Sell Without Selling: How Your Brand Story Pays Off


Brand story. You’ve probably been hearing this phrase a lot these days—but if you're a business that packages mulch or sells cement for commercial real estate construction, you're probably scratching your head and thinking, “Story? I make powder that builders use to make concrete. What kind of story is that?”

But your story isn't about what you do, or even about what your product is. Your brand story is about HOW your product impacts your customer. Make your story about your customer and it’ll pay off big time.

Think about Ford trucks for a minute. Ford F Series trucks crush the competition. They have outsold every other truck for 37 years—and every other vehicle for 32.

Ford really understands their customers. They show their trucks as dirty, beat up, loaded down, plowing through a swamp, towing impossibly large objects. Their story is hard-working pride, and they tell it well. You don’t see Ford truck commercials advertising its cushy seats, fancy leather trim, or the Wi-Fi in the cab. Instead, they focus on power, control, and their ability to help their customers get the job done.

That’s storytelling for sales, and it works.

So about that cement? Cement is a strong foundation to build on. It’s the bedrock of American construction; a high quality foundation that stands the test of time. Your cement is more than just ground-up stuff, it has history. Tell a story that ties cement to the success of the United States. Where would we be without it? When you stop thinking about cement and start thinking about foundation, you have a dynamic, exciting story that captures the imagination.

Your Content: Make It All About Your Brand Story

Once you've fleshed out your brand story and how it connects to your customers, it's important to ensure your story is consistent across your content marketing. Every page can build on the elements of your story.


  • history,
  • use,
  • practical applications,
  • ideas,
  • and relationships with other products.

Sell Without Selling: How Your Brand Story Pays Off ... Because you can’t eat cookies without milk. In some cases, you might even partner with other companies.Because you can't eat cookies without milk.

In some cases, you might even partner with other companies, like Ford and Hemi engines, or IBM and Intel processors. Give THAT a second or two of thought. Intel is a tiny circuit board, one of many inside computers. And it's also a household name with a well-established brand identity. You're not going to run out and buy a computer chip by itself (well, that’s true for most people, anyway) but knowing about Intel processors might influence your buying decision. It's indirect, and it works.

Selling Without Selling

You may be wondering why you even need a brand story...and the answer is trust. Buying decisions, even in B2B, are based on relationships and trust. If you want to succeed, new sales are only part of the equation. Existing customers are your bread-and-butter over the long run.

After you've made that all-important first sale, it's up to you to keep your customers engaged and interested. Not with in-your-face sales tactics, but by making your story something they want to be part of; something they want to share with their friends.

Ford knows that. As well-known as they are, they never stop reinforcing their brand story. Their iconic tagline, “Built Ford Tough” has been around for 36 years now, and they never deviate from a brand story that sells so well.

Related Resources Divider
Side Door Thinking Book CvrStop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Learn how to create a great content marketing strategy that showcases your brand story. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how you can use storytelling as part of an effective marketing strategy.

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