your brand, as the focus of your story to create an emotional connection. Work to make this story authentic and use your target audience’s needs and concerns to connect with them. For example, a wine brand might write about a scenario in which their brand benefited a specific customer or experienced an event that resulted in helping someone through the winery’s actions.
- Your Founder Story should focus on the founder of your winery. Who are they? What led to the launch of the brand? What makes their origin story unique and different? All your brand stories should focus on ensuring that there is an emotional aspect that your readers can relate to. Include information about how your winery founder overcame adversity to get where they are today with the brand. This will create an emotional connection with your prospective customers. It will show potential stakeholders how your founder and your brand were able to form a company successfully. For example, a wine brand might write about its founder’s history in another industry and what led them to take on entrepreneurship. Perhaps, your founder decided that their corporate job wasn’t benefiting them or the world, so they decided to start a wine company to create a sense of community by bringing people together.
- Your Purpose Story should describe to your readers the overall purpose of your brand. What is the actual purpose of your winery? What does your wine company do that makes it different? How does your wine business provide a solution to a consumer problem? Focus on use cases and tangible, specific moments in time that demonstrate the purpose of the company. Be honest for maximum transparency so your prospective customers have a reason to trust you. For example, a wine brand might write about the reason its founder launched the company. Perhaps, your company’s founder saw a need for jobs in a specific geographic area and a lack of agriculture, which led to the decision to buy land and create a vineyard. Perhaps, they came from a family of winemakers and wanted to share the unique experience of winetasting with consumers in an area where wine was not previously a cultural staple.
- Your Customer Story should be beefed up with customer testimonials and stories. It might be tempting to focus on the “who” of the story, but potential customers want to hear about what other people think about your brand. They want real-world examples. Seek out customer comments or solicit testimonials from your brand ambassadors who love your brand to get their story. As with your purpose story, focus on specific scenarios and moments in time to avoid being broad. For example, a wine brand might interview a customer who attended wine tastings at their winery for a decade. The story could be a summary of the customer’s needs, how the winery solved their problem, and why they are still dedicated clients.
- Remember that each word matters. Every part of your story should be created with intention.
- Understand the Normal, Explosion, and New Normal stages of successfully selling a product throughout the customer journey. This is valuable insight into selling a product. It helps outline a story that will convince your target audience that your brand can change their lives.
- When writing your Value Story: Ensure that your characters stand out and that the emotion in your writing is authentic. Ensure that you simulate a real problem in your writing and use specific details.
- When writing your Founder Story: Make your founder the focus of the story and balance positive and negative emotions in their origin story. Make sure that you identify specific places and moments instead of painting a broad picture of the founder's life.
- When writing your Purpose Story: Include your customers, stakeholders, founder, and other relevant individuals in your Purpose Story. The key is to get readers to identify with a variety of characters and their experiences. Keep in mind that your Purpose Story will only be successful if you share exactly how you felt about the events that unfolded. Vulnerability is key. Focus on a specific moment in time and use universal truths to connect with your audience.
- When writing your Customer Story: Don't focus quite as much on the characters because this story should focus more on "how" than "who." To convey authentic emotions, use real testimonials and reviews from your customers that note how your product helped them. Use specific moments in time, instead of broad backgrounds, and help your customers to relate by using honest, real-life details.
We recommend giving Kindra’s book a read. “Stories That Stick” goes into detail about how to create your own excellent brand stories and touches on a ton of great examples to inspire you.