Why should you as a company take on the role of mentor and support your customers in achieving their goals? The simple answer is: because in doing so, you build a lasting and positive relationship between customer and brand. This works so well because stories that have a hero, an adversary and a mentor are as old as mankind itself.
The relationship between company and customer is similar in many ways to that between mentor and hero. The customer must master tasks, and you as a company offer them a product or service as a solution and go with them on their journey, for example by providing advice and support. Eventually, the customer emerges stronger from this “adventure” and, having formed a positive relationship with your brand, they now bring this knowledge back to their own world and recommend to their colleagues, for example, the solution that worked for them, i.e. your brand.
But the role of the mentor holds even more potential to win over and retain customers, especially in digital channels. Let’s take a closer look at what makes a good mentor.
The mentor on a hero’s journey
The hero’s journey is one of the basic patterns for every story: It is about a person’s transformation through the completion of adventures and challenges. Think of Frodo from The Lord of the Rings or Luke Skywalker from Star Wars: The hero always starts in his familiar environment, where “all’s right with the world”. But then something unexpected happens, and the hero is called to adventure. Interestingly, it is often the mentor who delivers this call, like Gandalf or Ben Kenobi. It is also the mentor who accompanies and supports the hero on his adventures, but also challenges him and makes him grow beyond what he is.
When applied to brand management, this means that the company goes beyond sheer problem-solving: Your customers not only come to you with problems, but also to broaden their perspectives and create new motivation. But how exactly do you do that?
Creating content for heroes as a super mentor
This can be achieved using well thought-out content marketing - understood, of course, as an instrument of brand management and not as advertising. Meet your (potential) customers at the right time at the right place with the right content:
Define a core story that conveys your brand core. The core story forms the basis for the stories you offer the hero and you use to call him to adventure. It is important that you work out a convincing motivation in your core story: Why do you do what you do? What values do you achieve for people? You can then translate them into specific stories that help and inspire identification.
Research and document detailed personas to get to know your protagonists and their needs. Personas are profiles that address the personal characteristics, preferences, backgrounds, expectations, fears and wishes of your target group(s). In short, they describe the world in which your customer is at home. This knowledge is crucial to understanding what drives your target group and to finding suitable approaches.
Create a customer journey with important contact points to find a place to enter the world of your customers. The hero’s journey is congruent with the customer journey, which shows the various points at which you can make contact. This could include certain media, websites, social media channels or even personal interactions, for example.
Content marketing: Story lead management
When you take on the role of a mentor, you are not just offering your target group useful content. The benefit remains an important aspect, but as a mentor you go beyond that: You help your protégés grow, you take them along on an adventure and you tell them a story that inspires them. Realise your company’s contribution to changing your customers’ world. Earn trust and appreciation through honest interest instead of superficial claims. It is important that you make your convictions visible and connect them with the needs and wishes of your target groups.
Once you have defined your core story, personas and customer journey, you can use different content types to meet your customers where they are. The following categorisation has proven successful:
Hero content: Great stories are told here, for example in the setting of unique events, trade fairs or media actions. This is how to ensure you receive broad attention.
Hub content: This is content on a specific topic that you offer centrally. It can be exploited continuously and on a long-term basis. This also includes classical how-to content or specific practical tips.
Help content/hygiene content: Content that is constantly played, for example on social media channels, and serves as a guide to help the target group find your topics. These include short video clips, viral infographics and the like.
Understanding your role as a mentor can not only help you sharpen your story, define the right content and make the most of the available channels. Most of all, you strengthen your brand and win over customers who feel connected to you. Because those who have experienced growth with your help will not be so quick to forget you!
If you are interested or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: call +49 (0)611 . 238 50 10 or by eMail to kontakt(at)diefirma.de.
You can read more about storytelling and the hero´s journey in our magazine sensorium. diefirma.de/sensorium (in German language)
In our storytelling workshop, we will show you some practical examples and be at your side on your path to becoming a hero-maker. More information about the workshop